Go on an Exclusive Tour of the CHA 2013 Winter Show Floor in 3 Minutes

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Didn’t make it to the CHA 2013 Winter Show in Anaheim, CA this past January? Here’s your chance to go on an exclusive tour of the Show floor in less than 3 minutes!

Save the Dates for upcoming CHA Shows and Events:

  • Creative Conference CANADA
    April 11, 2013 Calgary, Alberta
  • Creative Conference NYC
    May 19–21, 2013 New York, NY
  • Create-N-Connect
    July 22-25, 2013 Las Vegas Nevada
  • CHA Town Hall Meeting in Utah
    March 20, 2013 Sandy, Utah
  • CHA 2014 Conference & Trade Show
    Friday, Jan. 10 – Tuesday, Jan. 14 Anaheim, CA
  • 2014 Create – n – Connect Conference & Trade Show
    Monday, August 4 – Thursday, August 7 St Louis, MO
  • 2015 Create – n – Connect Conference & Trade Show
    Monday, July 27 – Thursday, July 30 Charlotte, NC

What Will You CRE8TIME For…? (Show Us Your Hands!)

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At the CHA Winter Show iLoveToCreate asked, “What will you CRE8TIME for this year?

What will you Cre8time for? www.ilovetocreate.com  www.cre8time.orgWhat will you Cre8time for? www.ilovetocreate.com  www.cre8time.orgWhat will you Cre8time for? www.ilovetocreate.com  www.cre8time.orgWhat will you Cre8time for? www.ilovetocreate.com  www.cre8time.org

We LOVED that question, and decided to have CHA Staff participate:

I will CRE8TIME for... www.cre8time.orgI will CRE8TIME for... www.cre8time.orgI will CRE8TIME for... www.cre8time.org

You can view all of the photos on the CRE8TIME Pinterest page.


Now we’re asking for YOU to get your employees, co-workers and friends to JOIN US!

Here’s what to do:

Our goal is to collect 2,000 photos by the end of February.

Thank you for helping to spread the movement. It’s amazing what we can learn about each other through creativity!

CHA Celebrates Innovation at the 2013 Winter Show

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The CHA 2013 Winter Conference & Trade Show drew 3336 buyers and 928 networkers, totaling  4264 attendees; of which 790 were international, joining us from 56 countries including Canada, Japan, Australia, the United Kingdom, Mexico and Germany.

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While the temperature was down, the energy was up. Despite the unusual California weather being as low as some 30 degrees, exhibitors and attendees were all in good spirits yielding positive results. For some, this Show was the most successful it’s been in years.

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“We’ve been exhibiting at the Winter Show for the entire life of our company – seven years that is – and 2013 was our best Show ever! Our booth was busy literally the whole time. We’ve always seen the Show as – primarily – a way to build brand awareness and network with distribution partners. But this year we worked with a lot of independent retailers and wrote a lot of orders. We did more international business than ever before, picking up new distributors and retailers in Australia, South America, Europe, and Far East.” Sara Davies – Sales Director, Crafters Companion

“This year’s CHA Show was the best in years for us. Not only was it a great forum to see many of our current customers in one place, but it also presented an opportunity to meet new buyers from the international community.”  Ryan Newell – President, Spinrite LP.

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“The CHA Conference & Trade Show is the only event on the planet where we can greet hundreds of customers in three days. We cannot imagine choosing not to be there. The 2013 CHA Winter show was our best show ever; the quantity of customers, the quantity of leads and the sales dollars written were all record numbers. The CHA Winter Show was a great start for a new year!” Bobbie Medema – Marketing Director, Notions Marketing

Another key contributing factor to the positive momentum was the launch of the CRE8TIME industry consumer awareness campaign and the new CRE8TIME.org website.  CRE8TIME is a movement funded by the CHA Foundation, designed to encourage creativity by getting participants to pledge 8 hours per month to doing something creative. CRE8TIME.org serves as the hub of the CRE8TIME social movement. It is a community where “CRE8ERS” share their crafts, pledge their hours, get inspired, stay informed and learn how to reclaim 8 hours a month.

