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A Look at Micro Trends at Creativation 2019

It’s easy to spot the big trends while walking the Creativation show floor. When there’s a unicorn or cactus in every booth you go into, it’s pretty apparent that is a headline trend. But one of the more important things you can take away from visiting the show floor is not the big billboard trends (although that is important too). Instead, assessing the micro trends of the industry is a task that should not be overlooked during busy show days.

[Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by AFCI and the Creativation show. Some links in this article may be affiliate links.]

AFCI Creativation 2019 entrance banner

Micro trends, like the micro in their name suggests, are small scale trends. They aren’t industry-consuming like macro trends are. They aren’t “in your face”. But they are noticeable little blips in the flow of the industry.

Why are micro trends important? For one, micro trends are usually cutting edge. Do you or your customer like to be on top of the latest colors or style icons? Micro trends are where you will find that, because the cutting edge comes and goes so quickly that its elements don’t have a chance to become macro trends. If they do stick around long enough to, then they are no longer really cutting edge.

The fact that some micro trends do become macro trends, becoming the next big thing, is another important reason to search down industry micro trends. What today is just an interesting thing being done by a handful of companies might tomorrow be the next industry saturation trend. Identifying that trend early helps you get on board with it- or carve out a position to counter it! Paint pouring, llamas, gold foil, succulents…they all started out as just an interesting product a few brands were doing. And then they took over everything!

Micro trends can be hard to spot because they aren’t at saturation level. At the show, immersed in the new product displays and the industry goings-on, is by far the most effective way to identify them. Reviewing products over a period of weeks, or months….they may not stand out. But at the show, when you realize that shade of yellow looks familiar from earlier in the day, or a discussion you are having is a repeat of one from this morning…you’ve possibly stumbled into a micro trend.

Here’s a few examples of some micro trends that I found at Creativation 2019:

Art Deco:

Hero Arts Deco in the City stamp

Hero Arts 6″x6″ Deco in the City stamp

Hero Arts has released a significant release of Art Deco style stamps and stencils recently, such as this 6″x6″ Deco in the City background stamp. But they aren’t the only ones to dabble in the retro style of Art Deco in the industry – it’s been lurking around for awhile. In 2017, Tim Holtz released an Art Deco styled alphabet as part of his Sizzix line of dies. At the same show, Graphic 45 debuted a heavily Art Deco collection called Vintage Hollywood. (While their lines frequently allude to that period, this particular collection was very up front with classic signature elements of the period.) Both of these brands are known for vintage products however and so it’s not entirely surprising to see the style from them.

Then in late 2018, we saw Art Deco start to show up from companies that didn’t specialize in hardcore vintage. BoBunny released the Something Splendid collection. And then at Creativation we got the new Hero Arts stamps and also a paper collection from Lawn Fawn with Art Deco style scallops. Given that it has escaped its vintage roots and is showing up elsewhere now, it will be interesting to see if Art Deco continues to grow as a design presence in the industry.

Space:

Photo Play To the Moon

Photo Play Paper To the Moon And Back

Whether it was the total eclipse in 2017, America’s impending return to manned space flight, or the raft of recent space themed movies…space seems to be on the mind of a significant number of product designers. Photo Play Paper did an entire space themed collection in December called To The Moon and Back. Meanwhile, other brands like Hero Arts and Doodlebug are doing moon and space themed stamps, and Sizzix has a new set of space themed dies.

Mustard Yellows:

Lawn Fawn No 2 Pencil

Lawn Fawn No 2 Pencil cardstock

The release of the spring lines is usually the time that we see yellow shades turn lemony after having been more brown in the fall lines. Instead, some of the spring lines are showing more mustard tones of yellow. Companies such as Paper House, Simple Stories, BoBunny, Authentique, and Photo Play all showed at least one line that used a more mustard tone of yellow. This micro trend is definitely approaching enough saturation to be called a macro trend!

And in a hint that they think it may stay for awhile, Lawn Fawn has released a cardstock pack they are calling “no. 2 pencil“. Is mustard no longer just a fall seaonal color? The fashion world seems to think so, and now it appears that scrapbooking is following suit.

