An Update From the CHA Social Media Section

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social media section final logo
The Steering Committee for the new Social Media Section was formed this fall with the initial task of creating the Sections’ Vision and Mission Statement. Below is the completed Statement, which we’re incredibly proud of and excited to share with you!

Our Vision
We support an interactive community where all CHA members are encouraged to explore and employ social media platforms and strategies in order to more meaningfully engage with each other, with our customers, and with fans and followers. In doing so, we are working together to enhance and expand all of our businesses, as well as the craft industry at large.

Our Mission:
Resource
We will establish a network of Social Media professionals who can consult with CHA members (companies and individuals) and show them how to successfully incorporate social media outreach into their overall marketing plans.

Education
We will work with CHA to provide relevant educational tools and programs for CHA members, as well as opportunities to share best practices, in an effort to keep everyone informed about the ever-changing social media landscape.

Awareness
We will champion the social media marketing campaigns developed by CHA and its chapters and sections, in order to nurture the CHA brand, advocate membership, and continuously promote the benefits of crafting to all of our audiences.

Collaboration
We will work to build partnerships between members and help them develop new ways to jointly use social media to build their brands and engage with their customers.

Heart
We will bring passion, joy and creativity to our work. We will commit to continuously sharpening our skills, broadening our collective range of expertise, and building our integrity within CHA so that our section continues to grow and sustain itself for as long as social media remains a viable business tool for our industry.

Steering Committee Members:
Amy Bowerman Stucki, Carmi Cimicata, Lisa Fulmer, Eileen Hull, Vicki O’Dell, Taylor Usry, Kristi Parker Van Doren, Laura Weed
Our CHA Contact:  Paula Jones

Next Projects:
We are currently working on our Membership Criteria document and sub-committee definitions.  We will post those on the CHA website when they are complete.

Have you signed up for our meeting in January?
Social Media Section Meeting at the 2014 CHA Mega Show
Monday, January 13, 2014
E406 – Event
5:00 PM – 6:30 PM

Please do not hesitate to email me if you would like more information.

~ Carmi Cimicata
Social Media Section Interim Leader
carmimail@aol.com

5 Tips for Exhibiting Success: Turn Product Demos into Sales

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Exhibiting at CHA Conference & Trade Shows allows you to showcase your products in person for your customers. But how do you turn those product demonstrations and make-and-take projects into orders on the Show floor? Veteran exhibitors Advantus and iLoveToCreate share some tips for success.

1. Do a project over a demo. “Projects are typically more impactful than a demonstration, because creative people need to feel the product and make a personal connection with it,” says Alyson Dias of iLoveToCreate. The more impactful the experience, the more likely the customer will be to make a purchase. Choosing projects over demos also allows for more face time between the demonstrator and the customer, time that “fosters relationships and builds brand loyalty,” notes Dias.

2. Let the product speak for itself. By nature, craft and hobby customers are visual and/or hands-on learners, so seeing products in action will do more to convince them to buy than a hard sales pitch. “Customers don’t need to be told how wonderful a product is—they want to create and determine that themselves,” says Rana Coggins of Advantus. The more they determine how wonderful your products are first-hand, the more likely they are to buy.

3. Keep it simple. “Keep your projects simple and timed under 10 minutes,” Coggins warns. This allows you to make an impact in a short amount of time where a customer can walk away feeling inspired—and more likely to make a purchase.  “We love seeing the ‘a-ha moment’ when someone creates a project that was quick and simple but looks amazing!”

4. Make it fun. If customers enjoy making a project at your booth, they will be more likely to not only make a purchase but become loyal customers. “Have all the necessary tools and supplies kitted so they can be easily distributed,” suggests Coggins. And make sure the person in charge is enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the products, so he or she can be informative while making the experience fun.

5. Let everyone join the fun. It may be tempting to only make your project open to buyers, but remember to include bloggers, designers, and members of the media as well. “Their positive experience with products will translate into inspiration and education via magazines, websites, blogs and social media—which then inspires consumers to purchase at retail,” reminds Dias.

Using projects and demonstrations will help you have even more success at the CHA Conference & Trade Show. Sign up to exhibit at the 2014 MEGA SHOW today!

Social Media Section Update

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This summer I proposed that CHA consider a new Social Media Section.  This idea was warmly received and space for an inaugural meeting was facilitated and advertised by CHA at the Las Vegas conference in July.

