The Craft & Hobby Association announced Wednesday that the CHA Summer trade show and conference will move from its traditional home in Chicago to Las Vegas for 2013.
The move, announced in an email sent to CHA members from president Andrej Suskavcevic, takes the CHA Summer show on only its second trip out of the Chicago area in its decades long history. The first departure was a widely-panned experiment in Orlando in the summer of 2009. A spokesperson for CHA told Scrapbook Update that Las Vegas will not be the summer show’s new permanent home, but that the show’s location will actually rotate each year from now on.
The CHA Summer 2013 will take place from July 22nd to 25th, 2013. No specific location to host the event within Las Vegas has been announced.
Las Vegas is the country’s number one trade show destination. According to the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority, over 4.8 million people attended over 19,000 conventions in Las Vegas last year. Las Vegas is known among convention attendees for its entertainment options and affordable casino hotel rooms – the average price for one of the 150,000 hotel rooms in the city is $105, with many priced well below that.
The new location in Las Vegas also comes with some changes to the event’s pricing.
Members will get into the trade show floor free (currently they pay $25 per show pass). Non-member buyers will pay $200 for admission to the show floor, while non-member suppliers will pay $400. These prices are in line with the lowest level membership price for those categories, making it actually a better value to just join CHA and get all the membership benefits plus the show for free if you fall into that level of membership pricing and will be attending the show (which may be the association’s purpose in setting the pricing this way).
Business seminars will also be included in the base admission. However, workshops, which are currently included in the price of the show pass, will need to be purchased on an ala-carte basis at CHA Summer 2013. Members will receive “preferred pricing”, according to CHA. Workshop scheduling will not overlap with trade show hours.
The educational focus of the show will be “innovation and building relationships.”
As was hinted at in the mention of the workshop schedule, the show’s schedule is getting a makeover as well. Monday the 22nd will be an education day. The 23rd thru 25th will be trade show days, with the following hours:
Tuesday, July 23rd: 9am-5pm
Wednesday, July 24th: 9am-5pm
Thursday, July 25th: 9am-2pm
Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, however, access to the show floor will be restricted to attendees that have made appointments with booths. CHA explained how this will work in the announcement:
New appointment setting software will allow you to schedule 15-minute appointments with whomever you want based on criteria in their profile (products by category, new products, etc.) Both buyers and suppliers can request an appointment. If there are gaps in your schedule the software will suggest appointments based on the criteria you enter (Ex: I’m looking for paper products, new products, I manufacture paints, etc.).
Online reaction to the announcement of the location change for CHA Summer has been mixed so far. Some reaction is predictable, based on geography. Midwestern area CHA attendees are upset of course that the show is leaving their area, increasing their hassle and cost to attend. Balancing that are the western attendees for whom the location is more convenient and affordable. Among attendees who have to travel a distance to get to either location, however, the initial reaction seems positive. Cheaper hotels and a better range of entertainment options for the show’s off-hours seem to be the most frequently cited reasons – exactly the reason that Las Vegas is such a popular trade show destination.
CHA promised in the announcement that more details on CHA Summer 2013 would be forthcoming in Anaheim at CHA Winter 2o13, which is right around the corner.