The Social Gatherings of the Year: The Pen Shows!

by Katy Klassman May 16, 2021 1 Comment

dc pen show

The Social Gatherings of the Year: The Pen Shows!

madrid pen show

Maybe the social (and shopping!) outing that pen enthusiasts all over the world have missed the most over the past eighteen months is attending a pen show. As parts of the world start to open up there has been plenty of chatter in the pen community. When will the first one be? Where? There are practical questions about who might be there (as travel is still restricted in many countries,) and what will a pen show post pandemic look like with regards to safety requirements? Some of this is still a mystery, but with several pen shows announcing their return (Miami, DC, Chicago and others,) it seemed a good time to put out a quick Pen Show 101 for those who might be looking forward to going to their first one.

So here is what you should know and expect if you’ve never been to a pen show (PS- If you have additional advice, leave your thoughts in the comments. Pen show knowledge is vast and differs from person to person, so your tidbit might be just the thing that helps someone new enjoy their first show even more than they might have)

Who will be there.

dutch pen show

For starters, people like you: pen enthusiasts from all over the world.

There will also be retailers (many of the larger ones you purchase from on the web,) distributors (who often show their full range of brands and yet to be released models,) and vintage dealers ( if you think what is old is new, a pen show is the place to be). There are also pen makers of every type of pen you can imagine and nibmeisters who are on hand to customize nibs to your preferred specifications. While there isn’t a lot of repair work happening at shows, you will be able to find resources for that and a pen show is also about way more than pens. There is lots and lots of ink and paper. Lots! 

Set a budget ahead of time.

san fransisco pen show

Walking into a show without deciding how much you are willing to spend is like setting a child free in a candy shop. They will eat all the candy. You will buy all the pens. 

Make a list.

pen show ink bottles

Are there pens that you have been looking for that you want to seek out specifically? Write them down and bring it with you. Going to a pen show without a list is like going to a market without a list. Again, just like you might buy food on a whim, you will buy pens on a whim. Sometimes this works out. Sometimes not so much! 

Bring cash.

dc pen show

While many vendors are able to take credit cards, cash is still king and if you are looking to negotiate prices, having cash gives you a better opportunity to do so. Pen shows are often a great place to find pens at a better price than you will see on retailers and third-party sites. Sometimes having cash will make the difference and you will want to have it with you because hotel ATM’s run out of cash quickly during shows and typically are not replenished before the weekend is over. If you are seriously shopping, notify your charge card company that there are multiple vendors from many states, so your account isn't frozen due to suspected fraud.

Make a loop before you buy.

san fransisco pen show

If you can help it, you may want to make a full loop of the entire show before making a purchase. It is smart to get the lay of the land, see who is there and what they have to offer, before you open your wallet. 

You may want to bring food!

madrid pen show

Often pens shows are in hotels that have limited dining in them and around them.  Do some research ahead of time and bring snacks. Walking a pen show can leave you famished! Having something to nibble can also be the key to good decision making ;)

You might also want to bring some of your pen collection.

dc pen show

Pen shows often have after hours events and gatherings and it is quite fun to see what other pen enthusiasts collect. Many attendees are happy to let you try their pens and having your pens might be an opportunity to let someone else see or try a pen that they have their eye on. 

Have fun and try not to be shy.

pen show

It’s probably not an overstep on my part to say that the pen community is full of introverts (and if it is, I hope you’ll forgive my assessment). That being said, it is a community that is enlivened by a mutual love of pens and getting to know each other through pens. If there are name tags at a show, wear one. Introduce yourself to vendors and showgoers alike. Many, many, wonderful friendships have started at shows.  

It’s all about the people.

dutch pen show

I have heard this said so many times towards the end of a pen show or in conversations about them. Pen people are such special people. We have a mutual love of writing instruments, but it’s so much more than that. It is a beautiful community of people from all over the world, every walk of life, every age bracket, gender, race, religion, political conviction, etc. and yet it is a group that is harmonious, kind and loads of fun. If we have any fault at all as a collective, it is our propensity to buy a few too many pens. That seems like a small thing compared to the joy that the community and pen shows bring all of us.

Always ask permission before picking up a displayed pen.

Below find a list of many of the pen shows around the world, and user videos, a image gallery. You will want to seek out their websites or pen related message boards for the most current information.

