Another Pelikan Hubs event has come and gone meaning that it’s time for a proper recap. September 21st was a big day for lovers of fine writing as it marked the fifth installment of Pelikan’s annual gathering. Word continues to spread about the fun and excitement of the evening as demonstrated by the ever-expanding number of registrations. This year saw gatherings take place in 181 cities spread across 46 countries with over 4500 registered participants, a roughly 30% increase over the year prior. Given the gravity of the occasion, Pelikan kindly provided me an opportunity to interview the Hubs team ahead of this year’s event, allowing us a fresh perspective and a small peak behind the curtain. Not all was smooth sailing this year, perhaps a reflection of some growing pains. There are reports of Pelikan’s gifts not being delivered to a few of the Hub locations in time for the event. Other Hubs have reported Olivine ink boxes containing Smoky Quartz, a puzzle that’s beyond me to solve. While disappointing, I think that it is important to keep things in perspective. The free gifts are indeed nice but they are by no means what brings the majority of us together so hopefully those Hubs were able to make the best of the situation. The Hub masters continue to show no shortage of passion and commitment and deserve a lot of kudos for ensuring the success of their local venues. Many went above and beyond by making or purchasing their own items for attendees to sample and take home. It is the dedication of the Hub masters that goes a long way to making the event as great as it is. Their efforts are even more commendable when you look at the ever increasing burden of finding a venue for such large groups without any budget. It’s that burden which prompted me to relinquish the title of Hub Master this year in Philadelphia, PA, USA. Frank Limper of Federalist Pens and Paper picked up the mantle and ran a great event. Our local hub has been held at a variety of locations and this year brought us somewhere new, The Victoria Freehouse Pub. The venue was cozy, provided good food and drink, and had a nice atmosphere. Everyone that I spoke with had a great time and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the venue for a future gathering. The only major blemish on my night was the parking ticket waiting for me when all was said and done (¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ).
As you likely know by now, this is the fifth anniversary of the Pelikan Hubs event. The excitement is certainly building as we are now just under a month away from the big day. Some of you have been around since its inception while a large swath of those reading have come to the event more recently. Have you ever wondered how it all came about? Questioned whose behind it all? Maybe you’re wondering if this is going to be something to look forward to for years to come? I too had a lot of questions and a few concerns about the event. I e-mailed Juana, a member of the Hubs team in Hannover, who works in the social media department. Quite unexpectedly, that message actually ended up leading to a very pleasant telephone conversation with Pelikan’s Global Marketing Manager of Fine Writing Instruments, Jens, and the rest of his team. They were gracious enough to grant me and The Pelikan’s Perch an exclusive interview. After much thought, I posed a series of twenty questions to the group which you will find below along with their answers. I hope that you find the information interesting and perhaps walk away with a clearer understanding of the event’s purpose and its origins. The text that follows has only been very lightly edited for easier readability due to differences in language but the responses have not been altered in any meaningful way.
With the closing of the registration period (extended an extra week due to high demand), we now have a pretty good sense of Pelikan’s Hub locations for 2018 as well as the number of registrations at each location. The analysis that follows is derived from data taken from Pelikan’s Hubs page (as of 7/23/18 at 9:00pm EST) and should not be taken as absolute since it is subject to some fluctuation between now and the big event. Still, it gives us a significant insight into how this fifth anniversary event is shaping up. Most of the cities that participated last year are again included in this year’s festivities with at least two dozen new cities added to the roster, a roughly 23% increase. The Hubs event continues the steady trend in annual growth that we’ve seen year after year. Each year has been larger than the one before with more countries, more cities, and more people participating. For 2017, Pelikan reported that there were 145 individual Hubs spread across 43 countries with 3600 registered participants. Based on the currently available data, this year’s event will span 178 cities spread out amongst 44 countries with over 4700 participants. Thus far, that represents roughly a 31% increase in attendance over last year and an astounding 425% increase since the inaugural year. Whereas events were few and far between the first year, the access that fans now have to a local Hub has grown exponentially. The United States is again host to the largest number of registrations with Canada, Australia, Taiwan, and Germany rounding out the top 5. This year’s gathering is set to take place on Friday, September 21, 2018 at 6:30pm local time with Pelikan expected to release additional details about the event as we get closer to the date. If you cannot attend this year’s event, you can easily follow along with the world-wide festivities via the hashtag #pelikanhubs on the various social media sites. To further synthesize the data, I’ve developed a series of maps and graphs to help depict the information. Read on to see what cities are involved and to learn about how your location stacks up with some of the others.
