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Cricut Maker FAQ (& Paris Pillow Project too!)

Everyday life is just what we do while we are waiting to go on our next amazing adventure, right? I decided to bring my favorite city – Paris – home with an easy pillow project. I’m going to show you how to make it, along the way I’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the Cricut Maker machine!

[Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written on behalf of Cricut, but all opinions expressed are my own.]

Paris Pillow Cricut Maker FAQ

I’ve been playing with my new Cricut Maker machine for a few months. Even with all of my experience with previous machines, some things have surprised me. And there’s some things I didn’t learn from the information I gathered about the machine before I got it that I know now.

Here’s some of the things that I wish I knew before I got my new Cricut Maker machine:

  • Fabric Cutting: Even though I was super excited about the fabric cutting ability of the Maker’s rotary blade, I assumed that it would have limitations based on my experience with a rotary cutter for quilting. Boy, was I wrong! I’m still experimenting with its capabilities but as you can see from the flowers on this pillow, it can do way more than a regular rotary cutter.
  • Cartridges: I knew the Maker didn’t have a cartridge slot, but what I didn’t know was that it has a cartridge adapter! The adapter plugs into a USB slot on the Maker or your laptop so that you can load new cartridges into Design Space. All of my cartridges are already loaded in Design Space, but hey, I like to know that I still have the option to load more!
  • Tablet Support: The design of the new Maker machine is really pretty…but I had no idea it was functional too! That groove along the top of the machine, under the cover? It turns out it will hold your tablet in place while you use it with your Maker! And for those all day crafting sessions, you can plug into the USB plug on the side of your Maker to recharge your tablet. (Note to self: Add that to my list of reasons to buy a new iPad!)

Those are some of the things I’ve learned about the Maker in my time with it. But let’s take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions about the Maker:

Q: What makes the Maker different from other Cricut machines?

A: The biggest difference between the Maker and the previous generation of Cricut machines is the Adaptive Tool System. That’s the “gear wheel” that you see in the right hand tool holder when you look at the front of the machine. This gives the machine the ability to create 10x more power with new tools like the scoring wheel, knife blade, and rotary blade.

Q: What materials can I cut?

A: The Adaptive Tool System opens up a whole new world of materials that the Maker can cut. It can cut thicker leathers, balsa wood, matboard, and the one I’m most excited about – fabric without a backer!

Q: What types of fabric can I cut (without a backer)

A. The answer is…pretty much anything! Cricut now offers packages of coordinated cotton fabrics to use with its machines, or you can hit the fabric store and grab whatever suits your fancy (and your project).

Q: What kind of DIY projects can I make?

A: A better question is what can’t you make? With vinyl for making seasonal and home decor items, iron-on for tshirts & totes, fabric cutting for quilting…and did I mention that Riley Blake and Simplicity have an entire library of sewing patterns in the Cricut Design Access subscription now? Sew gifts, doll clothes, and seasonal decor without the hassle of hand cutting (and know it will be perfect every time).

Q: Will I use the machine enough to justify the price?

A: From DIY parties to DIY gifts…the Cricut Maker makes it easy to finally do all of those things that you’ve been wanting to do. Impress your friends with handmade gifts, make tshirts for the kids sports team….the possibilities are endless!

So, onto the project! Paris is always a good idea, right? This adorable pillow is way simpler to make than it looks. The best part is that the envelope pillow sham is easy to take off to clean – or swap out for something seasonal.

Paris Pillow Cricut Maker FAQ

Supplies Needed: 

I love working with coordinated fabric collections for the same reason that I love working with coordinated paper collections! It makes it so easy to do a project with a variety of patterns without the hassle of coordinating. This Sweet Prairie designer fabric by Riley Blake for Cricut is so beautiful! I’m sure I’ll be using the leftovers for other projects!

Cricut Sweet Prairie fabric

With my pink fabric cutting mat and the rotary blade, the Cricut Maker sliced through the cotton fabric like butter. It also cut my wool felt that I used for one of the flowers beautifully.