Over 80 people signed up to attend the first meeting of the Social Media Section! Clearly there was interest so now we are moving forward with the creation of a new section.  We are looking for individuals who are content creators for CHA member companies who work daily to promote craft in one or all of the social media channels. So if your job responsibilities range from Social Media Manager to Blog Design Team Manager, the Section would be perfect for you! To read more about the Social Media Section, click here.

At the first meeting in Las Vegas we discussed our roles within our companies and went around the room describing various ways we share content through social channels for our companies. After the meeting we distributed a brief survey to the participants, which over 50% filled out. The survey was a simple one designed to just get a sense of who was interested in a proposed section and to gather information about areas of interest.  These are just a few highlights.  The whole survey will be available in the Social Media Section on www.craftandhobby.org by the end of the month.

This little block tells you about some of the social media roles participants were a part of.  92% are Facebook contributors.

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Most survey responders work part-time creating social media.  We do have full time managers however!

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Ongoing education and training was the number one recommendation for future activities.

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We have over 15 volunteers who offered to join the new Steering Committee for this section.  If you would like to join them, please send me an email.  I hope to set up our first conference call by the end of the month.

~ Carmi Cimicata
Social Media Section Coordinator
carmimail@aol.com


Participation in one of CHA’s new Chapters or Sections provides opportunities to interact with peers who share common interests, network at events and foster discussions on topics of professional and personal interest. CHA’s Chapters strive to create a welcoming and stimulating atmosphere for their Members based on geographical location, while the Sections are targeted to individuals who share a common interest in a particular segment of the industry. Chapter and Section Members do more than compare notes on business issues – they help establish lasting relationships community-wide.

 

Celebs Got Crafty at the #CHASwag Gift Suite – Teen Choice 2013 Recap

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We’re back from Los Angeles and just wanted to recap what an awesome time we had at the Connected Gift Lounge at the Teen Choice Awards! Together with our Sponsors: Spellbinders, John Bead Corp., and Kalmbach Publishing Co., we were able to promote crafting and creativity to a very welcoming Hollywood audience. Here are some of our favorite memories:

The Spellbinders team setting up their make-n-take table. Guests who stopped by combined creative fibers with a charm and a bezel for a fabulous bracelet!

The VIP’s all wanted to wear Fernando DaSilva’s jewelry from the Metal Complex Instant Glam by Fernando and Dazzle-It signature programs, part of the John Bead Corp. make-n-take table.

The teen celebs loved learning how to make their very own pair of trendy earrings using a metal riveting technique from the team at Brea Bead Works at the Kalmbach Publishing Co. table.

The Spellbinders team along with Dave from DCWV striking a pose!

Fernando DaSilva and Stephen Glickman from Big Time Rush on Nickelodeon. Stephen was a huge fan of Fernando’s work!

Everyone that stopped by the Spellbinders table loved embossing leather bracelets.

Jayden Maddux, who played “Young Buster Bluth” on Arrested Development, stopped by the Kalmbach Publishing Co. table to create some fashionable earrings.

Lauren Potter from Glee stopped by to participate in the make-n-takes and share why living a creative lifestyle is so important to her!

Rowan Blanchard from the new Disney Show, Girl Meets World, showing off her #pureMichigan “urban-coursage”, made by Detroit area children. Designer Sarah Hodsdon designed the bracelet and the children created them at Maker Faire at The Henry Ford museum. Many kids, not just the ones from Detroit, are in schools where the art program has been cut. By creating/designing hands on projects that integrate math and science concepts, we are able to “sneak” in the arts, and in doing so, safeguard that the next generation of minds will know the wonders of building with their hands and the incredible creativity that is fostered through the arts and crafts. The kids who built these will most likely never have a music class or an art class in school yet, their heroes, these teen choice presenters and award winners, touch them through the language that is universal…. art and music. When we #CRE8TIME to build, we connect in profound ways.

RJ Mitte from Breaking Bad stopped by to sign our marble-dipped surfboard donated by Peachtree Global. This surfboard will later be auctioned off to benefit the CHA Foundation, whose mission is to serve as a catalyst for the purpose of enhancing life through creative expression throughout the world.

We had a fantastic time and want to thank all of all of our wonderful sponsors, the celebs for stopping by,  and to all of you for following along and sharing in the fun! You can view more pictures from the event in our CHA Connected Gift Lounge Photo Album on our Facebook Fan Page.

CHA Members Getting Crafty at Teen Choice!

