CHA-Summer 2009 Will Bring Big Changes

CLN Online and Craftrends are both reporting (and I’m hearing from upset CHA members) that there will be big changes to the CHA-Summer show in 2009. Those changes will start with the venue, which will move from the show’s longtime home in Chicago to a new venue in Orlando. Also the show will take place on weekdays (Tuesday-Thursday) July 28th-30th instead of the traditional weekend date.

But perhaps the biggest – and most controversial – change of all is the addition of two days of consumer show dates following the three days of trade show. No details have supposedly been ironed out yet about exactly how this will work (whether exhibitors will be required to stay for the consumer show, whether retail sales will be required or allowed at the consumer event, etc).

So far, the overwhelming reaction I’ve seen and heard in various forums from those in the trade is negative, especially to the idea of the consumer show. Most of the complaints revolve around the extra expense and time seemingly being required of companies by the addition of the two consumer days, as well as concern that the consumer show will hurt area retailers.

CHA will be holding conference calls to get input and answer questions about the changes. The calls are scheduled for the following dates (note the first one is tomorrow):

  • Friday, July 25th, 11 a.m.-Noon
  • Friday, August 8th, Noon-1 p.m.
  • Tuesday, August 12th, 3-4 p.m.
  • Monday, August 25th, 2-3 p.m.

To participate in the conference calls, pre-registration is required (which is done on a first-come, first-served basis). This can be done by emailing Tara Smith ( with your first and second time preferences. If no response email is received, call 201-835-1223.

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