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“The positive energy from both exhibitors and attendees is very encouraging and speaks volumes to the vibrancy and momentum building for the industry. We look forward to carrying that excitement forward with all the new programs we are launching in 2013.” Andrej SuskavcevicCAE, President and CEO, Craft & Hobby Association.

Every year CHA gives out awards to select exhibitors for outstanding work in product innovation.  Those receiving awards for their products include: Innovative Product Award – Katy Sue Designs/Flower SoftSilicone Molds (www.katysuedesigns.com); Attendee Choice Award – Spellbinders Paper ArtsImperial Gold (www.spellbinderscreativearts.com); and two Honorable Mention Innovative Product Awards – June TailorT-shirt Transformation Ruler Center (www.junetailor.com) and We R Memory KeepersEnvelope Punch Board (http://www.weronthenet.com).

CHA accepts nominations annually from members throughout the industry with the purpose of identifying individuals and companies making significant contributions to humanity, the industry, and the Association. This year Creative Leisure News’ Mike Hartnett was the recipient of the Meritorious Award of Honor. This is the highest award recognition the Craft & Hobby Association can bestow upon an individual past or present member, and is given for significant contributions made to the Association. The Special Recognition Award went to Mari Eriksson and the staff of Fusion Beads, a retail store in Seattle Washington. This award is presented to a person, group and/or company for their extraordinary contribution in an activity showcasing the craft and hobby industry in a positive way.

In 2014 the CHA Winter Conference & Trade Show will return to Anaheim, California January 10-14 to celebrate the 73rd edition of the Show.

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The CHA “HOT 20” Announced for the 2013 Winter Show

The Craft & Hobby Association’s (CHA) celebrity media judges are pleased to announce their picks for the 2013 Winter “CHA Hot 20” list of products. The CHA Hot 20 are headlining products that will be introduced at the CHA Sneak Peek Media & Buyer Event on January 11, 2013 during the CHA 2013 Winter Conference & Trade Show held at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California from January 11 – 15, 2013.

The CHA celebrity panel judges selected the “CHA Hot 20” from dozens of new craft products entered in the Innovations New Product Showcase. The following were selected as CHA’s Hot 20 products of the CHA 2013 Winter Show:

Faber-Castell – Mix & Match Gelatos Misting Kit enables the creation of colorful mists using a simple process and the tools using the 8 NEW Gelatos colors. Booth #1549.

Sticky Sticks LLC – Sticky Sticks are tongue depressor-sized craft sticks with the most amazing adhesive on one side of one end. They stick permanently to paper, ribbon, felt, foam, and wood. Booth # 2305.

CTF Enterprises, Inc. – FixNZip is a patented, zipper slider replacement that repairs zippers without tools or sewing. Booth #2105.

We R Memory Keepers – Envelope Punch Board is the first and only Envelope Punch Board on the market! Just punch and score for perfect envelopes. No scissors necessary. Booth #1664.

Ranger Industries – Tim Holtz Distress Paints are fluid water-based acrylic paints for multiple surfaces and are reactive with water just like Distress Inks and Distress Stains–perfect to accomplish a wide variety of artistic techniques. Booth #636.

Environmental Technology Inc. – EnviroTex Jewelry Clay® is a new professional grade Jewelry Clay® that will not shrink when cured. EnviroTex Jewelry Clay® will adhere to glass, metal and wood. Booth #1429.

Fiskars Brands Inc. – The AdvantEdge™ Punch System adds decorative borders to craft projects while the slide-and-lock technology keeps the paper in one place and slide the punch cartridge from one lock-in slot to the next, keeping every punch perfectly spaced. Booth #1000.