I hope to see all of you at a show soon!

--------------------------------------------------------
Month Name Country Web
August Dc Washington Supershow USA Web
August San Francisco International Pen Show USA Web
September Dallas Pen Show USA Web
January Philadelphia Pen Show USA Web
February Los Angeles International Pen Show USA Web
March Baltimore Washington International Pen Show USA Web
March Long Island Pen Show USA Web
March Arkansas Pen Show USA Web
April Atlanta Pen Show USA Web
April Chicago Pen Show USA Web
June Triangle Pen Show USA Web
June St. Louis Pen Show USA Web
July Miami Pen Show USA Web
October Ohio Pen Show USA Web
October Colorado Pen Show USA Web
November Detroit Pen Show USA Web
October Toronto Pen Show Canada Web
January Naples Pen Show Italy.
January Munich Pen Show Germany.
February Milano Pen Show Italy.
March Barcelona Pen Show Spain. Web
March Trieste Pen Show Italy.
March Cologne Pen Show Germany. Web
April Florence Pen Show Italy. Web
May Nuremburg Pen Show Germany. Web
October Dutch Pen Show Netherlands. Web
September Katowice Pen Show Poland. Web
September Tilburg Pen Show Netherlands. Web
September Belgian Pen Show Belgium. Web
October Hamburg Pen Show Germany. Web
November Madrid Pen Show Spain. Web
November Bologna Pen Show Italy.
February Southwest Pen Show UK Web
March London Spring Pen Show UK Web
April Northern Pen Show UK Web
June Birmingham International Pen Show UK Web
September Newcastle Pen Show UK Web
October London Pen Show UK Web
November Yorkshire Pen Show UK Web
June The Capital Pen Show UK Web
September Moscow Pen Show Russia Web
November Melbourne Pen Show Australia Web
October The Sydney Pen Show Australia Web
November Pen Fest Istanbul Turkey Web
November Tokyo International Pen Show Japan Web
March The India Pen Show India Web
October Tainan Pen Show Taiwan Web
------------------------------------------------------

Dc Washington Supershow

"Video by Figboot On Pens

Dc Washington Supershow
August
Fairview Park Marriott 3111 Fairview Park Dr 22042
Falls Church Virginia USA
https://dcpenshow.com/"

San Francisco International Pen Show

Video by Nerddotis
San Francisco International Pen Show
August Pullman San Francisco Bay 223 Twin Dolphin Dr Redwood City California USA
http://www.sfpenshow.com/

Dallas Pen Show

Video by Larry's Fountain Pens
Dallas Pen Show
September
Doubletree Hotel
Dallas 4099 Valley View Lane 75244 Dallas Texas USA http://www.dallaspenshow.com

Philadelphia Pen Show

Video by Mike Matteson
Philadelphia Pen Show
January
Philadelphia Pennsylvania USA
http://philadelphiapenshow.com

Los Angeles Pen Show

Video by theTundra
Los Angeles International Pen Show
February
Torrance Marriott
Redondo Beach 3635 Fashion Way Torrance California USA http://www.lainternationalpenshow.com/

Baltimore Pen Show

Video by Mike Matteson
Baltimore Washington International Pen Show
March
BWI Airport Marriott
1743 W Nursery Rd. Linthicum Heights Baltimore Maryland USA http://baltimorepenshow.com

Long Island Pen Show

Video by Ethan Quigley
Long Island Pen Show
March
Hofstra University
1000 Hempstead Turnpike Hempstead Long Island New York USA http://www.lipenshow.com/

Arkansas Pen Show

Video by The Pen Habbit
Arkansas Pen Show
March
Crowne Plaza
Little Rock 201 S Shackleford Rd Little Rock Arkansas USA http://www.arkansaspenclub.com/

Atlanta Pen Show

Video by Figboot On Pens
Atlanta Pen Show
April
Wyndham Atlanta
Galleria 6345 Powers Ferry Rd NW Atlanta Georgia USA https://www.atlantapenshow.info/

Chicago Pen Show

Video by Mike Matteson
Chicago Pen Show
April
Chicago Marriott
Northwest 4800 Hoffman Blvd Hoffman Estates Illinois USA https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoPenShow/