Card Sentiments:

Altenew Mega Greetings 3

Altenew Mega Greetings 3 stamps

Another micro trend that jumped out while walking the show floor was the number of stamp companies releasing sentiment-only stamp sets. Hero Arts refreshed their line with multiple new staple sets. Stampendous, Altenew, Heffydoodle, Honey Bee, Spellbinders, BoBunny and several others all have released or upcoming sentiment only stamps. While these are an industry staple, the volume of releases at once is perhaps an indicator of stamp companies shifting their sole focus back to card making as scrapbooking and planner stamp sales both decline.

What micro trends did you detect at Creativation? Tell us in the comments!

4

A Look Inside Creativation 2019

Creativation 2019 passed in a whirlwind of travel and long show days! Here’s a look at what I did and saw during my three and a half days in Phoenix to attend the show.

[Disclaimer: This content is sponsored by AFCI and the Creativation 2019 show. I am a member of the Plaid blogger program.]

Creativation Show logo

To get to Phoenix, I left Daytona Beach before dawn on a 6am flight. It made for a long day, but with some quick footwork through Atlanta Hartsfield airport it got me on board a flight to Phoenix that landed before 11am!

Atlanta Hartsfield airport

When we left Atlanta, the crew announced that our arrival in Phoenix would be their very first time arriving at the just opened new terminal in Phoenix. The new terminal, while it might feel small to people more familiar with massive airports like Atlanta, is gleaming and beautiful. With excellent shopping and plenty of restaurants, travelers will find everything they need. (Especially if that thing is coffee – I counted no less than three Starbucks between curbside and my gate!) Being a modern terminal, it also has plenty of power outlets for gadget recharging and even laptop workstations. All in all, it is a vast improvement over the massive construction zone that has greeted Creativation attendees the past two years!

Phoenix Convention Center

The Phoenix Convention Center consists of three huge buildings, taking up several city blocks. The one on the left hosts Creativation.

The building on the right was hosting a a Harley event, among other things, during Creativation this year. People staying at the Hyatt Regency, Renaissance and other hotels walk through that building as a shortcut to get to where they are staying. There’s also a popular Starbucks that can be reached by walking through that building.

People driving to the show location on Sunday morning this year may have encountered another event that Phoenix was hosting during Creativation – the Rock n’ Roll marathon. It closed a couple of streets a few blocks from the convention center for a time early Sunday morning.

The first two days of Creativation are education days. Many classes were sold out, and attendees lined up early to get their pick of seats. Attendees in the photo below were lining up for an Altenew class on Friday that was scheduled to start shortly after I took the photo.

Friday Altenew class

One of the best reasons to take a class, even if you are an experienced crafter, is to learn a new technique. Sara Naumann taught a packed class on Friday how to do various techniques with WOW! embossing powders.

Friday Sara Naumann Wow

Mixed media is taking over the paper crafts industry. Judging by attendance at Dyan Reaveley’s art journaling class for her Ranger Dylusions line that I visited, lots of industry people are interested in learning more about it!

Friday Dyan Reavely class

Another popular mixed media education event was the Jane Davenport “workalong”, where attendees learned how to use Jane’s product line from Spellbinders.

Friday Jane Davenport workshop

Calligraphy is the up-and-coming hot thing in the industry. World famous calligrapher Paul Antonio, who has a product line with Spellbinders, drew a crowd of aspiring calligraphers in his class.

Friday Paul Antonio class

Just as important to running a successful craft industry business as creative education is business education. A variety of business classes were on offer for show attendees, including seminars for store owners from the ever-popular Kizer & Bender. Below, 2019 AFCI Industry Achievement Award honoree Tammy Browning-Smith teaches a class called “What to Share: Sponsorships, Endorsements & Interests”.

Friday Tammy Browning-Smith class

Friday evening, the traditional New Product Showcase took place. This year the showcase was in a space on the back of the show floor. Since construction was still going on building booths, showcase attendees walked down an aisle that had been draped off on both sides to reach the showcase. The showcase area was curtained off on all sides as well to screen unfinished booths from view.