Fiskars Brands Inc. – Fuse Creativity System® is the only 12” system on the market that can die cut and letterpress in one easy pass through the machine. Booth #1000.

Beadalon – The Jewel Loom™ designed by International Jewelry Artist Julianna C Hudgins fits perfectly in the palm of your hand allowing for ease of use for a comfortable grip and ultimate control while bead weaving. Booth #1237.

Plaid Enterprises Inc. – Plaid FolkArt Handmade Charlotte Stencils designed by Rachel Faucett, include functional, family-friendly designs that come to life with FolkArt paint. Booth #1401.

Plaid Enterprises Inc. – Martha Stewart Crafts™ Glass Paint is specially formulated, high performance premium paints that are permanent, dishwasher safe, and UV/weather resistant. Booth #1401.

ImpressArt® Metal Stamps – ImpressArt® Design Stamp Packs offer jewelry and mixed media artists collections of metal stamps in themes ranging from weddings and family to sports and shabby chic. Booth #733.

Spellbinders Paper Arts – Spellbinders Imperial Gold is brings out the 4th dimension with die templates that cut, emboss, stencil and deboss. Never before have you had the ability to cut & create in multiple layers with a single die template. Booth #2565.

Katy Sue Designs – Silicone Molds for decorating cupcakes and candies are FDA compliant perfect for fondant, candy or chocolate top instantly. With developments in food safe colourings such as pens, crafters can now transfer colour techniques to their cakes. Booth #2725.

Purple Cows, Inc. – Encaustic Paint is handmade in the USA from the highest quality of naturally purified beeswax, damar resin with a 1:8 ratio and the finest dry pigments. Booth #2581.

Global Solutions, Inc.– Self Adhesive wax seals are an easy way to make your project special. Simply peel and stick the seals on to invitations, scrapbooks, cards, soap or wine bottles. Booth #610.

The DMC Corporation – Emma Broidery: Memory Thread How To Guide features more than 60 pages of instructive photographs and projects that educate, encourage and inspire crafters and stitchers alike. The book includes step-by-step instructions for trendy jewelry making and paper crafts as well as needlework applications. Booth #1337.

Craft Attitude – JEWELRY ATTITUDE™ is a way for jewelry makers to personalize their metal, leather, beads, charms and accessory jewelry items with photos and names. By printing right on the inkjet compatible film, photos and words are crisp and clear. Booth #477.

Krylon – Krylon® Glitter Blast™ Glitter Spray is a uniquely intense, sparkling glitter finish with exceptional depth that makes it easy to achieve an irresistible look on almost any surface. Booth #2508.

June Tailor, Inc. – T-Shirt Transformation Ruler Center, lets you mark and cut perfect T-Shirt blocks for quilts, tote bags, pillows and more. Printed grid lines and 45° markings to perfectly align and center t-shirt graphics. Booth #1291.

The CHA Hot 20 represent only a glimpse of the thousands of new products that will be launched or on display at the CHA 2013 Winter Show.

CHA media judges include Jenn Mason, mixed-media artist, designer and Editor of Cloth Paper Scissors Magazines; Nancy Nally publisher and editor of Scrapbook Update, a leading online source for scrapbooking industry news and information; Stephenson Darling a director for Northridge Publishing, a leading publisher of scrapbooking and crafting magazines and idea books, including Scrapbook Trends, Cards, Bead Trends, Create Idea Books and Creative Retailer Magazine; Julie Mc Guffee, author, craft industry veteran who is the current host of Scrapbook Soup; Jenny Barnett Rohrs is the founder and “craft evangelist” at CraftTestDummies.com, the “Consumer Reports” of craft product review blogs; Ana Araujo a 20-year industry veteran, author and Host and Executive Producer of the online Craft TV Channel When Creativity Knocks, and the host of the new show Mama Knows Best.

