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AFCI | Discovering Phoenix during Creativation

When I travel for an event like Creativation 2019, my primary purpose of course is to work. But let’s be honest, we all want to have some fun when we travel to a faraway city, too – especially a new one! Convention centers all look the same. Why not enjoy some real local flavor? So in the past few years I’ve tried to make it a rule that I add in some local touring fun whenever I take a work-related trip. 

[Disclosure: This post is sponsored by AFCI and the Creativation 2019 show.]

Creativation in Phoenix

Not having been to Phoenix or the American Southwest before, I needed to do a little research to learn what my options are for the upcoming show!

(Don’t forget when you are planning your Phoenix trip – registration is now open for Creativation 2019!)

Continue Reading →

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Update | A Special All-AFCI News Version!

The summer AFCI shows are coming up fast – and it’s even time to start thinking about the winter ones, too! Here’s all the details that you need to know about what is going on for the upcoming shows. 

[Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for AFCI.]

Mixed Media

Registration is now open to attend the Mixed Media Event for wholesalers and retailers in Sandy, Utah on July 16th-18th, 2018.

Are you a retailer that is not a member of AFCI or SPC? Would you like to attend the Mixed Media trade show on July 17th and July 18th? Use promo code NN2018 when registering to get free trade show access!

Visit the Mixed Media Event website to register today.

Fourteen workshops have now been announced for the Mixed Media Event’s education day on July 16th. Workshop prices range from $5 to $50 each for two hour long workshops. The education day schedule is arranged into four class segments, with multiple workshops to choose from to register for during each segment. Sponsors include retailer favorites Graphic 45, Lawn Fawn, Sizzix, Lindy’s Stamp Gang, Hero Arts, and Bella Blvd, among others. Click here to view the entire workshop line-up.

Wondering who else is coming to Mixed Media Event 2018? See the video below.

In The MKING™️

Details continue to be announced for the new AFCI consumer event called In the MKNG™️ that will take place in Bethel Woods, NY on September 29th-30th, 2018.

Sister Hazel

Today, AFCI announced the event’s headlining musical act. Sister Hazel is known to most music fans for their 1997 rock hit “All for You”. The band is touring to promote their latest album, Lighter In The Dark, which is their first country album and features a collaboration track with Darius Rucker. Other musical acts confirmed for the festival include CMA artist Lauren Davidson, pop/rock band Wild Planes, alternative rock band Don’t Believe In Ghosts, and singer-songwriter Zach Matari.

Tickets for In the MKNG™️ will be available starting on June 1st. Click here to learn more!

Creativation

It’s hard to believe it’s already that time again but badge registration opens for Creativation 2019 on June 12th!

AFCI Hotels for HopeIn addition to the impending opening of badge registration, hotel reservations are already open through the official AFCI portal for Creativation. This year, AFCI has a new hotel provider, Hotels for Hope. This new AFCI partner is a travel agent with a charitable twist – for every room booked through the AFCI reservation portal, a $2 donation will be made to AFCI’s selected charity.

Through Hotels for Hope, AFCI is now able to offer reservations for more (and more affordable) hotels closer to the Phoenix Convention Center than in past years. Book early to get your best choice of rooms!

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AFCI Mixed Media 2018: Know Before You Go

It’s hard to believe but it’s time again to start registration for another AFCI show! Snow may be still flying in some places, but registration for the summer AFCI Mixed Media show is now open. This year, the show has a new venue, so in true Scrapbook Update tradition, we’re going to get you in the know before you go about everything you need to navigate the neighborhood!

AFCI post banner

[Disclosure: This article is sponsored by AFCI, but article content and opinions are all the writer’s own.]

The new venue in 2018 for the AFCI Mixed Media show is the Mountain America Expo Center in Sandy, Utah. The show dates remain in mid-July. The education day is July 16th, followed by a two day trade show on July 17th-18th.

Attendees visiting Sandy, a suburb on the south side of Salt Lake City, will still use the Salt Lake City International Airport as they did when the event was at the Salt Palace in downtown Salt Lake City. The convention center is about a 20 minute drive via I-15 from the airport (depending on the time of day).

Airport Transportation: A variety of airport transportation options to get from SLC to Sandy are available, but the cost and convenience of these options varies widely.

  • Taxi: $50 each way (approx)
  • Uber: $25-30 each way (approx)(Lyft is also available)
  • Trax Train: $2.50 each way
  • Shared Shuttle: $23 round trip

Attendees taking the Trax train from the airport will need to arrange transportation by taxi/Uber or hotel shuttle to get them from the Expo Center stop the rest of the way to their hotel.

Local Transportation: Unlike the urban environment of the previous Salt Palace venue, the suburban environment surrounding the Mountain America Expo Center is not particularly compact or designed to be walkable. Show attendees will definitely need to use some sort of transportation to get between their hotel and the Expo Center, as well as for finding meals and running errands.