Triangle Pen Show

Troy LaPlante
Triangle Pen Show
June
HiltonGarden Inn Raleigh
Crabtree Valley 3912 Arrow Dr Raleigh North Carolina USA http://www.trianglepenshow.com

St. Louis Pen Show

Video by Pen World
St. Louis Pen Show
June
Sheraton Westport Plaza Hotel
St. Louis 900 W Port Plaza Dr St. Louis Missouri USA
https://stlpenshow.com/

Miami Pen Show

Video by Paper Tams
Miami Pen Show
July
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Miami Airport & Convention Center
711 NW 72nd Ave Miami Florida USA
https://www.facebook.com/miamipenshow

Ohio Pen Show

Video By Penkala Pens
Ohio Pen Show
October
Crowne Plaza Columbus -
Dublin Ohio 600 Metro Pl N Dublin Ohio USA
http://www.theohiopenshow.com

Colorado Pen Show

Colorado Pen Show
October
DoubleTree by Hilton
Denver 4040 Quebec Street 80216 Denver Colorado USA http://www.coloradopenshow.com

Detroit Pen Show

Detroit Pen Show
November
Detroit Michigan USA
https://detroitpenshow.com/"

Toronto Pen Show

Video by Olivia and Pindot
Toronto Pen Show
October
Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St, Toronto, Ontario Toronto Canada https://www.scriptusinc.com/about-1

Naples Pen Show

Naples Pen Show
January
Royal Continental Hotel Via Partenope 38/44 Naples Italy

Munich Pen Show

Video by Penkala Pens
Munich Pen Show
January
Kolpinghaus München
Adolf-Kolping-Str. 1 80336 Munich Germany

Milano Pen Show

Video by Penkala Pens
Milano Pen Show
February
AC Marriott Hotel Via Tazzoli 2 Milano Italy.

Barcelona Pen Show

Video by Penkala Pens
Barcelona Pen Show
March
Hotel Montblanc Via Laietana 61 Barcelona Spain. http://penshowbarcelona.blogspot.com.es

Trieste Pen Show

Video by Penkala Pens
Trieste Pen Show
March
Sala Congressi Giubileo Riva 3 Novembre 7 Trieste Italy.

Cologne Pen Show

Video By Gourmet Pens
Cologne Pen Show
March
Leonardo Royal Hotel
Dürenerstrasse 287 Cologne Germany. http://www.collectiblestars.de/treffen_mein2015.html

Florence Pen Show

Video By Penkala Pens
Florence Pen Show
April
NH Hotel Piazza
Vittorio Veneto 4/A Florence Italy
https://www.facebook.com/florencepenshow/

Nuremburg Pen Show

Video By Penkala Pens
Nuremburg Pen Show
May
Tafelhalle Theatercafé
Äußere Sulzbacher Str. 62 Nürnberg Germany
http://nuernberg-penshow.com/

Dutch Pen Show

Video by Bruijning Chaim
Dutch Pen Show
October
Van Der Valk Hotel
Winthontlaant 4-6 Utrecht Netherlands
https://www.dutchpenshow.com

Katowice Pen Show

Video by Tuzand
Katowice Pen Show
September
Silesian University Ul. Jordana 18 40-043 Katowice Poland. http://www.penshowpoland.pl

Tilburg Pen Show

Video by ThomasJungeHH
Tilburg Pen Show
September
Tilburg Hotel de Druiventros
Bosscheweg 11 Berkel-Enschot Netherlands https://www.facebook.com/events/natuurmuseum-brabant/tilburg-pen-show/662026457514862/"

Belgian Pen Show

Video by bernard bernolet
Belgian Pen Show
September
NH Hotel Grand Sablon
Rue Bodenbroek 2 1000 Bruxelles Belgium
http://www.m2bpens.com

Hamburg Pen Show

Video by Penkala Pens
Hamburg Pen Show
October
Museum der Arbeit Hamburg Germany http://www.marktundkultur.de/penport.html

Madrid Pen Show

Video by Penkala Pens
Madrid Pen Show
November
Hotel Miguel Angel
C\Miguel Angel 29-31 Madrid Spain
http://www.madridpenshow.com/"

Bologna Pen Show

Video by Penkala Pens
Bologna Pen Show
November
NH Hotel Piazza XX Settembre 2, Bologna Italy

