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.


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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5 Responses to CHA Rebrands Winter Show as Creativation

  1. ss20ts August 12, 2016 at 10:04 pm #

    registration starts on tuesday, august 16th. today is the 12th. 🙂

  2. Erika August 13, 2016 at 2:02 am #

    I think we’ll actually know the answer in January in 2018 🙂

    • Nancy Nally August 13, 2016 at 2:06 am #

      I think attendance in 2017 will tell a lot of the story. In fact I think it will have to. You only get one shot to reinvent and gain momentum from it. The rebranding and makeover has already enticed back some exhibitors who had abandoned the show. Will the attendees follow?

  3. twyladavis August 14, 2016 at 4:25 pm #

    I generally find rebranding a desperate act that preys on the inattentive. But maybe that’s just me. The name is at least cute. And with no summer show I guess we can’t keep calling it the winter show. I find the city metaphor … a stretch. Looking at the map I’m not sure about the zoning, but whatever. Lounges are now parks. (I guess we could have become creative galaxy with craft ports) Instead of the designer area, we have an artisan area. o. I don’t drink beer so the craft beer pub holds little interest for me. I envision it as a standard convention cash bar set up except instead of the six call drink set ups they’ll have 3 taps. Bakery stuff, hey that sounds like fun. Hop on/off shuttle. That could be useful. it will alway to hard to have enough of it. I hope they are successful with it.

    To me, aside from location change (which imho was not for the better), its all smoke and mirrors.

  4. gabmcann August 16, 2016 at 6:08 am #

    Sounds interesting!

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