Three of the four AFCI Mixed Media event hotels offer free shuttles within a small radius of a few miles. And of course taxis and Uber/Lyft are always an option as well for getting around. The event hotels are all less than 1.5 miles from the Expo Center, so the travel distances are not far. Depending on traffic, taxi fare estimates run $10-$15 and uberX fares estimate to $6-$9 for travel between the farthest hotel and convention center.

A quick survey of travel search engines estimates that car rental can be had for $200-$250 for Sunday to Thursday of show week – and that is before using the AFCI member travel discount. At that price, car rental looks to be a very appealing option as transportation in Sandy, balancing value and convenience.

Parking: If you do decide to rent a car or are driving your own from home, the suburban Sandy neighborhood is a much more car-friendly destination than a downtown venue. The event hotels all offer free guest parking in lots around the building. The Expo Center’s free parking lot has 2800 parking spots. Area restaurants and shopping have easy in and out surface parking, unlike downtown areas where you need to use of a valet or locate a parking structure.

Shopping: Like most suburban areas, Sandy is busting at the seams with retail shopping. Whether you are an exhibitor looking for booth equipment or a buyer who forgot to pack your socks, you’ll easily find what you need close by to the event hotels and Expo Center. (Let’s just agree to not talk about how I came up with that sock example, ok?)

Here’s some common retailers needed by AFCI Mixed Media show attendees that you’ll find located in the area. Most are conveniently located within a mile or two of event hotels and the Mountain America Expo Center:

  • Target: 10130 State St, Sandy, UT 84070 (also an Old Navy in that complex)
  • Walmart: 9151 S, Quarry Bend Dr, Sandy, UT 84094
  • Sam’s Club: 11278 South Jordan Gateway, South Jordan, UT 84095
  • Costco: 11100 Auto Mall Dr, Sandy, UT 84070
  • Michaels: 215 E 12300 South, Draper, UT 84020
  • Hobby Lobby: 9347 South Quarry Bend Drive, Sandy, UT 84094
  • Jo-Ann Fabric & Crafts: 268 E 12300 S, Draper, UT 84020
  • Lowe’s: 9291 South Quarry Bend Drive, Sandy, UT 84094
  • Home Depot: 135 E 11400 S, Sandy, UT 84070
  • Ikea: 67 W Ikea Way, Draper, UT 84020 (6 miles from Expo Center)

Note that the Lowe’s, Walmart and Hobby Lobby listed above are all in the same complex together. For additional shopping, a large mall that includes a Macy’s sits between the two areas where the hotels are located.

Fun in Sandy: Looking for something fun to do while you have a few spare hours in Sandy? How about paying a visit to the legendary In-n-Out Burger, with locations in both Draper and Midvale near Sandy, for dinner? Or, less than 5 miles from the Expo Center, visit the charming Gardner Village for shopping and eateries in a historic setting. If you’d like to enjoy some mountain scenery while you are in Utah, take a one hour drive through Cottonwood Canyon. On your way to the canyon, you might want to pop into the Wheeler Historic Farm, a nearby living history farm and nature park. Of course, if you want to venture further afield from Sandy back into downtown, there are a myriad of options there to enjoy for sightseeing and culture. Check out Visit Salt Lake City to see all the options!

Don’t forget to check out the workshop descriptions before you start your registration!

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Winter Releases | A Few Thoughts & Favorite Products

Creativation is behind us, and the Creativeworld show starts in Frankfurt, Germany this weekend. Before I pack my suitcase and run out the door for that long transatlantic flight, I wanted to take a few minutes to share a few thoughts and favorite products that I’ve seen so far. (Note I have been observing Creativation from afar, since I didn’t travel to Phoenix this year.)

If you have yet to check out the product releases from Creativation, visit our Creativation Sneak Peeks page.

[Note that some links on this page are affiliate links that earn this site a commission at no cost to the reader when a purchase is made after a click. Creativeworld is a sponsor of this site.]

One of the first things that has jumped out at me from Creativation is that bright color dominated. Several companies have new “rainbow” type collections, and some companies like Graphic 45 that are very vintage in style have noticeably pumped up their color palettes for at least some products. Even Tim Holtz, who never met a shade of brown he didn’t like, was demonstrating at the show using bright colors.

Paige Evans 2x2 Paper Pad

We’ve been seeing the scrapbook page seemingly shrink and shrink as new forms have been introduced – 9×12, mini albums, planners, traveler’s notebooks, instagram pocket albums. But Pink Paislee may have hit a new level of miniaturization with the 2″x2″ paper pad in Paige Evans’ new “Pick Me Up” collection. I know that these cute pads will be great for punching and small die cuts, but it sure did give me a moment of pause to see that in the context of the trend in page sizes! Continue Reading →

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CHA rebrands as Association for Creative Industries

The Craft & Hobby Association announced this week at the Creativation 2017 Conference & Trade Show that it is rebranding as the Association for Creative Industries, effective immediately.