Cricut Maker cutting fabric

After I cut out all of the pieces of the design (a process that is simple but just requires some patience with the many different colors), I started adhering it all. I worked pretty close to the middle of the 16″ by 36″ fabric strip. I started with the big pieces, and then worked down to the smaller ones. This process went so fast with my Cricut Easy Press 2!

Cricut Easy Press Eiffel Tower pillow

Getting the leaves positioned is a bit tricky since they are kind of floating in the middle of space and their placement needs to be accurate. I positioned them in place with the flowers to get the whole design right, and then lifted the flowers off and pressed them in place.

Positioning Iron-On to Apply

Next I ironed on the center elements of each flower. When they cooled down, I sewed them down using buttons to hold them in place. I could have sewed all around the outside edge to attache them. But by pinning them down in the centers, the outside edges pop up off the surface, giving them some realistic dimension.

After the flowers were attached, I used invisible thread to sew down a few sequins around them. This step is optional but I like the detail it creates!

Close up of finished flowers

With everything attached, it’s time to sew up the pillow! On each short end of the fabric, I rolled the fabric over twice towards the backside and then stitched close to the turned over edge.

side hems on pillow case

When I started laying out my design, I made small marks near the edge of my fabric to mark the maximum width of my design. As you can see below, I accidentally started my design outside the mark on the right. So I found the center of my design, and made new marks on each side to show where to fold the sides so the design would be centered. For this 16″ pillow, I made my marks about 15.75″ apart.

Marking the fold for pillow

Once you have your marks, fold first one side in over the design, and then the other side. (If you look real hard, you can see the word Paris inside my pillow.) Pin the raw edges together. Stitch 3/8″ from the edge along both of those raw edges.

Pinning Envelope Pillow Cover

And that’s it! I turned my pillow cover right side out and stuffed it with my pillow form. (Tip: Don’t forget to get your form all the way down into the corners!) Now thanks to my Cricut Maker we have a beautiful addition to our bedroom!

Paris Pillow Cricut Maker FAQ

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut . The opinions and text are all mine.

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AFCI Creativation 2019 Conference Schedule Preview

Conference registration is now open for Creativation 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona from January 17th-21st, 2019, and you won’t want to miss out on the creative and business offerings on the schedule!

Creativation logo

[This is a sponsored post for AFCI, but views are entirely the author’s own.]

The Creativation 2019 conference schedule is more jam-packed with education than I ever remember it being, with over 100 workshops and seminars for attendees to choose from. One highlight of the workshop program is the addition of the track for Calligraphy, which is experiencing a recent resurgence. The program also features a strong emphasis on social media and marketing skill development for industry business owners of all types. Check out just some of the highlights below! (Visit the Creativation website for the full show schedule.)

Thursday – January 17th

Perhaps the most unique session offered at Creativation 2019 on Thursday is the Spellbinders-sponsored appearance of renowned calligrapher Paul Antonio. His 2:30pm session on “3000 Years of the Western Alphabet” [S107] promises to be both an amazing demonstration of calligraphy and a fascinating tour through history.

AFCI attendees wanting to learn more about managing their social media have two stellar options to choose from on Thursday: a Pinterest session by Jennifer Priest at 3pm [S103] and a Facebook session by Marie Segares at 12:30pm [S101]. And for retailers, Gwen Bortner’s 3pm session on “Creating an Open-to-Buy Report” [S104] is a must-do session on a critical (and often misunderstood) topic.

For those looking for creative sessions, there’s plenty papercrafting-related to choose from. Graphic 45 is back with another of their popular album classes [W116 at 4pm] and PaperArtsy has two mixed media workshops [W102, W116]. Art Impressions will be teaching how to create a trendy watercolor look with markers in their workshop taught by Kate Swanson and Bonnie Krebs [W110 at 3pm]. And speaking of trends, if you haven’t learned yet how to do the ultra-trendy gel plate printing…Gel Press will teach you how to do that in their two beginner sessions on Thursday [W105, W111].

