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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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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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Creativeworld 2016 | Creativeworld Trends and Floor Tour

Welcome to part two of my look at Creativeworld 2016, put on by Messe Frankfurt in Frankfurt, Germany! In case you missed it, you can check out part one here.

[Disclosure: Messe Frankfurt is a sponsor of this website, and sponsored my travel to Creativeworld 2016.]

Creativeworld is based in Hall 4 of the massive Messe Frankfurt complex. Hall 4 is a three story building  with a beautiful atrium that is located directly next to the Torhaus services building where the Messe’s S-Bahn train station, press center, and many exhibitor services are located. Each of the levels of the building is designated by a decimal point – 4.0, 4.1, 4.2.

The Creativeworld show takes up all of Hall 4.1, and half of Hall 4.2 (which it shares with Paperworld), while Hall 4.0 is occupied by Paperworld.

Messe Frankfurt building 4

While technically part of Paperworld, there is also “Creative Materials” sourcing in the International Sourcing section located in Hall 10. That hall features three whole floors of international sourcing companies like this bead manufacturer, Banaras Beads Limited, who was located in Hall 10.2.

Source - Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Jean-Luc Valentin

Source – Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Jean-Luc Valentin

No matter what language you speak, it’s easy to find what you are looking for with Messe Frankfurt’s simple signage. The signs for the various different shows are also color coded, for easy visual reference. Christmasworld, which is also going on at the Messe during Creativeworld, is appropriately color coded red! Continue Reading →

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Creativeworld 2016 | Experience Frankfurt & Messe Frankfurt

The month of January typically is host to two trade shows in the crafts industry. Despite being part of the same industry, their locations on different continents makes them very different experiences. Here’s the first part of my look at Creativeworld 2016, hosted at Messe Frankfurt in Frankfurt, Germany, and what the experience of attending the show was like.

[Disclosure: Messe Frankfurt is a sponsor of this website, and sponsored my travel to Creativeworld 2016.]

Talking the Talk

Creativeworld 2016 was my third year attending the Creativeworld show. When I talk to people about my experiences traveling to Germany for the show, one of the most common questions I get is about navigating the language barrier. In fact, language is one of the smallest concerns in traveling to Creativeworld for English-speaking attendees.

English is the common language meeting ground of many Creativeworld 2016 show attendees who do not speak each others’ native language, and is one of the official languages of Messe Frankfurt. It’s not uncommon to walk into a booth and see people from (for instance) Germany and Russia speaking to each other in English because they don’t know each others’ languages but they both know English. Translator headsets are available in English for organized events like workshops, and signage is created in an easily understandable way for speakers of any language.

But what about outside of the Messe and its accommodations for international visitors? Again, language is not much of a barrier to English speaking visitors to Frankfurt. Many Germans speak English quite fluently thanks to excellent mandatory language programs in schools. Signs in areas like the airport (below) and the major train stations are also in English, as well as critical announcements. Once you get familiar with a few terms and signage system from seeing them on the bilingual signs, you’ll have no difficulty navigating areas without bilingual signs.

Frankfurt Airport Signage

Continue Reading →

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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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