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We interrupt your regularly scheduled weekly activities for an important announcement: CHA will sponsor crafty make-n-take tables at an exclusive event to kick off the Teen Choice Awards this Saturday, August 10, from 9:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. PST. Countless people involved in the awards show (which airs Sunday, August 11 at 8:00 p.m. EST on Fox) will have the chance to drop by the Connected Gift Lounge, where they’ll get crafty trying out techniques to make trendy jewelry projects sponsored by CHA members.

Here’s a sneak peek of the make-n-take projects Hollywood-ites will get to create.

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Bezel Bracelet by Spellbinders

Guests will combine creative fibers with a charm and a bezel for a fabulous bracelet stopping by this table. All guests who share their creations using hashtag #Share5 will be eligible to win one of five $1000 donations to a Spellbinders charity.

teen choice photo for John Bead

Medallion Necklace by John Bead Corp.

Guests will customize their own statement necklaces featuring a gorgeous medallion. Jewelry components are from the Metal Complex Instant Glam by Fernando and Dazzle-It signature programs.

Filename: BKS-67031-CV_08.psdRiveted earrings by Kalmbach Publishing Co.

Wendy Remmers from Brea Bead Works will show celebs how to create a trendy pair of earrings featuring a metal riveting technique designed by Irina Miech. The materials are from TierraCast.

We’re incredibly excited about this amazing opportunity to promote crafting to Hollywood, and we’d love it if you can help us spread the word. Use the official hashtags #CHASwag and #TeenChoice together when you tweet or post about the event. And follow @CraftandHobby on Twitter as the CHA staff tweets live from the event Saturday, reporting which celebs go into the lounge and what projects they make. We’ll also be updating our CHA Facebook Fan Page as well. So don’t miss out all of the action on our social media accounts.

In addition to getting crafty in the lounge, celebrities who come through the lounge will have the chance to sign a marble-paint dipped surfboard. This surfboard will later be auctioned off to benefit the CHA Foundation, whose mission is to serve as a catalyst for the purpose of enhancing life through creative expression throughout the world. Special thanks to Peachtree Global for donating the surfboard and to iLoveToCreate, Kiki Magazine and Sarah-n-dipitous Designs for donating items for the gift bags of SWAG (Stuff We All Get) that celebrity presenters take home.

With your help spreading the word, we’ll let lots of people know this craft connection to this trendy event. Don’t forget to follow along on social media Saturday and then tune into the Teen Choice Awards this Sunday!

Crafting Communities: CHA’s NEW Social Media Section To Meet At Create-n-Connect

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In order to manage the numerous social media streams available (and necessary) a new job has been created at many CHA companies, often titled: Social Media Manager.  These jobs and indeed careers did not exist a few years ago. 

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Based on the need to teach and explain how products work, the craft industry became a social media early adopter.  Designers and crafty entrepreneurs began to channel their artistic skills in new ways to effectively represent a company or product to the world-at-large. Utilizing online presentations, tutorials, tweets, YouTube videos and Facebook postings they made their presence felt.

I found that most of the work I now do is ultimately used online in some way. The majority of my studio work is to ensure that I create interesting and informative content for an online viewing/reading audience on behalf of the crafty CHA companies for whom I am engaged.

I have been looking for a way to connect and work with other people with similar social media responsibilities.  I approached Andrej Suskavcevic, CHA’s President & CEO, and Sue Turchick, Vice President, Membership to see if CHA might offer a networking opportunity within the CHA family of recognized “Sections.”  Happily, they responded immediately and have supported this idea by organizing space and a block of time for an inaugural meeting of the proposed Social Media Section.  This meeting will occur on Tuesday July 23, 2013 – 5:30-7:00pm as part of the summer Create-n-Connect Conference and Trade Show in Las Vegas.
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This meeting is geared to those whose job responsibilities range from Social Media Manager to Blog Design Team Manager.  We are looking for individuals who are content creators for CHA member companies and work daily to promote craft in one or all of the social media channels.

I believe that we could learn a great deal from each other.  I also believe that we might work together on some bigger joint initiatives in the future.  Please consider attending this event.  If you have a social media manager please consider sending them to this meeting!  If your social media person is not or has not attended CHA in the past, consider sending them to the January 2014 meeting.  I am certain we will have even more to discuss, learn and develop as social media continues to change the way companies sell, market and build brand loyalty.

To attend this meeting you must sign up to attend as part of the for the Create-n-Connect Conference & Trade Show registration.