Friday – January 18th

On Friday the lawyers are in the house at Creativation, bringing attendees sessions on important topics for creative businesses! Kiffanie Stahle will be presenting sessions on Defeating Copycats [S214 @ 11:30am] and the new GDPR in Europe [S203 @ 8am]. Tammy Browning-Smith will educate attendees on FTC disclosure rules for sponsorships & endorsements [S213 @ 11am] and the legalities of selling online [S227 @ 3:30pm].

Perennial favorites Kizer & Bender will be back at Creativation 2019 with two sessions for retailers on Friday [S209 @ 9:30am, S221 @ 2pm]. Business expert Lindsay Anvik is offering several seminars to retailers as well: Apps for Retailers [S208 @ 9:30am] and Sell More Through Wow Merchandising [S228 @ 4pm]

Ranger is offering a full slate of workshops on Friday at Creativation 2019 featuring Tim Holtz, Wendy Vecchi, Dyan Reavely, and Dina Wakley. But there’s plenty else to love for papercrafting and mixed media industry attendees. Rising star Catherine Pooler will be kicking off the day with an 8am Ink Techniques workshop [W203].  49 & Market is pairing with The Dusty Attic for a layout techniques workshop with their vintage look products [W203 @ 1pm]. And Kelly Marie Alvarez & Jenn Shurkus will be teaching trendy interactive cardmaking for Lawn Fawn at 4:30pm [W226].

Creativation 2017

Saturday – January 19th

The Creativation Stage will feature some great sessions on Saturday afternoon at Creativation 2019. Lindsay Anvik will start the day with her talk about “Email Marketing is Not Dead” at noon [S301], followed by Anna Ebert talking about “Social Media Time Savers” at 1:15pm [S302].  At 2pm, Terina Nicole and Nneka Mosley will take on “The Evolution of A Creative Career” [S303] while Kaylee Pope of Prime Publishing will be discussing content writing at 3pm [S304].

On the creative side, cardmakers won’t want to miss the Layered Cards class at noon Saturday from stamp company Pink & Main [W302]. And mixed media fans will really get into “Rustic Shabby Chic” using Gelatos with Mou Saha & Faber-Castell at 3pm [W307].

Sunday – January 20th

Sunday afternoon another speaker series will take over the Creativation Stage. Kaylee Pope of Prime Publishing opens it up at 11:30am with her session on Email Newsletters [S401]. At 1pm, Sakura follows with what is certain to be a thought-provoking session on “Why Cursive Handwriting Matters In A Digital Age” [S402]. At 2pm, Mark Hill and Keri Cunningham from AFCI will present AFCI’s latest Creative Products Size of Industry Study findings to show attendees [S403]. Finally, Arkon Mounts will close out the series with a presentation on how to improve the quality of craft demonstration videos [S404].

Stampers have plenty to choose from on the Sunday class schedule. Paper Artsy is offering two workshops (taught by Sara Naumann and Tracy Scott, respectively) to create mixed media projects. Art nerds will definitely want to check out Marabu’s 3pm class where attendees will create a Kandinsky-inspired mixed media work [W405].

Creativation 2017 New Product Showcase

Creativation 2017 New Product Showcase

Special Events at Creativation

If you are a new to Creativation, you won’t want to miss the free Newcomer’s Welcome Session on Thursday evening from 5pm-6pm. Host Jason Baum (AFCI Director of Membership) will share with new attendees everything that you need to know about how to have a successful show at Creativation.

Who says Creativation has to be all work and no play? On Friday night, show attendees can get down to some music and win prizes at the free Show Party [E205] from 6pm to 9pm. (And you can even do some networking while you have fun too!) Before you go to the party, be sure to check out the popular New Product Networking Event from 4:30pm to 6pm. [E204]

Think your elevator pitch needs some polishing? Get some inspiration and tips by attending The Ultimate Pitch event on the Creativation Stage at 9:30am on Sunday! Participants in the contest will have their pitch for their innovation judged and critiqued – and someone will win a $10,000 cash prize and be launched as the Top Creative Innovation of 2019!