The early part of the showcase event was wall-to-wall (curtain-to-curtain?) people, as attendees fought to weave their way through the crowd to the showcases for their first glimpses of what might be the next hot product.

Friday New Product Showcase

Once some of the crowd filtered out for dinner, it became a bit easier to get a view of the various different products.

Friday New Product Showcase 2

If you missed the Facebook Live that I did from the New Product Showcase after the crowd thinned out, you can view it below via YouTube:

Saturday morning arrived, and with it, the opening of the show floor for business! Entrance to the hall was via an entrance that was decorated to look like a house, declaring the theme “Home is where creativity is!”

AFCI Creativation 2019 entrance banner

Once the show floor opened up, attendees quickly filtered throughout the hall to their chosen destinations and the hall that had held a hushed quiet moments earlier began to buzz with activity!

Creativation 2019

Creativation 2019

Some attendees, of course, headed straight for their favorite companies’ booths to start looking over products and placing orders. (Echo Park is shown below.)

Echo Park Creativation 2019

My Facebook Live from the Echo Park booth shows how busy they were – I kept running into people while running around trying to film!

Many booths were offering make & takes, and so that is where a lot of attendees headed when the doors opened. The chance to try a product out before they order, and create a sample to take home to their stores, is invaluable to many store owners.

Here, attendees take part in the Tim Holtz idea-ology make & take while others wait their turn in line.

idea-ology Creativation 2019

(And yes, that cap and those bare legs can only mean one thing…that’s the one and only Mario Rossi keeping an eye on the whole operation from in the aisle.)

In a different area of the hall, Lynn from Spellbinders had show attendees die cutting, stamping and coloring at the make & take she was running.

Spellbinders Creativation 2019

Over at the Hampton Art/Jillibean Soup booth, show attendees participated in a make-n-take that created a trendy embroidery hoop wall art project.

Jillibean Soup Creativation 2019

Seth Apter had his make-n-take students at Paper Artsy getting so mixed media ink and paint happy that aprons were required for everyone’s protection!

Seth Apter Creativation 2019

For those who wanted to get hands on with the latest stamps, a demo area in the Creativation Stamping Village provided a variety of make & take options throughout the weekend. The stamping village also included a large social area (behind the demo area in the photo below) to rest your tired feet between turns at the make & take table, or to peruse catalogs before handing in your order at nearby booths.

Stamping Village Creativation 2019

While there were many make & takes on the floor that were “drop in” opportunities, some educational events on the Creativation show floor were more scheduled. Some, like the classes taking place in the Plaid booth, required signing up for a seat in advance. A few lucky show attendees got to fill extra seats by lining up to replace last-minute no shows (like a certain scrapbook news blogger who completely lost track of time Saturday morning while doing a Facebook Llive and suddenly realized I’d missed my scheduled class….whoops!)

Plaid Creativation 2019

It wasn’t just exhibitors offering scheduled education on the show floor. AFCI was offering offering an organized slate of education at both the Schoolhouse and the Sweet Spot. The Sweet Spot education, as its name implies, was for food crafting while the Schoolhouse offered business education sessions.

Saturday schedule Creativation 2019

The Schoolhouse was a really convenient venue for attendees to get education right on the show floor (and the events were free). This session on Sunday by Kaylee Pope on email newsletters – an important topic for most industry businesses – was well attended by industry professionals eager to learn how to improve their newsletter usage.

Schoolhouse Creativation 2019

For some show attendees, scheduled educational events in the booths extended outside show hours as various companies hosted early morning events for buyers and/or media. In the photo below, Plaid Senior VP Debbie Henley talks to members of the Plaid blogger program about the company’s new Mod Podge Ultra product on Sunday morning.

Plaid Creativation 2019

One of the quasi-scheduled items on the show floor is always the appearances in their various booths by popular designers. Many of them have to bounce between multiple companies where they have products so you have to pay attention to the schedule to know where to catch them when.

Calligrapher Paul Antonio, a relative newcomer to the Creativation celebrity guest scene, could be seen in the Spellbinders booth promoting his product line.

