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Organizing the Pelikan Hub – Budapest 2019

This year’s hub is going to be really special because it’s the first year where I’m going to be the Hub Master in Budapest! πŸ˜€ However that’s not the only thing that makes this year’s Hub such an important date. Exactly one year ago, I went to my first ever pen meet where I met awesome people and where technically Pennonia became “known”. Yay!

I still remember I was really anxious and excited, I just had to move to Budapest two months after I officially launched the website. Things were a bit hectic, I was struggling to upload a bajillion products, I was also working on my first inks. I actually took these inks to the Hub and gave them away as gifts for everyone.

Last year’s Hub was organized by Daniel, a local fountain pen enthusiast and really the supporting pillar of the fountain pen community in Budapest because he is the one who organizes the monthly pen meets and I think I speak for all when I say, the local FP community wouldn’t be where it is now if not for him. So thanks Dani!

It was actually Dani who encouraged me to take up the mantle this year for the Hub and it was something that I have gladly accepted! πŸ˜€ I’m a pretty huge Pelikan fan with a decent collection, so the brand stands close to my heart and you can bet I was happy when I was selected to be this year’s Hub Master.

In 2019 Pelikan released the Star Ruby ink and the special edition M205 that goes with it.

If things work out I might actually have the chance to take the new M205 to the Hub to show it to everyone. Naturally a bottle of Edelstein Star Ruby goes to everyone courtesy of Pelikan.

But we’re not here to talk about Star Ruby, so let’s move on to…

Finding the right place

You might wonder, what actually does a Hub Master need to do in the background to organize the Hub? Well it’s not really rocket science but I did have some trouble with it at first. Fortunately or unfortunately the Budapest Hub is rather small with this year clocking in at 15 participants. This means we can get away with reserving a table in a cafe or a restaurant instead of having to rent out a room or space somewhere.

The only headache it caused me was finding the right place. You would think Budapest has a lot of choices (and maybe I was just not good) but in reality, most cool cafes are too small to accommodate a group of 15 people at a big table. So I went to check out a couple of places and just when I thought I found the perfect one, it turns out that they literally have live concerts each evening…sooo the search continued. I found another cool place online and when I wanted to check it out they were on vacation for two weeks! Not wanting to risk it and to cut it close, I continued to look for the right place. I eventually found it and reserved a table.

If you want to check it out I can definitely recommend the place! It’s called Kelet Cafe, located between Moricz Zsigmond Korter and Szent Gellert Ter.

Extra goodies and how to improve the Hub experience

Naturally I have prepared something nice for this year’s Hub as well and I think a Hub Master should also take care of the guys who forgot to register so Pennonia will sponsor their Star Rubies so they won’t miss out on the fun. πŸ˜€

Some Hub Masters also e-mailed their local stationary shops in the hopes of getting sponsored goodies for the attendants, while others are preparing ink samples, paper samples etc.

Then there’s also the possibility to find a person who could be invited to talk about pen restoration, nib grinding, ink making and other interesting things related to the hobby. This year I tried to ask a local fountain pen restorer and he actually said that he will try to make it! πŸ˜€ So fingers crossed!

Last year Dani took us to one the coolest stationary shops (Bomo Art) so if you’re going to be a Hub master, that’s also a great choice to do! It was fun, interesting and we got to chat with the proprietor of the shop about both running a stationary business, as well as fountain pens and inks.

Final words

All in all I can’t wait to finally go to the Hub! I could also write a few more pages about being a Hub Master and I’m sure once my first Hub is over I will be able to write even more haha! So if you have any questions regarding it, just leave a comment below! πŸ˜€

I will definitely apply next year as well! While finding the right place was frustrating and took most of my attention, if the current place turns out to be good then next year I will put more attention towards improving the experience and making it a truly unique pen meet for all participants.

Naturally starting from this year, Pennonia will try to feature a Pelikan Hub sale if it’s possible.

I will also update the blog with photos and do a write-up of the whole experience and I also can’t wait to show you guys the surprise ink that I prepared for this year. πŸ˜€

I wish everyone a great Pelikan Hub!

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Budapest Pen Meet – 2019 January

Some of you guys may already know this but we have monthly pen meets here in Budapest πŸ˜€ and I thought it would be a good idea to post a quick summary of what we have talked about and to post some photos as well.