If you are an AFCI member who likes to keep your finger on the pulse of the organization, you definitely won’t want to miss the annual business meeting and town hall event on Monday morning at 7:30am. It’s a chance to hear the Executive Team and Board of Directors talk about future plans for AFCI, and also to share your feedback with them.

Don’t miss out on your top choices of sessions and workshops…register now for Creativation 2019!

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T-Shirt Fun with Cricut Easy Press 2!

I hate ironing. Really, who doesn’t? And because of that, I rarely use Iron-On despite my love of all the cool things that can be done with it. Wrestling with the setting up the ironing board, playing defense against rampaging kids and cats for what seemed like forever until the iron was ready to use…and then the trial and error of trying to get the temperature and time right.

Those days are behind me, because that was before I met Cricut Easy Press 2!

[Disclosure: This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut, but all opinions are my own.]

Scrappy Mom T-Shirt with Cricut Easy Press 2

Now, I want to Iron-on ALL THE THINGS!

And with the new Cricut Strongbond™ Guarantee, I can – because Cricut guarantees that if Cricut Strongbond™ Iron-On is used as directed, I’ll be satisfied or they’ll replace it for free! It’s designed to last 50 wash and dry cycles!

My Cricut Easy Press 2 is the 9×9 size, but it’s also available in 6×7 and 12×10 sizes. When I first read the instructions I was skeptical that it could really complete an iron-on in around a minute. It seemed too good to be true. But I was stunned to discover that in fact, yes, even clutzy me really can finish an iron-on that fast with the Easy Press 2! It’s unbelievable how quickly the Easy Press 2 heats up, and once it does, an iron-on can be applied in only a few seconds.

Here’s a closer look at the logo I created on my t-shirt:

Scrappy Mom T-Shirt Design

Supplies Used:

My file in Cricut Design Space (click here) is sized for a Men’s XXL t-shirt. For smaller shirt sizes, you may need to adjust the size of the design by resizing the group.

Cricut Design Space Scrappy T-Shirt

The patterned elements are made with Cricut Martha Stewart Patterned Iron-On in Wildflower. These coordinating designs are so pretty! I can’t wait to make more projects with the leftovers from my package!

Cricut Martha Stewart Patterned Iron-On

The patterned iron-on has a texture something like a super lightweight canvas. It cut like absolute butter with my regular blade and on the same Light Grip Cutting Mat that I usually use for iron-on.

Cricut Maker cutting Patterned Iron-On

I always use my Cricut Basic Tool Set to work with iron-on and vinyl…the weeding tool is an absolute must for getting out the small inner pieces like the inside of these scissor handles!

Weeding Cricut Patterned Iron-On

The best part about using my Cricut Easy Press 2 is that I could do all of this right in my craft room! My Cricut Easy Press 2 sat in its Safety Base right on my regular craft table while it heated. Then I used the Cricut Easy Press Mat to protect my table while I did the iron-on application to my shirt.

Cricut Easy Press 2

I started my design by placing the center element (the heart) and pressing it in place following the instructions for my Cricut Easy Press 2. With the Cricut Easy Press Quick Reference Guide, I knew exactly what temperature to set my Easy Press 2 at, and how long to press my iron-on. And using the machine’s timer, I couldn’t get the time wrong!

Cricut Easy Press 2 project in progress

Once I had the heart correctly in place, it was easy to build my other design elements around it! The text element was slightly wider than my Cricut Easy Press 2, so I started pressing in the center and worked out to the edges.

Using the Cricut Easy Press 2

In only a few minutes of pressing, I was done! Thanks to the ceramic coated heat plate on the Cricut Easy Press 2, it was easy to get perfect (and secure) application. I look forward to wearing and enjoying this shirt for a long time!

Scrappy Mom T-Shirt with Cricut Easy Press 2

What could you do with the quick and easy iron-on capability of the Cricut Easy Press 2

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

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American Crafts Buys EK Success

American Crafts announced today that they have bought EK Success and its family of papercrafting brands from Wilton Brands.