6 Keys to Conducting an Effective Pre-Trade Show Staff Meeting


How to Prepare Your Exhibit Team for Peak Performance

By Jefferson Davis, Competitive Edge

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You would be hard pressed to find a single professional sports team that does not gather their team members for a final meeting just before the start of every game. That meeting reinforces all the important information, strategies and game plans that have been prepared over the previous days or weeks. That meeting also puts everybody “in state” and “on purpose”.

In contrast, many exhibitors do not gather their show team together for that all important final meeting before the big show. Or if they do, the meeting is informal and unorganized. This is an oversight that can seriously impact your show performance and results.

Here are six keys to conducting an effective pre-show staff meeting:

1. Hold it the day before the show opens: While you may have several meetings in the weeks leading up to show time, the best time for the final team meeting is the last setup day. A good time slot is 4pm to 6 or 7pm or later depending on if dinner will be served at the meeting.

2. Make participation mandatory: Require all exhibit staff to arrive in the convention city by 2pm at the latest, if at all possible. In your meeting invitation, stress that the meeting is mandatory and that there will be repercussions for not attending. Some of my clients tell their staff they will not be reimbursed for airfare if they miss the pre-show meeting. Of course, this would not be enforced for unforeseen travel delays, illness and so on.

3. Have a key executive kick off the meeting: The presence of a key executive like the President or VP of Marketing and/or Sales will help reinforce the importance of the meeting.

4. Have a clearly defined agenda: The agenda should at minimum cover the following topics: introduction of team members with show roles and duties, key and emergency contact information, overall show goals, schedule of show & hospitality events, booth duty schedule, review of pre and at-show marketing
programs, review of VIP invitation list, discussion of staff in booth roles, review of best exhibiting skills, product messaging and FAQ’s for products, booth layout and walk-through, demonstration overview and walkthrough, literature distribution, promotional product distribution, lead capture process and lead goals, and sales offers and required paperwork.

5. Make it fun: You can make the meeting holding it at a fun venue like a bowling alley, laser tag, whirly ball center, ESPN Zone or place like that. You can also make it fun by having contests and team events during the meeting.

6. Carry it over to the booth: While the pre-show meeting is the kick-off, you should also conduct brief end of shift or end of day meetings to review how the show is going, discuss problems and opportunities, and make mid show adjustments to stay on track. CHA allows exhibitors to remain on the show floor for 1 hour after show close each day to allow time for meetings and booth reset. Remember, an effective pre-show meeting is a critical part of successful exhibit program. Be sure to apply the relevant the ideas in this article so your team with be “in state” and “on purpose” when the doors open on your next big show.

Jefferson Davis, president of Competitive Edge is known as the “Tradeshow Turnaround Artist”. Since 1991, his consulting and training services have helped clients improve their tradeshow performance and results to the tune of over $500M. Mr. Davis is co-creator of the CHA Exhibitor Success & ROI Center (ESRC) program. He can be reached at 704-814-7355 or Jefferson@tradeshowturnaround.com


Looking for additional ideas to achieve higher ROI for your trade show experience?  The 
CHA Exhibitor Success & ROI Center (ESRC) is your free, on-demand, 24/7 resource to help you find answers to your most pressing exhibiting challenges, expand your exhibiting know-how and improve your company’s exhibiting performance.

Badge Registration for the CHA 2013 Winter Conference & Trade Show is now open. Click here to register. For information on exhibiting at the CHA Show, please click here.

CHA 2013 Winter Conference Speaker Series (Post 5)


Throughout the months of November and December we have featured the speakers and instructors who will be teaching courses at the 2013 Winter Conference January 11 – 14 in Anaheim, CA.

Business Bootcamp: Advanced Social Media Marketing

By Tony Ford, CHA 2013 Technology Expert; Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder of ArtFire.com and principle consultant for Bounce Rocket Media

Social media accounts for 90% of the brand impressions for ArtFire.com.  We use it to get more than 50 million impressions per week for our brand and our sellers’ products.  It is the single most powerful tool in our entire marketing and communication plan. Our team members are like scientists in the wild, exploring, testing, probing and looking for ways to make our programs better, and ensure that every effort can tie back into the actual revenue of our business.  In this workshop, I’ll be sharing that research and those methods with you.

