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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!

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[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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SNAP Conference 2016: My First Blogging Conference

Somehow, with all of the travel that I have done for my work running my websites in the past few years, the one thing that I hadn’t done was attend one of the major national blog conferences. I had attended local events like WordCamp here in Florida, but hadn’t traveled further afield for one.

I finally crossed “attend blog conference” off of my list last week when I attended the 2016 SNAP Conference  for creative bloggers in Salt Lake City. For those unfamiliar with it, SNAP Conference is a three day annual event based in Salt Lake City that serves home, craft, and DIY bloggers. The event provides networking, education, and opportunities to connect with sponsors.

Delta Flight Information

My journey to SNAP started with a 4am drive to Daytona Beach International airport to catch a 6am flight to Atlanta. I love Daytona Beach airport – it’s only a half hour away from my house and easy to use because it is tiny. It’s so tiny, in fact, that when I checked in for my trip to SNAP, the check-in agent handed me my boarding pass and said, “Your flight is at gate 2.” I told him, “You could have just said go to the gate with the plane at it.” He laughed and told me I was right. Once, I arrived a bit too early for my flight and spent quite awhile as the lone passenger in the secure area of the terminal, with only the airport’s police officer and the gift store clerk for company. Continue Reading →

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Highlights from SPC Mixed Media Show 2015

This year, instead of my usual trip to the Craft & Hobby Association’s summer show (called the CHA PaperArts show in recent years), I decided to try something new for a summer trade show experience by traveling to Salt Lake City for the SPC Mixed Media Show in late July.

The SPC Mixed Media Show is put on by the Sierra Pacific Crafts buying group of stores, and until last year was not open to non-members. With the demise of the traditional CHA Summer show after the 2013 show in Las Vegas, SPC made the decision to open the show for part of its time to non-member buyers, and to host the show to Salt Lake City. The result has been a rapid growth in popularity of what was until recently a relatively unknown event.

There is one catch for those willing to take part, however. While the doors have been opened to make non-member buyers welcome, manufacturers can still only exhibit by invitation. That hasn’t stopped the show from being popular with both buyers and manufacturers, however (especially since so many manufacturers are based in the Salt Lake City area).

I spent two days at the show this year….here’s some highlights of products and trends that I saw during my visit!

Ken Oliver

Just like at the CHA Mega Show 2015 in January, one of the undisputed stars of the SPC Mixed Media show was Ken Oliver. Ken was debuting a new line of papers as well as promoting and demonstrating his incredibly popular Colorburst pigment powders. Continue Reading →

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Scenes from a Scrapbook Expo (or four….)

As many of you are aware, I spent quite a bit of February and March on the road, traveling around the country to work at Scrapbook Expo shows for Cricut. I had previously been to local Scrapbook Expos in Florida in the area where I live, but the experience of attending four events within five weeks – spread all over the country – was a great look at the state of scrapbooking across the country, and a great chance to interact with many different types of scrapbookers.

Nancy at Scrapbook Expo(Like my t-shirt? It’s a Cricut Design Space “Make It Now” project, created with Cricut Iron-On material!) Continue Reading →

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