Association for Creative Industries logo

The rebranding to AFCI (as the Association for Creative Industries will largely be known) was created over the past year by a task force consisting of members of the Association’s Board of Directors and the assistance of consultants from Verse Group, a strategic research and creative branding firm. In addition to the new name, the task force created a new vision and future plan for the Association that was the result of research, interviews, and membership surveys.

“Our rebranding coincides with our vision of a healthy, vibrant and innovative community that enriches people’s lives through crafting and other creative activities,” says Mark Hill, Chief Executive Officer and President, AFCI. “Our new name is the beginning of AFCI serving as the leading advocate, information resource, research partner, and friend for our thousands of global member companies. It was intentional for our new name to incorporate ‘For’ because everything we do and strive for is FOR our members.”

The first visible signs of the new AFCI branding are the Association’s logo and new website. The colorful logo is described in the announcement as “based on the role of AFCI as the heart of creativity”, and incorporates the same marbled rainbow of color as the recently unveiled Creativation logo.

The Craft & Hobby Association has increasingly struggled to find membership, along with exhibitors and attendees for its shows, since the decline of the papercrafts bubble in recent years. Removing the outdated “hobby” (which is a relic of the long ago time that model cars and other such items were seen at the show) from the Association’s name, and replacing “craft” with the broader “Creative Industries” is an attempt for AFCI to claim craft segments such as sewing and fine art under its tent. How much interest these industry segments, which already have their own dedicated associations and events, will show in the newly incarnated Association for Creative Industries is yet to be seen. Several major sewing companies, such as Coats & Clark and Prym Dritz, did exhibit at Creativation 2017.

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It’s Show Time! CHA Creativation & Creativeworld 2017 Preview

2017 is upon us…and that means it is show season in the craft industry! The end of January will bring us both CHA’s newly-revamped winter show – now called Creativation – in the U.S., and the Creativeworld show in Frankfurt, Germany. Both shows have major changes in store for 2017, so let’s take a look at what attendees and exhibitors can expect to see!

CHA Creativation

creativation-logo

The first change for the Craft & Hobby Association’s show is immediately obvious. It has a new name, Creativation, and along with the new name the show has been redesigned from the ground up. The show is also moving to a new location for the first time in a decade, having made its home in Southern California for the past nine shows (in Anaheim except for a year in Los Angeles). Phoenix is the show’s new home – a move so far not entirely popular with attendees as travel and hotels have proven to be expensive in the winter paradise.

The new Creativation show floor will be created modeled as a city, with different “neighborhoods” including a town square for attendees to recharge in, an artisan plaza for local Phoenix artisans to demonstrate their crafts, an international pub and a bakery to experience the edible arts segment of the industry. Attendees with tired feet can hop on a guided shuttle ride of the show floor to get a tour of Creativation city! There’s also a Maker Space – a popular attraction at previous shows – to get hands on as well as learn from short presentations called iDiscover talks.

Also new at Creativation will be entire product areas. The show is debuting an annual “focus” area. The first focus area is Sewing & Fabric, an area of product that hasn’t been visible on the floor previously.

Looking for new product information for the CHA Creativation show? Our annual CHA sneak peeks page is live now and will be updated until the show starts!

Creativeworld 2017

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[Disclaimer: Creativeworld is a Scrapbook Update sponsor.]

Creativeworld, taking place at Messe Frankfurt in Frankfurt, Germany from January 28th-31st, 2017, is anticipating significant growth this year. The number of exhibitors is up over 10% from 2016, including 335 companies from 36 countries, and the footprint of the show within the Messe has been expanded greatly. Creativeworld will no longer be sharing Hall 4.2 with Paperworld’s school supplies section, which is moving to another hall to give Creativeworld all of Hall 4.2. Also moving are the sourcing halls, which were previously in Hall 10 and are moving to Hall 1 for 2017.

One interesting new event added to Creativeworld’s schedule for 2017 is the Visual Merchandising Competition, where the German Visual Merchandising Championships will be held in Stand F91 of Hall 4.2 over the show’s four days to determine who of six professionals will represent Germany in the the world championships in Abu Dhabi.

The popular hands on workshops will be returning to the Creativeworld Creative Forum in 2017, with a range of topics from paint to Zentangle to gift wrapping and featuring the talents of artists such as Beate Winkler and Ulla Büning. One of the focuses of the show will be graffiti art, and special exhibits on street art will include the appearance of German graffiti artist Akim Walta.

Perhaps the most dramatic addition to Creativeworld isn’t actually part of that show, but a new show in itself. Floradecora will showcase fresh flowers and decorative plants in Hall 11.1 of Messe Frankfurt. Running from January 27 through January 30th, the show will overlap with Creativeworld.

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