I’m guessing you have social media accounts.  You’re posting things about your business.  You’re even getting some followers and friends.  This is the right thing to do.  You know you need to do it, but it’s starting to take a lot of time.  Your boss or your business partner (and even maybe you) are wondering, “What is this supposed to do for the actual money making part of the business? How do we rise above the crowd, above the noise and get our message out where it will result in more sales?”

Basic social media is so easy nearly everyone in America under the age of 60 is doing it, and the advanced level is complicated enough that even the few who do it for a living are actually doing it well.  It’s time to move beyond the consumer level, beyond the casual user level, and into becoming a social media scientist.  In this seminar we’re going to look at the tools and methods used by those who live full time as social media scientists.

You’re likely doing a lot more than just social media, which means you’re too busy to spend all day on this.  How can you maximize your social media impact in less time?  I’ll show you the tricks my team uses.

How can you tie your efforts to the bottom line and prove the impact on your business? You’ll learn how to  customize google analytics and prove that your efforts ring the cash register. You’ll also learn the sites and services to use to put a real dollar amount on the reach you are getting now.

How can you double dip, use software tricks, and create loyal fans and friends who will not just read your posts, but spread your brand far and wide?  Learn the copywriting, headline writing, and consumer psychology tricks to get your message moving and transition from publisher to thought leader.  You’ll learn how to improve your odds at going viral.

How do you make social media more powerful?  You treat it like science.  You study what works and test new ideas.  I’m  going to open up the laboratory and show you the tools.  I’ll explore split testing of social media advertising and message, the best practices for  launching new campaigns and how to use social media to boost your SEO.

Finally, I’ll show you what I read and who I follow online to keep up-to-date on social media marketing and exactly how I follow hundreds of blogs and marketing technique sources in very little time each day.   This is an ever-changing field, but with the right tools you can not only keep up with the changes, you can thrive where others may get overwhelmed.

Unlike a normal seminar, this workshop will be a mix of presentation, Q&A and hands-on work.  Think of this like a group consulting session.  The goal will be for everyone to walk away with real world methods they can use to save time, expand their brand reach, and make more money. I look forward to seeing you in Anaheim.

~ Tony Ford

Tony Ford is the co-founder of ArtFire.com and principle consultant for Bounce Rocket Media, a new media and social marketing consulting firm based in Tucson, Arizona.  Bounce Rocket provides social media marketing and new media marketing services including staff training, account management and education for a wide range of firms with a special focus on creative professionals in the art, music and literature space as well as small business and non-profits.  More information can be found at BounceRocket.com.

CHA Conference Program registration is OPEN!  Click here for more information and to register. Register for a Conference Program by December, 21st and be entered to win TWO admission passes to Disneyland Park.

The Most Overlooked Key to CHA Exhibiting Success


By Jefferson Davis, Competitive Edge

Guess what percentage of marketing professionals with college degrees received exhibit marketing as part of their university curriculum?  2% |  7% |  13% | 24%?

If you guessed 2% you are right. As a nationally recognized tradeshow expert, I am often asked “What is the single most important key to making tradeshows deliver real results for our company?” People expect me to tell them things like “get a better booth location”, “build a bigger, flashier exhibit”, “do a better job promoting your exhibit”, “demonstrate your products better”, “capture better leads” and things like that.

All of these things can help. But, when I tell them the single most important key to making tradeshows deliver meaningful and measurable results is to update and expand their company’s exhibiting knowledge base, they look surprised. They tell me “we know how to exhibit, we’ve been doing it for years.” I then ask them to tell me about the results their exhibit program is delivering, and far too few exhibitors can speak of any specific results. They all seem to know what they are spending, but too few know what they are really getting.