E202: Social Media Section Meeting
(Tuesday, July 23, 2013 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM)

~ Carmi Cimicata, Social Media Designer

If needed:
I am the social media designer for
Resin Crafts Blog
John Bead Blog
John Bead Outlet Blog
Dazzle-it Blog
Metal Complex Blog

Education & Inspiration: Perks of CHA Membership


One of the biggest benefits to membership in the Craft Hobby Association (CHA) is the amazing educational opportunities at each conference and trade show. As an independent retailer, I find the seminars, panel discussions, workshops and classes invaluable to my business, and I enjoy several perks from them.

Perk #1: Instruction from the pros. Respected industry professionals teach the education programs presented at each CHA conference and trade show, so you can be sure you’re learning from accomplished colleagues. Whether it’s successful craft business owners or creative crafting powerhouses, all workshop or class leaders are knowledgeable resources for the topic they teach. Learning directly from a product’s designer is one of my favorite education perks because the enthusiasm a designer has for the product gives me a creative boost, and I’m able to pass that enthusiasm onto my customers.

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Perk #2: Programs on the latest topics and products in the crafting industry.  At a CHA trade show, you can take classes to help you market your business better, know the latest craft industry trends, create inspiring classes for your customers, and more. I pride myself on having an educated staff that can demonstrate how to use products and let the customers try them as well, so many of the classes we take surround learning the latest products. The teachers provide generous class kits filled with product, so we’re able to demo and create more samples without opening stock.

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Perk #3: Ready-to-use ideas for your business. From social media promotional tips to business management strategies to creative display ideas, I return from each CHA trade show and conference inspired with tons of ideas that I can start using right away for my business. Coming back to the store with finished samples using the newest products allows me to display and translate those samples into immediate classes, which means additional revenue right away.

Perk #4: Fantastic networking opportunities while you learn. Attending classes and business seminars allows you to network with fellow store owners, product developers and designers to gain further connections valuable to your business. I have met many knowledgeable and friendly CHA members just by sitting down at a session. The information and tips shared by fellow attendees have led me to purchase from a wide variety of vendors and have given me the confidence to try new things in my store.

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The educational opportunities at the CHA trade show and conference are amazing. As soon as each show’s educational programs are posted, I begin planning to attend as many classes and seminars as possible. I invite you to do the same.

I can’t wait for the Create-n-Connect Conference & Trade Show in July!

– Tracie Larson, Owner, Papercraft Clubhouse

 

Become a Member Today and Enjoy all the Benefits CHA Offers!
Special offer to new members, sign up now and gain access to the Create-n-Connect Trade Show floor for FREE! That’s a $200 Value!
Click Here to Join Today!

A Key To Retail Marketing Success


By Bob Negen, Retail Expert, Author and Speaker, WhizBang! Training

There’s a Chinese proverb that says the weakest link is stronger than the most powerful memory. I know, I know, some of you are thinking, “Well, what in the world does that have to do with marketing?” The simple answer is everything.

A major key to success in all your marketing efforts is to build on past successes. To make sure that everything you did right last year, you’ll do right again this year. There is something you can do that will dramatically increase the probability that every marketing activity you engage in will be more powerful, more profitable, each time you do it.

Create a marketing book. In fact, as soon as you’re done reading this post, start creating a marketing book of your own, or nominate a trusty staff member to get it started for you. My colleague, Aubrey is responsible for maintaining our marketing books at WhizBang! Training. Aubrey prints out every marketing activity that we engage in here at WhizBang! Training and it is noted in this book.

For example, in our marketing book you can see printed documentation of our intensive training sessions, sales, and our public events like the Retail Success Summit, etc. Every email we send out and every Tip of the Week also gets printed and put in the book along with the reports from our email service provider with the open and the click rates. You see, we’re gathering information we need to make smarter business decisions in the future. Building success!

So make sure to put everything that is related to your marking efforts in your marketing book! Every time you get a press release printed in the media, it goes in there. Notes you make about special events and promotions, put them in there! Emails and social media posts you send about your promotions… well, you get it. It all goes in this book. It will be invaluable to you.

This is powerful stuff, folks! If you want to learn more great strategies to grow your business without spending a fortune, be sure to register for my Two Part Marketing Intensive Boot Camp at the CHA Creative Conference. I will be at the Stationery Show presenting Explode Your Sales: Part 1-Maximum Bang For Your Marketing Bucks on Sunday, May 19 from 3:30-5:00 pm. Part 2-Mining Diamonds In Your Own Backyard is on Monday, May 20 from 9-10:30 am.

I will share with you super easy and proven marketing tips and techniques on how to make more money in your store! Each of these programs was created to stand alone. But, of course, you will gain much more value when you attend both. In fact, I am so confident that I will give you a full refund from my own pocket if you don’t walk away with immediately actionable tactics on how to pull in new customers and boost your sales.