The 2018 Pelikan Hubs event has been anticipated by fans across the globe ever since last year’s highly successful gathering. With just a little over three months to go, Pelikan has officially opened up registration. This year hits a milestone as it marks the fifth anniversary of this pen and ink centric happening. The Hubs event has shown consistent growth over the past four years with 2017 coming in as the biggest year to date, a record that’s very likely to be bested once again. You may recall that there were 145 individual Hub locations spread across 43 countries with 3600 registered participants last year. That represents roughly a 38% increase over the attendance for 2016. If you are reading about this for the first time and wondering what the heck a Pelikan Hub event is, let me enlighten you. The Pelikan Hubs is a fan driven gathering of Pelikan aficionados from across the globe who meet on the same local date and time. With no specified agenda, anything goes meaning no two hubs are quite alike. Throughout all of this, Pelikan acts in a supporting role, providing the necessary organization and a few supplies, allowing the hub master and their attendees to free form an evening of festivities. For those who cannot attend, the various locations can be followed on social media via the hashtag #pelikanhubs. My local Philadelphia hub has always been a good time, attended by a growing and diverse group of fans. You can read about my past adventures here (2017), here (2016), and here (2015). One thing for certain is that there is usually no shortage of Pelikan eye candy. With a minimum of five people required to constitute a Hub, locations get selected based on a registered pool of online applicants. During the sign up process, you can nominate your city for inclusion if it is not already listed. Hub locations will be finalized sometime around July 9th. Once the participating cities are chosen, a Hub master is selected, by special application, to act as your local point of contact and organizer. It is the Hub master who designates a centrally located meeting place and distributes some Pelikan swag to all of the registered guest in attendance. Read on for all of the details for this years Hub.
September 22nd marked the fourth annual Pelikan Hubs event and by all accounts, it looks to have been a tremendous success. Pelikan reports that there were 145 individual Hubs spread across 43 countries with 3600 registered participants. That is over 1000 more people than had registered the year prior which is a 38% increase and shows consistent year over year growth. Sadly, the Mexico City Hub had to be postponed until next month due to the recent earthquake in that region. All of those Hub participants are reported to be safe but obviously the country is mourning their losses and our thoughts and prayers are with them. This is the third consecutive year that I was chosen as the Hub master for the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA location. Our local hub has been held at Sabrina’s Cafe, Goat Hollow, and now, for the second straight year, the Philadelphia Hub returned to Cooperage Wine and Whiskey bar located within the historic Curtis Center. The staff could not have been more welcoming or accommodating to our group and really helped to make the evening extra special. I enjoyed a wonderful cask IPA and the food was excellent. They even showed a genuine interest in our gathering and the pens on display so who knows, we may have a few new converts to this
obsession hobby of ours. The good people at Cooperage once again provided us a great venue in which to hold our event and I still can’t recommend them highly enough if you’re looking for a location for your next function.