EK Success Sticko show booth

[Disclosure: This article contains Amazon affiliate links that pay this site a commission at no cost to the reader when a purchase is made after a click.]

EK Success is the fourth acquisition made by American Crafts in barely over 18 months. In 2017, the company acquired Core’dinations, DCWV’s paper division, and BoBunny Press. This marks by my count the tenth acquisition made by American Crafts, starting with its acquisition of Pebbles in 2009.

The acquisition of EK Success brings EK Tools, Sticko, Jolee’s, and K&Company into the American Crafts family of brands. EK Success products occupy significant shelf space at the major craft chain stores. But despite this the EK brands have been hobbled by the scrapbooking downturn (and financial issues at WIlton) and no longer carry quite the same market clout or cachet that they did 15 years ago at the height of the scrapbooking boom. However, the marketing and sales power of American Crafts should improve the brands’ market trajectory.

American Crafts said in the acquisition announcement that new products are planned for the EK brands. The entire EK Success design and product development staff is staying on to ensure what American Crafts calls “design integrity” as EK moves forward at its new corporate home.

Wayne Mitchell, CEO of American Crafts, says EK Success’ lineup of stickers, paper crafting and tools strongly appeal to a wide variety of crafters. “I’m excited to welcome the entire EK Success team to American Crafts,” says Mitchell. “Names like Jolee’s, Sticko, K&Company and EK Tools are simply iconic in our industry. We’re thrilled to work with such a talented team to develop even more amazing products we know crafters will love.”

Sue Buchta, CEO of Wilton Brands, says she is pleased that the EK Success team has found a new home at American Crafts. “The members of the EK Success team are incredibly talented and dedicated” says Buchta. “We appreciate how they’ve shared their time and talent with Wilton and EKSB over the years and wish them the very best. I can’t imagine a better fit for this team and these brands than with an industry leader like American Crafts.”

This is the second major divestment in less than a year for Wilton. Late last year the company sold off Simplicity Creative Group to CSS Industries. That deal (which included the Simplicity, Wrights, Boye, Dimensions, and Perler brands) caused some controversy at the time because it brought large pattern makers Simplicity and McCalls under the same corporate parent. It appears that with this second transaction Wilton is now left to focus only its food crafting brands. Food crafting is currently a trendy and growing craft market segment. The trend is being fed in significant part by the popularity among millennials of YouTube stars like Rosanna Pansino, creator of the Nerdy Nummies web series. Pansino, who is about to release the follow-up to her bestselling Nerdy Nummies cookbook, has launched a Nerdy Nummies baking product line aimed at the youth market that is produced by Wilton.

EK Success products will continue to ship from the current Wilton warehouse through September. EK Success products will then begin shipping in October from the American Crafts warehouse in Utah, after what is estimated to be a 10 day down time to move inventory. Distributors will continue as normal. Orders for EK Success products may be placed with American Crafts starting immediately.

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Design Team Call | Bad Girls Couture (9/15)

For our readers’ convenience, Scrapbook Update publishes the full text of select design team calls, with the company name and deadline in the header.

To see a page listing all of these published calls, visit the Design Team Calls category of Scrapbook Update.

To have your company’s design team call published, contact nancy [at] nallystudios.com.


Bad Girls Couture Design Team Call

2018-2019

www.badgirlscouture.com
Entry Period: 9/1/18-9/15/18

Open to all US and INTERNATIONAL Artists

Wanna be BAD??!!!!

Bad Girls Design Team Call 2018

Bad Girls Couture is a private label manufacturer specializing in state of the art mixed media , art journals, home decor, and authentic vintage products. Bad Girls Couture prides ourselves on being a green company, helping to sustain our environment by manufacturing products that are eco friendly. We believe in providing our community with an exceptional experience through a team of artists who come together to teach, inspire, and instill an ever evolving atmosphere of innovation. Matter of fact… if you are a RULE BREAKER then you are in the right place! We are looking for artists who create art with no fear and are not afraid to break every single rule, push the envelope, and who have no boundaries! If you want to join the best in the industry and at the same time gain some really good exposure, enjoy great perks, and get to create with some of the best products then you are who we are looking for

Qualifications:

Passion for creating art and projects with a broad knowledge of mixed media, and the ability and desire to grow as an artist and try new products.