Paul Antonio Spellbinders Creativation 2019

And of course, Tim Holtz attracted a crowd at Ranger as usual. This year he was demonstrating his new Distress Oxide Sprays.

Tim Holtz Creativation 2019

Knowing the schedule so you can get to a celebrity designer’s demonstration right when it starts (or even before) is very important. It’s the only way usually to get a front row seat. This is especially important if you want to film – and it seems these days, everyone does.

Increasingly, demonstrations on the show floor, especially of the most popular companies, look like the one below by Seth Apter. Designers face a wall of cameras, and within minutes of it ending a half-dozen versions of their demonstration will be online for the public to view on Facebook, YouTube, or other video services.

Seth Apter Creativation 2019

It’s not just demonstrations being filmed, either. Christine Urias and her husband Mark Giles of ScrapTime have long been known for their high quality booth tours from the show, and now the genre has become a industry standard for anyone producing video content.

ScrapTime Creativation 2019

A few companies even bring in major tech for their Creativation filming, like this crew I ran into in the Hero Arts booth.

Creativation 2019

And of course, I can’t forget to mention the original livestreamer from the show floor…Elena from Charity Wings! She was doing her usual livestream this year with a new assistant, her adorable son Devin. It seemed everyone at the show wanted to meet Elena’s “baby unicorn”. And who could blame them – he was the cutest thing at the show!

Charity Wings Creativation 2019

And why did so many people want to meet Baby Devin? It’s because crafting is a community, and through our journey in it we make so many friends of other people in the community. Creativation is a chance to come together with those friends and share our journeys, wins and losses from the last year. It’s a chance to get inspiration from each other, learn from each other, and even find new partnerships to build.

(Now if I could only get someone on the show floor to teach me how to take a better selfie…)

Cynthea Stephanie Creativation 2019

This community is why the day doesn’t end when the show doors close. There were plenty of events to attend after hours at Creativation this year – the Prime VIB blogger party, a Hero Arts event, and a social event hosted by Simon Says Stamp, to name a few – but I opted instead for quiet dinners with what I consider some of my industry mentors. There is something to be said for sitting down and talking about where you are at, where you are going, and what your challenges are with just a few trusted compatriots.

Doing this meant taking advantage of some of downtown Phoenix’s wide assortment of restaurants. I think my mom nearly disowned me when I texted her this picture of her basketball idol’s restaurant – and then told her we weren’t stopping.

Majerles Phoenix

But we were headed to another kind of burger joint, called The Counter. Here, there are so many options of ways to get your burger (including even what kind of patty and bread) that they give you a paper form to fill out checking off what you want! So yes, if you want to have grilled pineapple and bbq sauce on your burger…you can totally have it! I did, and it was delicious. And the fries were amazing. And the root beer float made the perfect dessert!

The Counter Phoenix

But if steak is more your speed, The Arrogant Butcher is the hip place to be in downtown Phoenix. This prime rib practically melted in my mouth, and the flourless chocolate cake was so rich I couldn’t even finish it!

arrogant butcher phoenix

arrogant butcher phoenix

Stay tuned for more reports on Scrapbook Update about Creativation 2019…and if you missed it, be sure to check out the Scrapbook Update Creativation 2019 Top 10 Hot Picks!

12

Creativation 2019 Top 10 Hot Picks!

You asked for it…the Scrapbook Update Top Ten Hot Picks are back! Here, fresh from the show floor, are the ten items that I think are guaranteed to be a hit when they show up soon on store shelves.

Scrapbook Update Top 10 Hot Picks

[Disclaimer: I am a member of the Plaid blogger program. This site is a member of the Amazon affiliate program. Some links in this article are affiliate links that earn this site a commission at no cost to the reader when a purchase is made after a click.]

So, in no particular order…here they are…the Scrapbook Update Top Ten Hot Picks for Creativation 2019!

