The new frugal consumer is, not unexpectedly, making leisure travel a harder sell in the past couple of years, and the experiences of recent industry event organizers seem to be reflecting that.
Creating Keepsakes ended their CKU (Creating Keepsakes University) events in 2009, amid declining interest. Donna Downey recently downsized Inspire from an annual large scale conference event, and moved it into her new studio as a small group event that takes place more frequently.
Now, however, CKU is back – for at least one more go-around. A CKU Reunion event to celebrate the event’s 10th anniversary is scheduled for Oct. 27th-29th, 2011 in San Diego, CA. The three day event will cost $295 in tuition. Album tracks will be taught by Teresa Collins, Darcy Debord (Technique Tuesday), Megan Hoeppner (Creating Keepsakes), Michelle Hill (Polka Dot Whimsy) and Jodi Sanford (Fancy Pants). Core classes, taken by all attendees, will be taught by Stacy Julian, Christy Tomlinson, and Jen Cushman & Kristen Robinson.
CKU Reunion will take place at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine in San Diego. A special group rate has been set of $129/night rate for double occupancy rooms during the event. Parking is $20/night (self park) or $25/night for valet.
While one event is coming back (however temporarily), another is ending. Creative Escape, the event which bills itself as “the ultimate scrapbook indulgence,” has announced it will not be returning after its Aug. 25th-27th event in Chandler, AZ.
Registration for the three day event costs $749, and includes six meals. Creative Escape is put on by Bazzill, and 2011 featured instructors include Ali Edwards, Heidi Swapp, and Janet Hopkins. It takes place at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa. Rooms are available at a special rate of $119/night.
Creative Escape has appeared to be having trouble meeting its quota of room bookings at the host hotel for the event. As recently as August 3rd, a posting on the blog of Margie Romney-Aslett (a long-time supporter of the event due to her relationship with Bazzill) was offering half-price tuition to 15 people who agreed to book a minimum of two nights at the host hotel. This followed two other giveaway and discount offerings on Bazzill’s Facebook account and another blog that also carried conditions regarding hotel booking.
Will the new CKU event do better attracting scrapbookers than Creative Escape has apparently been able to do this year? Its price point – around half the price of Creative Escape – will likely help. But it faces stiff competition for Utah-area participants (or anyone else within driving distance of Lindon) from Spark.
Spark No. 3, which takes place in Lindon, UT a week earlier from Oct. 21st-22nd. Spark registration costs $350, and featured instructors include Amy Tan, Christy Tomlinson, Donna Downey and Emily Falconbridge. Spark was originally formed, and the first two were run, by Margie Romney-Aslett, Liz Kartchner (Dear Lizzie), and Rhonna Farrer. This year, however, Spark No. 3, is being run by Romney-Aslett with three new partners: Christy Tomlinson, and April Meeker. (Alissa Holland was also a part of that team but was forced to bow out of the event recently by what was described as “health issues going on in her family.” Her scheduled teaching slots are being filled by Cathe Holden.)
In a sign that Spark, like its competitors, may also be encountering difficulties with attendee budgets, the event announced on August 3rd that they are offering a payment plan (3 monthly payments of $120 each) as a way for participants to pay their registration fee.