The question of how to make tradeshows deliver results is a very poignant question because many companies’ exhibit programs fail to deliver measurable and meaningful results. I believe strongly that the lack of formal exhibiting knowledge is one of the main reasons.

Consider these shocking exhibiting industry statistics:

  • Only 24% of exhibitors set objectives for tradeshows
  • Less than 20% of exhibitors do any form of targeted pre-show marketing.
  • 84% of booth staffers have never received training on how to work a tradeshow
  • 76% of sales people views tradeshow leads as “cold” calls.
  • 87% of tradeshow leads captured are never effectively followed up on.
  • Only 14% of exhibitors have any organized form of post-show measurement.

These statistics point to a major problem. Marketing departments spend almost 1/3 of their annual marketing budget on tradeshows. Sales department are asked to staff the exhibit, often against their will or desire. Both departments spend significant financial and human capital, and both with very little formal education or training on how to best do so. And it shows in their results.

Tradeshows have changed in complexity over the last several years. The body of knowledge on how to make tradeshows productive and profitable has exploded and yet far too few exhibitors are seeking out the latest thinking and best exhibiting practices. Many companies are operating on an exhibiting model that is 10 years outdated.

So where do you look for the latest and best exhibiting practices? While there are many good resources, CHA is a great place to start. All exhibitors, in the three months leading up to the trade show, will receive a bimonthly e-newsletter with timely, “how-to” articles, exhibiting tips, cost saving advice and deadline reminders. Exhibitors can also access the CHA Exhibitor Update e-newsletter and the Successful Exhibiting Article Series through the Exhibitor Success & ROI Center (ESRC).

Through the Exhibitor Success & ROI Center, CHA is providing free exhibitor webinars, tips & tools for successful exhibiting, research and statics on the value of trade shows, and an “Ask the Tradeshow Expert” email Q&A program. Please make sure you and the key people in your marketing and sales departments read the articles and review the information included in the Exhibitor Success & ROI Center. Most importantly, please use what makes sense for your situation. By doing so, we can assure that exhibiting knowledge will no longer be a gap in your company.

Jefferson Davis, president of Competitive Edge is known as the “Tradeshow Turnaround Artist”. Since 1991, his consulting and training services have helped clients improve their tradeshow performance and results to the tune of over $500M. Mr. Davis is co-creator of the CHA Exhibitor Success & ROI Center (ESRC) program. He can be reached at 704-814-7355 or Jefferson@tradeshowturnaround.com


Looking for additional ideas to achieve higher ROI for your trade show experience?  The 
CHA Exhibitor Success & ROI Center (ESRC) is your free, on-demand, 24/7 resource to help you find answers to your most pressing exhibiting challenges, expand your exhibiting know-how and improve your company’s exhibiting performance.

Badge Registration for the CHA 2013 Winter Conference & Trade Show is now open. Click here to register. For information on exhibiting at the CHA Show, please click here.

CHA 2013 Winter Conference Speaker Series (Post 4)


Throughout the months of November and December we will feature the speakers and instructors who will be teaching courses at the 2013 Winter Conference January 11 – 14 in Anaheim, CA.

How to Make the Most of Your Quality Budget

By Paul Milne, Manager, Restricted Substances Testing Services, SGS

There are a great many regulations out there.  Perhaps you’ve noticed.  In the United States in particular the complexity is compounded by regulatory requirements at both the state and the federal level.  Simply keeping track of all the requirements for restricted substances in your products can occupy a fair amount of your time.  To complicate matters, there are different requirements depending upon age of use of the products, with children’s articles naturally coming with more restrictions than those articles intended solely for adult use.  How can you ever test to all those limits?

