I'm looking forward to my first show this year. Is there a lot of ink, paper, journals, stationary, etc... or mostly just pens at a typical show? I have several pens I'd like to have adjusted, but I'm not sure I'd be able to tell someone with any clarity what I'd exactly like done to it, other than the less than helpful plea, "fix it."
If you attend a big show like L.A. or S.F., you can expect to see a lot of ink, some paper, some journals, not much stationery, and mostly pens. A lot of pens. Rows and rows of tables of pens. Mostly vintage, all shiny like new, but several current-production penmakers like Edison, Yafa Brands (Conklin, Delta, Monteverde, Hugo Boss, and more), Bexley, S.T. Dupont, Montegrappa, and Franklin-Christoph frequently have tables. If you see somebody there wearing a suit, he's from one of these tables. Local pen shops like Bittner Pens of Carmel and The Pen Shop of Monrovia have tables and Anderson Pens always has pens along with a big supply of ink, pads and notebooks. There might be a table or two with calligraphy books and their authors showing how it's done. There are tables with spare pen parts, so if you're missing something, you might find it there. There are tables with repair/maintenance tools. There are seminars, workshops. You might see Dr. Stephen Brown or Matt Armstrong. Pen repair specialists and nibmeisters usually have tables. If you have problem pens and can convey their symptoms, that should suffice to get started. S.F. has a massive ink-testing extravaganza, several tables where you can use pre-loaded pens to test hundreds of inks. On Sunday at the L.A. International Pen Show, expect to wait in line to get in no matter what time you arrive. Take the goody bag that someone hands you.