Enthusiasm flowed through the air like electricity at the 2014 Stampin’ Up! convention held in Salt Lake City from July 16th through July 20th. The annual event brought together nearly 4,000 demonstrators from across North America to share artistic techniques, play with new product, learn sales and recruiting skills, and make new friends through a shared love of creativity.
This year the convention has been rechristened by Stampin’ Up! as the “Inspire. Create. Share.” annual event. The company had made it especially easy for new demonstrators to attend this year by offering free registration to those who signed on as demonstrators during the past 12 months.
Event highlights included a brief visit by Project Life founder Becky Higgins. Project Life is a pocket page scrapbook system using pre-cut design cards alongside photographs. Stampin’ Up! recently introduced exclusive Project Life products created in Stampin’ Up! signature colors. Stampin’ Up! CEO Shelli Gardner hosted Becky for an on-stage Q&A so demonstrators could get to know Becky and Project Life.
Demonstrators received recognition for achieving certain sales levels with free stamp sets and a recognition walk across the convention stage. Demonstrator Connie Heisy received special recognition for reaching one million dollars in career sales.
Many company announcements made demonstrators cheer, including the 2016 Grand Vacation incentive trip destination: an all-expense-paid Mediterranean Cruise for two to France, Italy and Spain. About 230 demonstrators earned the 2014 Caribbean Cruise Grand Vacation, and many are on track to earn the 2015 Grand Vacation to Hawaii.
Stampin’ Up! also announced its upcoming market expansion into Japan. This addition brings the company’s market total to ten countries (USA, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, and now Japan, which is launching in September).
Each demonstrator in attendance at the event received a bag filled with catalogs, stamp sets and project kits. Demonstrators assembled their projects in creativity classes, learning new techniques along the way, and they could also choose from a variety of classes to boost their business.
The convention’s social aspects are a big attraction for many. Communities such as Split Coast Stampers and SUDSOL (Simply Unique Demonstrators Sharing Online) have formed around the Stampin’ Up! product line and philosophy. Convention attendees brought crafted items to exchange and to share. Reunions abounded around every corner. After the daylong sessions, demonstrators partied into the night with line dancing, and even a mechanical bull!
It wasn’t all fun and games, though- as a humanitarian project, attendees assembled more than 1,000 hygiene kits for the Utah Road Home homeless shelter.
The convention also offered a product playground where demonstrators could try out the company’s new products. The new Stampin’ Up! Blendabilities were especially popular among attendees. Blendabilities are blendable markers using alcohol-based ink, comparable to the popular Japanese brand Copic. Blendabilities are sold in a three-pack of one color in three shades for $11.95.
Demonstrators could also preview and purchase products from the upcoming Holiday Catalog, set to be released August 1st. Among the new announcements unveiled at convention was that Paper Pumpkin creativity kits have been revised this year to include more product. The kits typically include stamps, ink, precut paper and instructions for a creative project such as cards, décor, or gift items. Subscribers receive a kit each month for a fee of $19.95 including postage.
Stampin’ Up!, which boasts 50,000 active demonstrators and $189 million in annual sales, is a multi-level marketing company founded in 1988 and based in Riverton, Utah.