The simple answer is that you can’t.  There are too many individual regulations to chase after to test exclusively for each one.  However, as you go through things, certain commonalities will crop up.  For example, most jurisdictions are concerned with the levels of lead and cadmium in various products.  This is notable because lead and cadmium make very vivid and bright colors depending upon how they’re combined with other elements.  Those same colors that appeal to artists are also the ones that can be problematic.  Do you need to test?

Not necessarily.  You can stipulate that those dyes and paints that contain lead and cadmium are to be for use by adults only.  To comply with the Labeling of Hazardous Art Materials Act (LHAMA), you will place statements on your product to the effect that these dyes or paints are only for use by adults, wash hands after use, keep out of reach of children, etc.  (To know exactly which warnings are required, you will have a toxicologist review your formulation and give you a Toxic Risk Assessment (TRA).  This will eliminate having to deal with the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) which is concerned with lead and cadmium (among other substances) in children’s products.

For the US, that leaves California’s Proposition 65 which is designed to limit the exposure of Californians to chemicals that are toxic, cancer-causing, or cause reproductive harm.  Normally, manufacturers try to eliminate the toxic substances in their products in order to comply with prop 65, but in this case, the toxic substances (lead and cadmium) are a necessary part of the product.  Not to worry.  You place a warning label stating that there are toxic substances in this product and that allows you to sell in California.

So you have managed to comply with US regulations and only gone out of pocket for the TRA.  By knowing what was in your product, you avoided unnecessary testing for things that “might” be there.  By classifying it correctly as an adult-use product you were able to avoid CPSIA regulation, and by understanding Proposition 65 regulation you knew you couldn’t avoid a warning label so there was no point in testing.

This realistic example is one way to stretch that quality budget, and I will be presenting more ways at the CHA Winter Conference as well as being part of the CHA Experts & Resource program.  In the meantime, if you have questions regarding chemical regulations and compliance, please feel free to contact me at pmilne@craftandhobby.org.  I look forward to hearing from the CHA members over the coming months.

~ Paul Milne

Conference Program registration is NOW OPEN!  Click here for more information and to register. Register for a Conference Program by December, 21st and be entered to win TWO admission passes to Disneyland Park.

CHA 2013 Winter Conference Speaker Series (Post 3)


Throughout the month of November we will feature the speakers and instructors who will be teaching courses at the 2013 Winter Conference January 11 – 14 in Anaheim, CA.

Connecting Digitally—Email Marketing and Online Classes/Demos

By Joe Rotella, CHA Website Expert and Chief Technical Officer, Usability Practice Director for Delphia Consulting

Connecting with your prospects and customers online is a great way for you to stay “top of mind.” Getting people to learn about your products and how to use them is often the best way to generate sales and referrals. Two ways to connect digitally are:

  1. Email campaigns
  2. Online classes or demonstrations

Email can be an effective way to communicate with your prospects and customers. Done right it can be an effective marketing tool. Done wrong and the consequences can vary from bad to catastrophic:

  • Your email address can end up on a SPAM list, so future emails may not get delivered.
  • Your recipients may lose interest and unsubscribe form your list.
  • You can violate the CAN-SPAM Act—punishable by 3 to 5 years in federal prison, confiscation of property, or fines ranging from $250 to $2 million.

Webinars, web demos and online classes are also a great way to connect with your audience.  Of course, face-to-face classes and demonstrations are great, but that can limit who you reach (because of distance, space or travel costs). And it’s hard to pick a date and time that makes everyone happy. If you can demonstrate or teach online, you can record the session and make it available over the web for folks to see at any time.

I’m betting this has you thinking…

  • How do you know what’s allowed and what’s not when you create an email campaign?
  • What is the CAN-SPAM Act and how do you remain in compliance with its rules and regulations?
  • What platforms are available for online classes or demonstrations and how do they differ from one another?
  • What are common best practices for online presentations?

It’s easy to find the answers to these questions! Join me for these two business seminars at the Winter 2013 CHA Conference & Trade Show.

