Here’s part two of the compilation of notes from my visits to specific companies’ booths at CHA-Winter in Anaheim this week. Part one can be viewed here.
Dead Zone: The right end (as you stood at the entrance doors with your back to the lobby) of the show floor was absolutely dead of traffic on Tuesday when I was there, and I was told that was the case on Sunday & Monday as well. Traffic was much less than in the other end of the hall. This is somewhat hard to explain since there were definitely major companies in this area that should have drawn traffic to it.
Some of the companies that were in this area that could have been affected by seeing lower booth traffic than they should have had include: Xyron, Ultra Pro, American Crafts, Core-dinations, Fancy Pants, Piggy Tales, Hot Off The Press, EK Success, Creativity Inc., Prima, Fiskars, Pioneer, SEI, Ranger, Colorbok, Mrs. Grossman’s, C-thru/Little Yellow Bicycle, Crate Paper, and Melissa Frances.
CK Media: The contrast to their booth from the past was very striking. Their booth was almost empty of staff, and the staff that were present were advertising sales staff. In fact, the whole tone of the booth seemed focused on advertising sales, as opposed to promoting the company’s publications like in the past. Editorial staff presence seemed limited to scheduled appearances at a spot in the corner of the booth.
The CK Media booth made the decision to discontinue Simple Scrapbooks magazine (which was announced on January 15th) look very sudden, since no plans had apparently been made to alter the CK Media booth. The booth was full of references to Simple Scrapbooks that had not been removed. There was still a wall display advertising Simple, and all of the advertising handouts except for one small (third of a sheet) one were for packages that included ads in Simple.
Creativity Inc: Most manufacturers seem to have responded to storeowner complaints about showing products that aren’t ready for shipping. But Creativity Inc. stuck out for the noticeable number of prototypes on display in their booth.
This booth seemed light on their usual range of product introductions – just two new product lines and some new stamps. Instead a lot of space was devoted to introducing their “Minute Scrapbooker” kit program and promoting it as convenient and easy.
American Crafts: This company is obviously making a concerted effort to diversify their market base outside the traditional scrapbook industry. They had a display of printable wedding stationary on display (probably an attempt to capitalize on the growing DIY wedding market in the poor economy).
But the most attention in the American Crafts booth seemed to be being devoted to their new stamping products (rubber and clear stamps, and embossing powders), another effort at expanding their market base. There was a demo in progress during my visit to the booth that was highlighting these stamping offerings.
Bazzill: One of their new introductions that jumped out at me was their new boxed cards, making them another company trying to expand their market base somewhat…I sometimes use my Bazzill to make my own cards and now I won’t have to do it myself! But it seems pretty obvious from the packaging who they feel they are competing with for consumers…the similarities to Die Cuts With A View’s card packaging is pretty striking.
Technique Tuesday: This company’s introductions were obviously carefully planned to consider the current climate in the industry. The majority of their new stamp introductions fell into one of two categories at this show: card making or mini sets. This puts them nicely in line with other companies trying to take advantage of card making to broaden their base, as well as with the trend of companies offering lower price points (and specifically small stamp sets) to make their products more accessible to consumers.
Other introductions by Technique Tuesday reflect awareness and consideration of current industry conditions. A large selection of pre-designed kit projects were on display in the booth. These kits can serve as pre-prepared classes for strapped retailers who can’t afford to pay staff to design and prep classes.
The kit featured above reflects another tactic that their booth showed being used by Technique Tuesday to compete in the currently tough market conditions: bringing in a scrapbook celebrity with proven marketing power to design a signature collection. As written about previously on Scrapbook Update, Ali Edwards is now creating a signature line of stamps for Technique Tuesday. Several new introductions to that line were on display at CHA. They are also utilizing the marketing power of Ali E. through their Winter 09 collector set that she designed.