We R Memory Keepers Foil Quill

We R Memory Keepers Foil Quill

Shipping: March 2019
Wholesale: American Crafts/We R Memory Keepers
Retail: TBD

This item was absolutely the most talked about product on the Creativation show floor. If you remember the Heatwave Foil Pen that We R Memory Keepers previously released, the Foil Quill appears to be an adapted version of that technology. This new version is smaller, and runs on a USB plug that can be plugged into a power pack or a powered USB outlet (on machines that have them).  The Foil Quill works by inserting in the blade or tool slot of all the major electronic die cut machines (using adaptors), laying down a foil design where normally a pen would draw or a blade would be cutting. Three different sizes of Foil Quills (sold separately or together in a kit) allow for drawing different width of lines.

One of the biggest advantages that jumped out at me of doing foil this way is the ease of doing multi-color designs that are extremely difficult or even impossible to achieve with other foiling methods.

We R Memory Keepers Foil Quill

The We R Memory Keepers Foil Quill works with machines made by Brother, Cricut, Silhouette, and Sizzix. The idea of a product that is an accessory that works with all of the major die cut machines hasn’t really been tried before. This concept could open up a whole new market for innovation in the industry.

The All-In-One Foil Quill kit that includes all three pens and some foil has an MSRP of $99.99, while individual pens retail for $39.99 and foil rolls for $9.99. (The Foil Quill requires special foil.) The tool will debut on HSN shortly before it ships to retailers in March.

 

Paper House Productions “Wonder Woman” collection

Paper House Wonder Woman

Shipping: March 2019
Wholesale: Paper House Productions
Retail:

Wonder Woman made over $800 million at the box office to become one of the most popular super hero movies of all time. It especially resonated with women, even ones that aren’t usually super hero movie fans. Whether they plan to use it for theme park visits, cosplay, Halloween or a tribute to their favorite female role model, this Paper House licensed line will find a home in many scrapbookers’ stashes.

The Stamp Market

The Stamp Market stamps

Shipping: Now
Wholesale: The Stamp Market
Retail:

I always try to find a new exhibitor that warrants inclusion on this list. This year that was no challenge at all, as two year old company The Stamp Market made a debut showing at Creativation that would be impressive for even a much more experienced company.

One of the things that immediately jumped out at me about the excellent design of Amy Yingling at The Stamp Market is the font usage. Fonts can make – or break – a stamp design. Amy’s font choices create clean, readable text with beautiful graphic style. The fonts enhance the message without taking it over.

Amy’s attention to detail shows up in a myriad of other ways as well. There’s the gift bag die with the matching stamp set, and the stamp that creates customizable post-it notes for your planner.

 

AdTech DRIP-LESS Glue Guns

AdTech DripLess Glue Guns

Shipping: Now
Wholesale: AdTech
Retail: Amazon

Most crafters have at least a horror story or two of drips of hot glue ending up where we didn’t want them: on a project, on the carpet, on our skin. And those endless strings of glue that end up everywhere after you release a glue gun’s trigger are at best an annoyance and at worst can damage a project. AdTech is promising to end all of that with their new DRIP-LESS glue guns, which they advertise give users a 90% reduction in strings and drips. This is possible because the AdTech DRIP-LESS glue guns have a feature that retracts the glue away from the gun’s tip when the trigger is released, so it won’t drip when not in use.

The AdTech DRIP-LESS glue guns come in two sizes (mini and full size). The one apparent downside to these glue guns is that they are high temperature glue guns and many crafters prefer to work with low temperature glue for safety. Perhaps in the future we’ll see a low temperature version made available, but in the meantime, this problem-solving innovation will still appeal to many people.

Katie Pertiet for Simple Stories

Simple Vintage Botanicals

Shipping: February & March 2019
Wholesale: Simple Stories
Retail: Scrapbook.com (Simple Vintage Traveler), Scrapbook.com (Simple Vintage Botanicals)

Katie Pertiet has been one of my favorite scrapbooking designers since her days with the now-defunct Autumn Leaves brand over 15 years ago. For a long time, I had to satisfy myself with getting her designs in digital form via Designer Digitals. Then a few years ago she dipped her toe back in the paper market with 49 & Market, and eventually landed at Simple Stories last year when her “Simple Vintage” brand there was announced.