Pelikan’s Hub locations for 2017 are now available on their website. The data doesn’t reveal any big surprises and many of the same cities that we’ve seen in the past have again emerged as Hub locations. Others are absent, making room for a few new venues. Based on the available data, the fourth annual Hubs event continues to show steady growth. Each year has seen the inclusion of more countries, more cities, and significantly more participants when compared with the year prior. Based on the available data from Pelikan’s Hubs website (as of 7/7/17), this year’s event will span 131 cities spread out amongst 39 countries with 2999+ participants. Thus far, that represents roughly a 42% increase in attendance with time still left to register. For those not yet aware, this year’s gathering will take place on Friday, September 22, 2017 at 6:30pm local time. No details have been announced yet but prior years have included some excellent Pelikan swag for participants. Even though the locations are set, online applications for Hub Masters are being accepted until July 12th and general applications will remain open through July 17th. That means time is quickly running out if you want to be included in this year’s festivities. Attendance is by application only so even if you are unsure of your availability, I would urge you to submit an online application to secure your place and do the same for any friend/spouse/pen loving stranger that you intend to bring with you. Registration forms can be found here. If you cannot attend, you can easily follow along with the world-wide festivities via the hashtag #pelikanhubs on the various social media sites.
It’s that time of year again, time for Pelikan to announce their fourth annual Pelikan Hubs event. Each year, the Hubs event has grown in attendance and I’m sure that the 2017 festivities will prove to be no different. Pelikan Hubs 2016 took place in at least 109 cities spread across 37 countries with roughly 2600 fans registered to attend. That represents nearly a 51% increase over the prior year! For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, the Hub event is a shared gathering of Pelikan fans from across the globe. The event is facilitated for fans by fans with Pelikan acting in a supporting role. While these gatherings take place in 30+ countries, each Hub occurs at the same date and time locally. For those who cannot attend, each Hub is encouraged to upload photos to their favorite social media sites with the hashtag #pelikanhubs. There is no agenda and anything that the group can imagine is fair game ensuring that no two Hubs are quite alike. I have had tremendous fun over the past three Philadelphia events and the diversity of attendees adds to the wonderful dynamic. Participants have ranged from novice to expert and those looking for their first Pelikan pen to those with hundreds. Hubs get selected based on a pool of online applicants. A minimum of five people are required to make a hub and you can nominate your city when signing up. Hubs will be chosen sometime around July 12th. Once the cities are selected, a Hub Master is chosen (by application) to act as the local point of contact and organizer who designates a centrally located meeting space in the appointed city. After that, all that is left to do is to gather and enjoy each other’s company.
September 16th has come and gone, leaving in its wake a lot of the excitement that culminated in the third annual Pelikan Hubs event. Rather than post my thoughts immediately, I wanted to take some time and let it breathe. The third annual Pelikan Hubs took place in at least 109 cities spread across 37 countries with roughly 2600 fans registered to attend. Just as last year’s event showed tremendous growth over the inaugural year, Hubs 2016 has demonstrated that the event continues to pick up momentum. This year marked the second consecutive time that I was chosen as the Hub master for the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA location. Thankfully, the Pope remained in Rome this year which helped to avoid much of the traffic nightmare that occurred during last year’s hub. Site selection remains a challenge for Hub masters worldwide. As you might imagine, it is difficult to find a suitable location that can accommodate an event of this size, be centrally located, have good lighting, not be too loud, and be available gratis. I also like to ensure attendees a chance at food and beverage since the event occurs during the dinner hour. With those parameters in mind, I set out on an extensive search of the city and had quite a few misses which took us right down to the wire. Ultimately, I found an amazing establishment that was gracious enough to host our party free of charge. This year’s Philadelphia Hub went down at Cooperage Wine and Whiskey bar located in the historic Curtis Center in the Washington Square neighborhood. Cooperage bills itself as combining southern bistro fare with an eclectic list of wine and whiskey from around the world. The restaurant is very welcoming and has a great feeling of warmth about it. It certainly doesn’t hurt that the food menu is excellent as well. The establishment boast over 90 different kinds of whiskey available. The good people at Cooperage provided us a great area in which to hold our event and I can’t recommend them highly enough if you’re looking for a venue for your next function.