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CHA Rebrands Winter Show as Creativation

The Craft & Hobby Association announced this week that it is rebranding its winter show, previously known as the CHA Mega Show, as Creativation.

Creativation

The name change for the CHA Mega Show to Creativation is part of a larger – long overdue – overhaul of the show.

The overhaul began to be revealed nearly a year ago, when the Craft & Hobby Association announced that the winter show was leaving its longtime home in Anaheim to move to Phoenix in 2017.

Since last winter’s show, CHA has been hinting that major changes were planned for the next show. But the scope of the announced changes still caught many in the industry off guard. There is little recognizable remaining of the old CHA Mega Show in the newly announced plans for Creativation.

Many of the plans for Creativation center around the concept of it as a “creative city” complete with neighborhoods, parks for decompressing, and a “hop on, hop off” bus route touring the show floor.

“Creativation is our bright and vibrant city, the capital of the creative products industry. Make no mistake, in January 2017, the heart of creativity is here,” says Andria LaJeunesse, Director of Expositions and Events, CHA.

One major new element of the Creativation show is that each year’s show will highlight a different segment of the crafts industry. This year, the spotlight will be on sewing and fabric, a segment of the crafts industry with little presence at CHA shows in recent years. The spotlight will highlight sewing and fabric in the exhibitor listings, the lobby, and with several special events.

In addition, the new show will feature a Bakery space showing off the skills of cookie and sugar arts creatives, a hands-on art studio, a craft beer pub in the International Pavilion, and an Artisan space where local Phoenix area artisans will be demonstrating their arts. Returning from previous shows will be the popular Maker Space.

The Creativation education program – now called CHA University – will extend for two days before the opening of the trade show floor, an increase from a single day at the previous shows.

“Creativation is the place where the global creative products community of manufacturers, retailers, designers, makers, emerging businesses, influencers, bloggers and creative professionals come together to learn, connect and discover,” notes Maureen Walsh, Vice President of Membership and Marketing, CHA. “The future of the creative arts industry is bright and Creativation leads the way in showcasing the achievements, innovations, opportunities and importance of our industry.”

Many show attendees and exhibitors had been clamouring for change. In recent years attendance at the show had become lighter and many companies had decreased square footage or dropped their booths entirely. At this year’s show in January, the show was such a ghost town on the final day (Tuesday) that by lunchtime, the hall echoed with the sound of packing tape dispensers and crashing boxes as booths were disassembled in violation of show rules. Clearly, something had to change…is this the answer? We’ll know in January.

Creativation 2017 will take place in Phoenix, Arizona from January 19th-23rd, 2017. Registration will for attendees will open on Tuesday, August 16th. For more information, visit the Creativation show website.

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CHA Mega Show 2016 | Succulents are Hot!

The CHA Mega Show is a great place to distill scrapbooking trends and craft trends, with so much of the industry and its products in one place for the show. Walking the show floor, patterns and themes become easily apparent – trends!

One thing that kept popping up as I walked the floor of this year’s CHA Mega Show was succulents for crafts! This trend, an outgrowth of the general 1970’s trend in crafts, fashion, and home decor, started to manifest in 2015, but really became prevalent at this show.

Several companies were using real live succulents in their booth decor as a touch of green:

Webster's Pages planner display with succulents

Webster’s Pages planner display with succulents

Continue Reading →

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CHA Mega Show 2016 | People & Places

I always like to start my overview of the CHA Mega Show with a look at the people I encountered at the show, and the setting that it took place in. After all, what is a good story without a setting and characters?

Anaheim Convention Center

As for all of the past eight years (except for 2011, when the show was in downtown Los Angeles), the show took place at the Anaheim Convention Center next door to Disneyland Resort. This year was tinged with sadness and nostalgia for a lot of attendees, as CHA has announced that the show will be in Phoenix for the next three years. The show’s longtime Anaheim location is an integral part of the show to many, providing entertainment and a concurrent vacation for family members. There’s also many traditions that have grown up around the venue over the show’s long residence there. The move to Phoenix will mean an unfamiliar venue, and the need to begin new traditions for many of the show’s events. Continue Reading →

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It’s 2016 CHA Sneak Peek time!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – CHA Mega Show Sneak Peek time! Even though the show is still a month away, a few peeks are already starting to trickle out.

To make sure you don’t miss any of the scrapbook company sneak peeks, don’t miss our CHA sneak peeks page. It has a convenient table that can be sorted by company, booth number, or date added so you can see the links to all of the peeks in the order that works best for you! Click the graphic below to go straight to it, and be sure to bookmark it so you can check back as it is updated regularly over the next month. CHA 2016 Sneak Peeks Art Continue Reading →

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CHA Mega Show to Leave Anaheim in 2017

The Craft & Hobby Association announced today that the CHA Mega Conference and Trade Show (still known as CHA Winter to many attendees) will leave its longtime home in Anaheim after the upcoming 2016 show. Instead, the 2017 show will be on January 19th-23rd, 2017 at the Phoenix Convention Center.

In addition to the new venue, the show is shifting dates. The 2017 dates in Phoenix are two weeks later into the month than the Anaheim dates have been the past several years, with the 2016 show floor opening on January 9th. The early January dates have been a large source of complaints since CHA started using them in 2012, causing many show attendees to have to work straight through the holidays on show prep without being able to enjoy time with their families.

The early January dates also have caused problems with scheduling pre-show promotions for new releases. Running blog previews and promotions the week the show starts on the current calendar has meant many buyers will already have departed for the show and miss social media promotions. Moving back a week pushes the promotions into the holidays, when many people are off of social media entirely and promotions have to compete with the noise of holiday celebrations for attention. Currently, to ensure the best possible ground for planting promotions on, CHA exhibitors really need to look at mid-December, nearly a month before the show – often an impractical timeline given production schedules. The new dates in later January will provide a window post-holiday and pre-show for the running of product previews that is more practical for production schedules of products and project samples. Continue Reading →

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Breaking: Andrej Suskavcevic Out At Craft & Hobby Association

The Craft & Hobby Association announced today that it has parted ways with CEO & President Andrej Suskavcevic.

Suskavcevic had been CEO & President of CHA since January 2012. During his tenure, the Association launched affiliates in both the U.K. and Canada, and launched the Cre8time initiative to encourage crafting. The Association also launched a pavilion at Messe Frankfurt’s annual Creativeworld show in Frankfurt, Germany under his leadership.

Andrej Suskavcevic at Creativeworld

It hasn’t been all roses, however, as Suskavcevic’s time at Craft & Hobby Association also saw the traditional Chicago summer show moved to Las Vegas in 2013 before being replaced with the smaller hotel-based CHA PaperArts show in 2014. The industry has also continued to bleed small stores as traditional retail models have have been impacted by online commerce and the recession, as well as by changing craft trends. Continue Reading →

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