The first two Simple Vintage collections of 2019 will be Simple Vintage Traveler and Simple Vintage Botanicals. They embody the best of the classic vintage style that Katie has made her signature not just in scrapbooking but in home decor licensing as well. Plenty of vintage (like Tim Holtz and Graphic 45) has remained in the scrapbook market since vintage went out of vogue as the dominant trendy style. But Simple Vintage has a lighter and brighter touch than most of these other retro brands, and so fills a void that I think was begging to be filled. This is your grandma’s vintage, vintage that doesn’t know that it is vintage. Even many scrapbookers who proclaim themselves not to be vintage fans will find themselves drawn to the timeless quality of these collections.

 

Lawn Fawn Magic Picture Changer die

Lawn Fawn Magic Picture Changer

Shipping: February 21st
Wholesale: Lawn Fawn
Retail: Simon Says Stamp

Lawn Fawn has long been the industry leader in creating dies that make movable features for handmade cards, but they really outdid themselves with this picture changer. Deceptively easy to assemble considering the complex effect that it creates, this fun die set is sure to find a home in many cardmakers’ toolboxes.

Lawn Fawn Magic Picture ChangerTwo new stamp sets have been released that are specifically designed for use with the magic picture changer die. One is weather themed (pictured above). The other set is called “Get Well Before n’ Afters” and features turtles, whales and chicks with various get well sentiments. Other stamps can be used with the magic picture changer die, of course, and I’d expect to see more sets designed for it from Lawn Fawn released in the future.

Simon Hurley for Ranger

Simon Hurley

Shipping: February 2019
Wholesale: Ranger Industries
Retail: Scrapbook.com

Ranger adding a new signature designer would be the talk of the show no matter who the designer was. But when it’s a 16-year-old Youtube star? Well, the buzz is off the charts!

Simon Hurley’s large debut collection of inks, stamps, stencils and more for Ranger is a foray into a whole new market demographic for Ranger. It’s an attempt to appeal to a much younger market, with bright colors, fun young designs, and a modern look.

Simon Hurley for Ranger

This model has worked for Wilton with the Nerdy Nummies line of baking products by YouTube star Rosanna Pansino – will it transfer to the papercrafts industry? It certainly seems like it from Simon’s Creativation debut. He had attracted a small crowd every time I passed his demo table and he showed maturity beyond his years in handling the pressure and the spotlight while demonstrating.

Waffle Flower Water Media Mat

Waffle Flower Water Media Mat

Shipping: March 2019
Wholesale: Waffle Flower
Retail:

It seemed that everyone I talked to at Creativation that at least dabbles in mixed media mentioned this as one of their favorite new products at the show! With a work area that can hold a 9×12 sheet of paper, this mat will hold a card sized project easily, with plenty of room surrounding it to use as a mixing palette.

Another feature that the professionals attending the show loved were the marks on the mat for 16:9 video format, along with several squares. These guides make setting up perfect video shots or social media images much simpler. It’s a small detail that is only useful to a specific group of users, but will be invaluable to those who need it.

To see the Waffle Flower Water Media Mat in action, visit their YouTube channel to see design team member Channin make a project with it!

Carta Bella “Baseball” collection

Carta Bella Baseball collection

Shipping: February 2019
Wholesale: Echo Park Paper
Retail: Scrapbook.com

I rode on the plane to Phoenix (and back home) with people who were attending winter baseball events in Arizona. Another friend of mine just returned from the Bahamas after attending a winter baseball event there. Baseball fans – adult baseball fans – are passionate and devoted to their sport, treasuring their photos with their idols and their memorabilia like game tickets. Yet most sports line that are produced in the scrapbook industry are aimed more at kids’ sports than adult fans.

Carta Bella has stepped into that void with this vintage styled Baseball line. It’s classic emblems and bright colors make it suitable for everything from a visit to Cooperstown to a spring training trip to your kid’s Little League games.