S308 – Best Practices for Offering Classes & Demos Online, Sunday, January 13, 2013, 3PM-4PM, Room 207C

S402 – Best Practices for Email Marketing, Monday, January 14, 2013, 11AM-Noon, Room 207B

I hope to see you there!

Happy Crafting!

~ Joe Rotella

Conference Program registration is NOW OPEN!  Click here for more information and to register.

CHA 2013 Winter Conference Speaker Series (Post 2)


Throughout the month of November we will feature the speakers and instructors who will be teaching courses at the 2013 Winter Conference January 11 – 14 in Anaheim, CA.

Jumpstart Your Business!

By Kizer & Bender, CHA Retail Experts

We’re gearing up for the CHA 2013 Winter Conference & Trade Show! What better time than a new year to jumpstart your business?

First up: Sheer Intensity! THE Retail Boot Camp, a must for every retailer! A down economy can either be an excuse to play it safe or a chance to outpace your competition – only you can decide where you want your business to go. Get ready for some crowd control! Our day long Retail Boot Camp will show you how to successfully differentiate your store from your competition, build a buzz about town, and thrill your customers all at the same time. No theories. No fluff. Just hard hitting information. On the agenda: Consumer trends you cannot ignore… anymore; techniques to hire smart, motivate, reward, and build a strong sales and service team; what’s new, hot and happening in Social Media Marketing, circa 2013; enough retailer-tested,no-cost, low-cost in-store events and promotions to increase traffic andbuild sales and profits; plus how to set your sales floor to sell with the latest in layouts and visual merchandising, store operations tips and inventory control. Save the date, Saturday, January 12, 2013. Seats are limited – don’t miss out!

On Sunday, January 13, we present Land Mines and Slippery Slopes, a BRAND NEW program that outlines 10 common problematic symptoms of failure – land mines – to avoid, how they affect your store’s performance, and what to do about them before they send your profitability slipping downward. You’ll leave armed with specific strategies to help you identify, avoid, and control your land mines, plus how to keep off the slippery slopes that erode and destroy your retail business.

Next up: One Size Does Not Fit All: Marketing to Different Generations. This one’s for retailers and manufacturers, actually anyone with customers. You can’t attract them if you don’t know who they are. Today you sell and market to five very distinct generations: LOMLOTs (consumers with Lots Of Money, Lots Of Time, ages 68+), Baby Boomers (49-67), Generation X (33-48), Millennials (19-32), and Generation Z (3-18). How these consumers respond to your marketing is based on their age – and their generational experience. Technology is huge, but how you use it depends greatly on which generation you are trying to reach.

LOMLOTs may be older, but they’re all over technology. Case in point: Skypeing with grandkids is huge. Texting is fun for Baby Boomers, but it’s as important as air to Millennials and Generation Z. Older gens still read newspapers, younger ones use them to line hamster cages. Gen Xers still enjoy magazines, but their kids prefer iPads. And if you still require shoppers to clip or print coupons you’re missing the boat. And a boatload of customers.

We’ve done the research! You’ll learn what it takes to attract each generation to your product or your store; when to go digital and when to hang on to tradition; which social medias go with which generations; how to get Pinterest followers off of their computers and in to your store; which in-store events attract which generations; how to effectively use e-mail marketing; how to optimize the consumer shopping experience; and more.

As CHA’s Retail Experts, when we’re not in seminars, you’ll be able to find us across from booth 1201 on the Show floor. Bring us your questions, concerns, challenges, opportunities, and photos of your sales floor for a one-on-one, customized consultation.

We’re excited about CHA Winter 2013. There’s so much to do and see and learn. And we’re thrilled to bring our wildly popular Sheer Intensity! THE Retail Boot Camp to the creative industry. So do yourself a favor and click here to register for the CHA 2013 Winter Conference and Trade Show. We’re looking forward to seeing YOU in Anaheim!

~ Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender

Conference Program registration opens Friday, November 16th at 10am ET.  Click here for more information and to register.