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5 Reasons to Sponsor (or Attend) a Creativation Workshop

Products from Creativation 2019 are still shipping to store shelves, but it’s already time to start thinking about Creativation 2020!

[This post is sponsored by AFCI and the Creativation show, but all opinions are my own.]

The Call for Submissions is now open for proposals for workshops and business presentations for Creativation 2020. The deadline to apply is June 10th. Full guidelines and the applications are available at the link!

Thinking of sponsoring a workshop at Creativation University at Creativation 2020? Here’s five great reasons you should take the plunge:

Create Display Samples

This is the most common reason I hear from retailers for taking workshops, and from manufacturers for sponsoring them. Workshops allow retailers to arrive home from a show with design samples created and ready to go to sell newly-ordered inventory, before the product even arrives in the store. There’s no question that quality samples sell products, so it’s understandable to see so much emphasis placed on this reasoning by both manufacturers and retailers.

But samples are just the tip of the iceberg of the reasons to take or sponsor workshops at Creativation!

AFCI Creativation 2019 workshop

Build Show Buzz

Many of the hottest products at the show have already been determined by the time that doors to the show floor open for buyers to start browsing booths and placing orders. Starting with the first official event of the show on the education days, attendee buzz builds about products from workshops and events like the New Product Showcase.

All of this buzz generates excitement in show buyers to visit certain booths and order products – and buzz isn’t limited to just the attendees of a specific workshop or event. Show attendees tend to be quite social in sharing their show experiences with each other, and in showing off the samples they’ve made in workshops. Word of mouth spreads like wildfire in the Creativation community!

Build Sales Enthusiasm

For most crafters, it’s easier to fall in love with a product when you’ve been hands-on with it. And for retailers, it is easier to authentically sell a product that you are excited about. Workshops give retailers hands-on, first person experience with a product. Workshop attendees can speak crafter-to-crafter to customers and describe a personal experience making with a product. “I made something really wonderful with this” is a much more convincing sales pitch to a customer than “I saw this hanging on a booth wall and liked it”. So manufacturers, don’t forget to think of a workshop not just as an instructional session to teach the steps of a project. Make sure it is also a session that builds hype and enthusiasm for the product!

AFCI 2019 workshop

Educate Retailer Staff

It is the inherent nature of craft products that many have a learning curve of some kind. This makes user error a major driver of dissatisfaction with products, whether it is using a product improperly or for the wrong application. (No one is immune – even a relatively experienced crafter like myself can still fall victim to this on occasion when working with a new product!)

Retailers and influencers are on the front lines of contact with consumers, educating them about new products. Having a good foundation of education on products via workshop education helps to ensure they are passing along proper product usage information to their customers and followers. Educated consumers using a product properly and how it was intended are far less likely to be dissatisfied customers – and far more likely to be repeat buyers!

Build Instructor Reputations

Having a nationally known designer/instructor traveling to teach at local stores and events is a powerful promotional tool for manufacturers. And bringing in an outside instructor for a special event can be a great excitement (and revenue) generator for a local store. These events, however, entail big commitments of resources for store owners, especially for international events. Ensuring the quality of experience for their customers is critical.

Creativation workshops allow storeowners to essentially “test drive” company instructors, to see if they are a good fit for their store’s customers. They can meet an instructor, and experience their teaching method. A successful Creativation workshop can be the first step in partnering with store owners nationwide and worldwide on events to promote your products in their stores!

A workshop isn’t just a chance to sell buyers on a single product. It’s a chance to sell attendees on your company, your people, and your marketing support system. It’s a chance to build a relationship – or enhance an existing one.

Interested in sponsoring a workshop or business presentation at Creativation 2020? Click here to see the guidelines and apply!

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