Carta Bella baseball papers

One of the more classic touches in the design is the 3×4 card sheet designed to look like baseball cards. This collection is one that is bound to be snapped up – and hoarded – by baseball fans who have been longing for something that suits their grown-up love of the game!

 

Mod Podge Ultra

Mod Podge Ultra

Shipping: Spring 2019
Wholesale: Plaid Crafts
Retail:

Mod Podge has long been a reliable go to for scores of crafters. But Plaid kicked it up a notch with the Creativation debut of Mod Podge Ultra, a spray version of the versatile craft glue.

Plaid is touting the convenience of the spray format as well as its extreme hold properties. Demonstrations at the Creativation showed heavy ceramic mosaic pieces held in place with just a spritz!  But the product’s killer benefit to most consumers will likely be the promise of “no brush strokes”. The ability to decoupage and have perfect surfaces will be a huge selling point for many crafters.

 

16

It’s Creativation 2019 Sneak Peeks Time!!!!

It’s that time again…time to enjoy the avalanche of new products that will be coming our way in the first part of 2019! And you can see them all on the Scrapbook Update Creativation 2019 sneak peeks page!

2019 Creativation Sneak Peeks promo

The Scrapbook Update Creativation 2019 sneak peeks page already contains over 40 links to new product previews, and will be updated as more sneak peeks are made available, so keep checking back!

Do you want your company’s sneak peeks included on the sneak peeks page? To submit your sneak peeks to Scrapbook Update, click on this link to be taken to our sneak peeks submission form. (Links are manually added to the page after they are submitted, so your peeks may take a few hours to appear.)

So are you ready for all the sneak peeks? Click here or on the graphic below to check them out! 

5

New Events Added to Creativation 2019 (& big AFCI news)

The holidays are over and now the AFCI Creativation show in Phoenix is suddenly just two weeks away! Where did 2018 go, anyway? Here’s some last-minute things you need to know before heading to the show, including details on two new events recently added to the Creativation 2019 show schedule – and some big AFCI news.

[Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post on behalf of AFCI and the Creativation 2019 show.]

Creativation Show logo

The first new event recently added for Creativation 2019 is the Tricky Tray Auction. Thirty five show exhibitors have donated prizes for this auction, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Kids in Need Foundation. Each show attendee will receive three tickets to “bid” on their favorite auction prizes. Additional tickets are available for purchase (cash only) at $1/each. To place your bids, visit booth 1334 (next to the main stage) during show hours on Saturday and Sunday. And don’t miss the announcement of the winners during the Awards ceremony on the main stage from 5:00pm-6:30pm on Sunday evening – You must be present at the drawing to win that prize you’re wishing for!

Another new event added for Creativation 2019 since my last show news update is the Project Embellish Challenge. The challenge is sponsored by Now That’s A Jig as well as Beadalon, ImpressArt, Tierra Cast, Xuron, Craft Optics, Deflecto, and Beads Baubles & Jewels. Six designers will participate in the challenge, competing to see who can create the most beautiful piece of jewelry in only three hours. The theme of the 2019 Project Embellish Challenge is “charm & whimsy”, and contestants will be required to use sponsors’ products and a mystery item in their designs. To see the challenge in action, visit booth 925 on Sunday from 1pm-4pm.

If you fall in love with one of the Project Embellish Challenge projects you see being made, you’ll be happy to know that the finished jewelry items are being auctioned off to benefit Beads of Courage. Visit booth #925 to participate in the silent auction. Winners will be announced on Monday, January 21st at noon!

Also don’t forget an oldie but a goodie event, one of my favorites: the New Product Networking Event from 4:30pm-6ppm on Friday night on the show floor! It’s a great chance to catch up with old friends, and make new ones, while you get a sneak peek of new products before the show floor opens on Saturday. Don’t miss it! (Learn more here.)

And finally, don’t forget one of the most under-appreciated events at the show. It’s true that the AFCI Annual Business Meeting & Town Hall may not be the most fun event on the show schedule (and at 7:30am on Monday it’s definitely one of the earliest in the morning). But this year it promises to be an immensely informative and important event for AFCI members to attend.