Southwest Pen Show

Video by Penultimate Dave
Southwest Pen Show
February
Bristol Hilton
Woodlands Lane Bradley Stoke BS32 4JF. Bristol UK https://ukpenshows.co.uk/south-west-pen-show-7th-feb-2021

London Spring Pen Show

Video by Penkala Pens
London Spring Pen Show
March
The Holiday Inn London
Bloomsbury Coram Street WC1N 1HT. London UK https://ukpenshows.co.uk/london-spring-pen-show-7th-march-2021

Northern Pen Show

Video by WES
Northern Pen Show
April
Doubletree by Hilton Hotel
Warrington Road Hoole CH2 3PD Chester UK https://ukpenshows.co.uk/northern-pen-show-25th-april-2021

Birmingham International Pen Show

XX "Birmingham International Pen Show
June
Birmingham Conference and Events Centre
Hill Street B5 4EW Birmingham UK
https://ukpenshows.co.uk/birmingham-pen-show-27th-june-2021/"

Newcastle Pen Show

XX Newcastle Pen Show
September
The Village Hotel
10 The Silverlink North NE27 0BY Newcastle Upon Tyne UK https://ukpenshows.co.uk/newcastle-pen-show-5h-sept-2021/"

London Pen Show

Video by Pue Pens
London Pen Show
October
Novotel London
West Hammersmith W6 8DR London UK
https://ukpenshows.co.uk/london-autumn-pen-show-3rd-oct-2021/"

Yorkshire Pen Show

Video by Grandmia Pens
Yorkshire Pen Show
November
The Copthorne Hotel
Bramall Lane S2 4SU. Sheffield UK https://ukpenshows.co.uk/yorkshire-pen-show-22nd-nov-2020/"

The Capital Pen Show

The Capital Pen Show 2021
June
London
UK
https://www.instagram.com/capitalpenshow/?hl=en"

Moscow Pen Show

Video by 7-ая Мастерская
Moscow Pen Show
September
WTC Moscow Krasnopresnenskaya Moscow Russia
https://penshow.ru/"

Melbourne Pen Show

Video by Plannergirl Pearl
Melbourne Pen Show
November
Malvern Town Hall, Glenferrie Road, Malvern Melbourne Australia http://www.melbpenshow.com.au

The Sydney Pen Show

Video by Barbara Nichol
The Sydney Pen Show
October
Australian National Maritime Museum Sydney Australia https://www.instagram.com/p/CN2C8GEDfwE

Pen Fest Istanbul

Video by MarkaKalem
Pen Fest Istanbul
November
Ciragan Palace Kempinski Besiktas Istanbul Turkey
https://www.penfest.com.tr

Tokyo International Pen Show

Video by ink.rocks
Tokyo International Pen Show
November
Tokyo Metropolitan Industrial Trade Center
Hamamatsucho-kan 3F, 1-7-1 Kaigan, Minato-ku Tokyo Japan
https://tokyo-international-penshow.com

The India Pen Show

Video by Fountain Pen Guy
The India Pen Show
March
Nehru Centre Worli Mumbai India
http://www.theindiapenshow.com

Tainan Pen Show

Video by TW_ JYL
Tainan Pen Show
National Tainan Living Arts Center https://www.facebook.com/groups/108806532928118

Image Gallery





Katy Klassman
Katy Klassman

Author

Katy worked in a stationery shop for nearly a decade, so She’s educated on many products and stationery client questions. She is also stationery - planner - fountain pen fanatic.


1 Response

Brett Clacher
Brett Clacher

June 19, 2021

Hello, do know if there is or would be a pen show in New Zealand

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Blog

Japanese Notebooks

by Katy Klassman September 29, 2021

There is Lots and Lots of Amazing Japanese Paper Out There 

View full article →

Nibmeister
Who Are The People In The Pen World: The Nibmeister

by Galen Leather September 15, 2021 3 Comments

Nibmeisters are highly skilled individuals who can improve or reform a nib. Here's what you need to know and where you can find a nibmeister near you.

View full article →

Montblanc 146 -149 Comparison - Photo Review
Montblanc 146 -149 Comparison - Photo Review

by Galen Leather August 26, 2021

Here's a quick photo comparison of the two must-have models in fountain pen addiction. Montblanc Meisterstück 146 LeGrand  and the flagship model of the company MB 149.

View full article →