You must be adept at working with acrylic paint, art journals, mediums (gesso, moulding paste, gel medium, clear gesso, etc.)

Proficient with excellence in photography and knowledge of video taping tutorials and classes.

Must have prior design team experience with knowledge of typical duties and the mixed media art industry.

Must work well under pressure and tight deadlines.

Must be a team player and participate in Bad Girls promotions and contests

Must be active on at least two of the top social media sites (Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, & Twitter)

Must have a current blog and YouTube account.

Other manufacturer and kit club design teams are acceptable. Our paint line is 27 different custom and
unique colors and we expect our design team members to promote our paint solely in your online and print work.

You must be able to contribute a minimum of 1 video tutorial and 2-3 blog posts per month.

You must be able to commit to posting all your work for us on your social media, blog, and online galleries where permitted.

Graphic design experience is not required, but a definite plus.

Bad Girls Couture paint

Entry Requirements:

Submit a combination of 4 projects/layouts…at least one MUST BE a project, or give us a link to a gallery on a social media account that features a good selection of your artwork. Make sure this is your best work and it epitomizes your unique style and abilities.

Submit your resume, links to any online galleries, your blog, your social media accounts, and anything else you deem highlights the exposure of your art, social media, and ability to advertise it.

Please indicate which design teams you are currently on.

Tell us why you would like to be a BAD GIRL! What makes you a good fit for our team? What would you like for us to know about you?

You may submit your completed entry to: Admin@BadGirlsCouture.com

In the subject line please write “Design Team Entry/Your Name”. Include your name, address, email address, phone number.

Artists will be notified by 09/17/18. We will have a meeting in September and your official term will begin!

Luscious Design Team boxes will be shipping out the same week! You will receive all 27 colors of our Haute Mess acrylic paints, all of our Haute Mess mediums (Gesso, Moulding Paste, Matte Gel Medium, Glass Bead Gel, Clear Gesso), Gorgeous Haute Mess Art Journal, Gems, Stick Pins, Vintage Fabric and Papers, and more!

Your Benefits as a BAD GIRL DESIGNER:

You will receive our Private Line to design with. As we manufacture and release new lines you will also receive shipments with those contents.

We will also be releasing random Limited Edition Kits. Some design team members may be eligible to design with these kits.

A discount in our Shoppes of 30% off.

Published projects with BAD GIRLS COUTURE signature products will be generously compensated. Amounts to be disclosed to Designers who become a part of our team.

Opportunity to attend and teach at trade shows and retreats.

If you have any questions or comments please send to: Admin@BadGirlsCouture.com

Good Luck to all you BAD GIRLS!!!

For more information on this design team call, visit the Bad Girls Couture blog.

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AFCI | Why I Still Believe In the Importance of Trade Shows

The digital world has changed a lot about our daily lives. We can bank, grocery shop, and even see a doctor without ever leaving home. But can the digital world replace everything?

[This is a sponsored post for AFCI, but views are entirely the author’s own.]

Many of my long time readers know that I have always been, and continue to be, a firm believer that attending trade shows in person is a necessary and irreplaceable function for professionals in the craft industry as well as other industries. (You can read my previous articles on the topic here and here.)

Why, in the digital age, am I still an advocate for the importance of attending trade shows like Creativation in person? Simply put, there are some very important benefits that you can only get from being there.

(Looking for all the details on Creativation 2019? To view the full preview guide, click here!)

Creativation in Phoenix

See The Products

The most obvious benefit of attending a show like Creativation is that you get to see product in person. The importance of this is often dismissed, especially because I often hear from buyers that their reps will bring them the products. But product reps only bring stores the products that the rep markets. What about that exciting new up-and-coming company that doesn’t have a rep yet? Shows provide the opportunity for store owners to connect with and establish relationships with small and new brands that can be beneficial to both companies.