This month’s pen meet we had a new pen enthusiast join us! Hi Adrian! πŸ˜€ It’s really nice to have a new person join our monthly pen meets. Usually there are at least 5 people but if adult life wouldn’t get in the way there are about 20 people who come to these meets as their time permits them. We tried out a new place this time because our usual place had really dim lights and it’s not so good when you’re trying to compare ink colours. We went to Mon Cheri Cafe and we found a good spot where light was directly shining onto our tables which did wonders!

We talked about quite a lot of things as usual. The main things we’re basically the state of fountain pen use and culture in Hungary and in Romania and we have concluded that it’s pretty much non-existent especially compared to some nations like the Dutch. In Hungary fountain pens are usually seen as a gift you give someone for graduation or as a corporate gift (or for your boss) but apart from that it has been pretty much phased out in everyday use partly do to our modern society and partly because not a lot of emphasis is given upon them in schools anymore.

Another topic we have discussed is importing fountain pen related goods outside of the European Union, we shared our experiences and our thoughts on buying from abroad, on how unfair paying 27% VAT is and how lucky Americans are that most of the stuff over there is cheaper (although I guess they could say the same thing about European brands πŸ˜› ).

Naturally we also had to try out every pen and ink we have brought, Sailor, Pilot, Nakaya, Namiki pens dominated the field today since most in our group prefer Japanese pens (at least that’s the impression I have got) but there were some European pens as well like, Aurora, Pelikan (Ocean Swirl represent!) and Waterman. Daniel sent me an interesting story the other day posted to a forum, the tl;dr is that the Pilot Custom 823 was created because the staff at Pilot thought that the Pelikan M800 has degraded in quality over the years and they wanted to recapture the feeling of the old M800 they all used and loved. You can read the whole story here if you want.

I brought two things to the meet this time around. One was 160g letter paper from Piccolo Press Scotland because I wanted to get the opinion of the others whether it would be good to create notebooks out of them. Personally I think the paper is really nice but we’ll see what the others say in the February meet about it once they have tested it out. The other thing(s) that I brought were ink bottles! I contacted a glassware maker in Italy about ink bottles and they sent me some samples of their lineup. As it turns out they are most likely making bottles for Diamine, Omas, Jacques Herbin, De Artemis and probably somebody else as well. Now the reason I contacted them about these bottles is because I’m going to start selling my own brand of inks! πŸ˜€ This means that once I get my hands on the bottles I’ll be able to start offering Pennonia inks YAY! πŸ˜€

So the reason I brought these bottles to the meet is because I wanted to ask the others which ones did they like the most (and in order to catch any bottles that might be used by other manufacturers as I didn’t want to use a bottle design that’s already associated with somebody else). Anyway we managed to find the perfect bottle so once I have labels printed up and the bottles filled (and received the bottles πŸ˜› ) I’ll be able to take some nice glamour shots and product photos. Hopefully everyone will be satisfied by the quality of the ink and the bottle as well!

That was about it but I probably forgot a lot of stuff since everybody had so much new things to say and talk about and I also didn’t manage to talk with everyone this time around. Hopefully next month! πŸ˜€ See you guys until then.

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Pelikan Hub 2018 – Budapest, Hungary

Hey guys! πŸ˜€ You probably heard about the Pelikan Hub that gets organized each year (in 2018 we had the 5th Pelikan Hub). If you haven’t then have a look at this link and read up on it from Pelikan themselves. The tl;dr is that it’s a gathering of pen enthusiasts sponsored and coordinated (to a point) by Pelikan. I moved this year to Budapest so it was a no-brainer for me and my girlfriend to attend this year’s Pelikan hub.

It was an awesome experience and it was completely what I expected and how I imagined it would be like. The only problem was that it felt so short, time flew by and I swear I could have stayed with everyone for a couple of more hours discussing pens and inks. I’ll just do a quick summary of what happened and at the end you can find the gallery with some awesome photos. The truth is I was so preoccupied with all the new pens, inks, people and the experience in general that I completely forgot to take photos! So the photos in the post are provided by Daniel Berecz, the hubmaster for this year, GΓ‘bor MΓ©szΓ‘ros and Kym Bat, attendees at the hub.

Before we start I’d like to express my gratitude towards Daniel for hosting this year’s Pelikan Hub!

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