Pelikan, a German manufacturer of fountain pens, has been making a strong push in social media. Primarily, this has been on Facebook and Instagram. They really do seem committed to reaching out to their fans.
A couple months ago, they announced Pelikan Hubs, an in-real-life meet-up of Pelikan fans. The idea was that, on Friday, June 13, fans would meet up at a designated spot at 7:30 PM local time. There, they would talk about pens, post with the #PelikanHubs hashtag, and generally have a good time. At the initial announcement, they were determining where the Hubs would take place. I signed up, unsure if we’d have one in Cincinnati.
They sent a note out saying that Cincinnati was chosen–one of thirteen cities in the United States to host a Hub. A week later, I got an email–they needed a “Hub Master” to run the hub. The duties were fairly light: select a location, and distribute goodies sent by Pelikan. I made a mental note to talk to my wife about it, to confirm I could commit to that. Over the weekend, I had forgotten about it, but a second email came that Monday.
Perhaps I should have taken that as a bad sign.
Regardless, I agreed, and worked with Pelikan to select a location, and get the word out to the half-dozen Queen City citizens who signed up. I chose one of the larger Starbucks in town, near an Interstate exit, figuring it’d make it relatively convenient for the attendees. Packages and emails were exchanged with Germany. I found my pelican beanie baby to be our mascot (as well as a way to identify me in a crowd). We were set.
The freebies were some post cards, along with a “shiny green” notebook, meant to match their new “shiney green” M205 Duo fountain pen highlighter–I have the original yellow version. The notebook is actually quite nice–a leather-like cover on cork backing hold two spiral notebooks: one of plain paper; the other, graph. The paper is good for fountain pens, with mild show-through.
I was good–I kept my notebook sealed until the Thirteenth. On that day, I drove to the Starbucks with the box of goodies and my pelican. I ordered a drink then set up at a table for six. The place was empty, save for a couple of Xavier University students.
Unfortunately, no one showed. I watched patrons as they came in, trying to decide if they were one of my Hub-folks. I generally figured if they weren’t wearing something that could hold pens, they weren’t it. However, after forty minutes, I gave up.
Other hubs seemed to go well, with dinners, give-aways, and other happenings. It was a bit of a bummer that my Hub at an attendance of one. Still, it was quite neat for Pelikan to reach out to their fans and try to connect them in this fashion.