Products seen in person can also give a very different impression from those seen via digital images. For instance, I’ve lost count of how many times a paper line that I wasn’t excited about from a digital preview ended up impressing me when I saw it in person. (And sometimes it works the other way, too.) And booth displays give buyers the chance to see products in use in a variety of ways. A product that might not seem interesting or a good fit for your market in a marketing email might leave a different impression altogether when presented in use or even tried hands-on in a trade show booth.

Networking

A lot of regular show attendees think of Creativation as an opportunity to see our industry friends that we don’t see often. And that’s wonderful, of course – but the importance of connecting with other industry professionals goes so much deeper than that.

So much of the craft industry is built on collaboration. Success can be based not just on what you know but who you know. That business in the booth next door to you might become your next business partner for a cobranded product or event. The person who sits down next to you at the lunch table might be your next rock star designer, or sales person. That person snapping pictures might be the next hot Instagram-er that turns their popularity into a bestselling book (filled with your products, of course).

It’s not just brands that benefit from networking. Retailers, press, designers and other industry professionals can also benefit in various ways from expanding and maintaining their network of industry contacts. Whether it’s finding a job or a mentor, sharing information and expertise, or finding the perfect partner for a project – a large contact network is an invaluable asset for any professional or business to have as a resource. And what better way to expand your network than by attending a trade show where a large portion of the industry is gathered together in one place?

Spellbinders Succulent Dies

Spellbinders Succulent Dies

Industry Intelligence

It’s a fancy name, but really industry intelligence is just that information that all of us gather constantly without even thinking about it while we are at a trade event. It is all of the details big and small that we absorb from around us as we make our way through the day.

Whose booth is crowded? Whose is not? What new product is everyone we talk to buzzing about? What color are we seeing over and over? What new craft item seems to be everywhere all of a sudden? — The answers to these sorts of questions (and more) are the sort of industry intelligence that naturally get answered spending time at Creativation. This information provides valuable feedback to industry businesses about the direction of the industry as a whole and design and product trends – and much of it is only data that can be collected when a significant portion of the industry is gathered together in one place.

Speaking of feedback, that’s another kind of valuable industry intelligence that is facilitated by trade shows. The ability for brands and retailers to meet face-to-face at shows provides an important opportunity for brands and their top executives to have the kind of in-depth discussions with their customers that surveys and other types of feedback tools don’t allow. These partnership-building exchanges can enhance products, sales, and retailer loyalty to brands.

Painting with Plaid

Education

Whether you are a store owner teaching classes or a blogger showing off the latest products, creating happy customers depends on your skill level at what you are doing. Creativation is the biggest opportunity of the year in the United States to get education from the widest variety of companies in one place to keep your skills up on the latest and greatest. This is especially true now that Creativation’s pre-show education time has been expanded to two days, in addition to the classes that take place during the trade show. And outside of the classes, there is also always something to be learned on the show floor through booth demonstrations, whether it is how to use a new product or a new way to use an old one.

Education isn’t just a chance for industry professionals to boost their skills. It’s also an opportunity for companies to ensure consumers get the best first impression of a product by educating the people who will be customers’ first contact point with the product: store owners, designers and instructors. And manufacturers can use creative education to give new life to an old product by showing buyers and instructors new ways of using it.

To view this year’s full Creativation education schedule, click here.

Inspiration

Finally, for me, there’s another reason that I value attending Creativation. So many of us in the creative community work alone in our creative silos for a good portion of the year. Coming together at the show with so many other members of the community, sharing our creative energy for our businesses….it adds fuel to the passion I carry the rest of the year. I take back home with me from my time spent as part of that industry whole a renewed inspiration for what I do.


Don’t Forget – Save on your In the MKNG ticket!

Buy your tickets today and use the following promotional code to save $3 off In the MKNG™ tickets: PRMKNG13

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