Don’t waste another dollar on your marketing efforts… join me at the Boot Camp!

Bob Negen discovered his entrepreneurial spirit at the young age of 23 and opened one of the world’s first kite stores. In 20 years he helped change the public’s perception of the kite from a child’s toy to an “eco-friendly” hobby for families and people of all ages. In those 20 years he grew his company from $17,000 to over $3 million in annual sales. In 1998 the company was named “Retailer of the Year” by the Kite Trade Association. Bob was also instrumental in helping create a nationwide yo-yo boom. At one time his company employed eight full time yo-yo professionals performing in schools, malls, nationally broadcast parades, professional sporting events, and other large entertainment venues. While building the national craze, his company opened “Yo-Yo Universe” kiosks in over a dozen malls, hired and trained over 150 employees using his unique training system, and sold over $2 million worth of yo-yos. All in a little over 6 months! His yo-yo adventure forced Bob to boil down 20 years of hard-earned experience about life as an entrepreneur into a fun, but no-nonsense, only-if-it-works outlook on business. This “make it fun, but get it done” attitude has given Bob an expert edge not only in marketing but also in practical, proven customer service practices, solid common-sense employee management, super efficient operations, and focusing the entrepreneurial spirit.

Why YOU Should Be At The CHA Creative Conference – May 18-20, 2013


The Early Registration Deadline for the Creative Conference at the National Stationery Show is May 14th. Register now to take part in any of the several conference programs focused on:

  • The online consumer
  • Best practices on how to maximize your marketing
  • Social media strategies
  • Certification to teach Mixed Media

For program details and to register, CLICK HERE.

What makes one store great and another just a place to buy stuff?


by Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender, Kizer & Bender Speaking!, CHA 2013 Retailing Experts

What makes one store great and another just a place to buy stuff? Join us at 1:00 PM EST on April 3, 2013 for The Inside Secrets of Charisma Retailers™” and find out!

Here’s the deal: Today’s customers are busy, and maybe just a little bit bored with the “same old, same old” they find in too many stores. This makes your job tougher because these consumers expect more than ever before.

We’ve come to realize that there are two kinds of retailers today: Commodity Retailers who make no effort to do much more than they are supposed to do: open for business and hope for the best. Commodity retail associates are there just to collect a paycheck. There’s no customer buzz about town and no fizz on the sales floor, merely shelves full of stuff.

And then there are Charisma Retailers™ who thrive on creating a unique in-store experience that customers just can’t get anywhere else. Charisma retail associates share the same values as the store’s owner: they are there to serve and delight customers.

Any retailer, regardless of what they sell, can be a Commodity Retailer or a Charisma Retailer™; it’s a choice that’s yours to make. Charisma Retailers™ thrive on reinvention. They understand how to live in the present while keeping an eye on the future. They know that the special things they do for customers today, will be the expected things of tomorrow, so they are always on the lookout for new ideas.

We hope you’ll join us on April 1 for The Inside Secrets of Charisma Retailers™. We’ll share ideas and inspirations, and we’ll take your questions to help you unleash your inner charisma!

And afterwards, we hope you’ll take time sit down in a quiet room with a notebook and pencil. Let your mind wander, imagining what your store will be like a year from now. Who will be your customers and what will they demand of you?  What aren’t you doing today that you need to in order to meet future challenges? Keep this notebook handy and do this exercise for fifteen minutes each week.

In time, you’ll be amazed at how quickly the ideas begin to flow, multiply and become reality.  Before long, the retail status quo won’t be good enough for you – you’ll have crossed over from commodity retailing into the rare air Charisma Retailers™ breathe every single day.

Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender are professional speakers, retail strategists, authors and consultants whose client list reads like a “Who’s Who” in business. Companies internationally depend upon them for timely advice on consumers and the changing retail market place.

In 2010 KIZER & BENDER made Meetings & Conventions Magazine’s list of Meeting Planners Favorite Keynote Speakers; they’ve also been named “Two of Retailing’s Most Influential People.” And with good reason: Rich and Georganne are experts on generational diversity, consumer trends, marketing and promotion, and everything retail. They are widely referred to as retail anthropologists because they stalk and study that most elusive of mammals: today’s consumer. Visit their website for more information: http://www.kizerandbender.com.

The Inside Secrets of Charisma Retailers™

Date: April 3, 2013
Time: 1:00 PM EST – 2:00 PM EST

Click Here to Register