The AFCI Board of Directors announced in mid-December that it has decided to let go all of the association’s current permanent staff and instead hire SmithBucklin, an association management firm, to run AFCI’s operations. This shift will take effect on April 1st, 2019, and the Annual Business Meeting will be members’ first chance to hear from the Board and others about what this means for AFCI going forward.

1

Hit the Floor for Creativation 2019 Show Education!

Juggling schedules to fit in everything you need to do is one of the hardest things about attending a trade show! But help for crunched schedules that want to find some education time at the show has arrived, in the form of the Creativation Schoolhouse and Stage! 

[Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post on behalf of AFCI and the Creativation 2019 show.]

Creativation Show logo

At Creativation 2019, the Schoolhouse and Stage will allow show attendees to attend a slate of educational events without leaving the trade show floor. Pop right into your event or class, and when you are done, you are right back in the thick of things at the show, ready to go again!

Clover Needlecraft project – Creativation 2019 Class #W501

Sponsors of workshops at the Schoolhouse, which will be located at booth 2231, include Pink & Main, Catherine Pooler, Studio SN, and Ranger. On Monday, Clover Needlework is hosting two workshops at the Schoolhouse on some very trendy items: needlework & felting [W501, 10am-11:3oam], and macrame {W502, 12:30pm-2pm]. Each of these beginner level workshops is 90 minutes long, and registration is $20 for AFCI members. Rest your feet and learn some new skills!

Clover Needlecraft macrame project

The Creativation Stage, at booth 1324, will be home to a series of business seminars on the Saturday and Sunday (January 19th & 20th) of Creativation 2019. Marketing will largely be the focus of these free events. Attendees interested in email marketing can catch Lindsay Anvik on “Why Email Marketing Isn’t Dead” on Saturday [12:00pm-1:00pm] or you can learn from Kaylee Pope at 11:30am on Sunday “Why Your Email Newsletter Isn’t Successful” (and how to fix it). You can also learn how to write search engine friendly content, social media timesavers, and the results of AFCI’s latest State of the Industry survey at the Creativation Stage. Conveniently close to the concession area, the Creativation Stage is perfect for a “lunch and learn” opportunity! (See the Creativation University schedule for full Creativation Stage session details.)

Another event that will be hosted at the Creativation Stage is the AFCI Awards Ceremony [E405]. This ceremony will honor the 2019 Hall of Fame recipients Ken & Barbara Griffin, and John Laurie, along with other annual award recipients. Honorees will include the Meritorious Award of Honor recipient Richard Brown, the Industry Achievement Award recipient Tammy Browning-Smith, and Special Recognition Award recipient Doug Earle. (For more information on the award recipients, click here.) AFCIs new Retailer Awards will also be presented at this event. The ceremonies will take place from 5:00pm-6:30pm on Sunday, January 20th. A cash bar will be available. Come celebrate the industry’s best while making new friends!

Speaking of networking and the industry’s best….hands down, the best winter trade show event that I’ve ever attended was a panel discussion on the state of the industry that AFCI (then CHA) hosted a few years ago. A few of the industry’s most experienced and brightest minds answered questions and discussed amongst themselves the big issues facing the industry.

I’m very excited to share that AFCI is re-creating that previous event this year, with a larger panel of experts and a networking reception afterwards for attendees to continue the discussion. The experts include:

  • Lynn Lilly, CEO/Founder, Craft Box Girls
  • Mike McCooey, President/CEO, Plaid Enterprises
  • Bobbie Medema, CEO, Notions Marketing
  • Ryan Newell, President/CEO, Sprinrite LP
  • Stacey Park, Owner, Scrapbooking Made Simple
  • Anthony Piperno, President ​& CMMO, A.C. Moore
  • Jennifer Vanderveldt, VP Strategy & Analytics, The Michaels Companies, Inc.

This should be a very enlightening event, and chance to get some perspective from many different parts of the industry in one place. The Creativation 2019 Industry Panel Discussion will take place on Saturday, January 19th from 5:30pm-7:30pm and is free with Creativation badge.

Visit the Creativation 2019 show website to register for these events and others.

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