By Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender
In our last post we talked about how to prepare business-wise for your upcoming trip to Anaheim for the CHA 2015 MEGA Show. This time we’re talking about you. Here’s your “Getting Ready for Anaheim List of Things to Do”:
- Make your hotel reservations early – you want to take advantage of any discounted rates available. Choose a hotel that’s close to the convention center. Why not make your travel time there and back as short as possible?
And by the way, Travel Planners, Inc. is the ONLY housing company that can guarantee your reservation. Beware of other “housing” companies soliciting hotel room reservations. CHA advises you to NOT book through these other companies and to contact them if someone approaches you. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are solicited by someone other than Travel Planners, Inc.
- Book your air travel to Anaheim ASAP. You have a few choices of airports so shop around for the best deal. John Wayne Airport, Orange County (SNA) is the closest, but Los Angeles (LAX) sometimes has lower fares. If you fly into LAX, however, you have to factor in the cost to get to Anaheim.
You can get help on all things CHA travel here: https://www.craftandhobby.org/eweb/DynamicPage.aspx?Site=cha&WebKey=9c8cd328-26f8-4ba5-b09b-7f18b5e75683
- Book ground transportation from the airport to your hotel. If you fly into John Wayne, grab a cab. Depending on traffic, cab fare from LAX can run more than $100 each way, so be sure and check out the CHA deal on the Super Shuttle. Click here for more info: http://groups.supershuttle.com/cha2013winterconferencetradeshow.html
- CHA member Jenny Barnett Rohrs of Craft Test Dummies has a great idea for that extra suitcase you know you’ll need to haul home all the cool things you pick up at the Show. She calls it Turducken Packing: Simply nest a slightly smaller suitcase inside a larger suitcase and voila! An extra suitcase when you need it.
- Bring lots of business cards! If you need to order new cards check out Moo.com. You’ll find cool templates with nice finishes, great prices, and fast service.
- Stilettos are a must for women on the Show floor; the higher the better. KIDDING! You are going to put on some serious miles each day, so make sure your shoes are extra comfy. Crocs, clogs, sneakers, whatever. Just make sure they’re all-day kind of comfortable.
- You’ll find exhibitors wearing everything from business suites to team logo shirts to elaborate costumes. You, however, just need to make sure that your attire is professional and comfortable enough to move around in – consider the classes and workshops you will attend each day. There are no rules! We look forward each year to the Show floor fashion show – CHA members in all sorts of creative clothing and accessories they made themselves. Don’t be surprised if Georganne offers to buy your necklace…
- Show off your name badge! Don’t hide it, put it up front and center so vendors and all of your new friends can easily read your name. Another fun thing about CHA is the creative things attendees do to their name badges. They may start out looking like everyone else’s but by the end of the Show they’re a work of art.
- Convention centers and meeting rooms are notoriously cold. If you don’t want to end up wearing the table cloth, bring a sweater.
- CHA is one of the few trade shows that allows attendees to bring rolling bags on the Show floor. (Yay CHA!) Trust us; you want a rolling bag for all the catalogs and samples you will pick up as you peruse the floor. Shoulder bags, and even back packs, can be too much when you have to carry them all day long.
- Bring your camera and batteries and an extra cellphone charger and… How about a water bottle you can refill, and maybe some snacks. You knew we’d get to food… What’s our event motto? FOOD IS GOOD!
We could fill pages with our favorite travel tips, but we want to hear yours. What are the absolutely indispensable things you need for a successful CHA Show? Share them in the comments!
About Rich Kizer and Georganne Bender
Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender are professional speakers, retail strategists, authors and consultants whose client list reads like a “Who’s Who” in business. They are the go-to team retailers choose first when they need to make a change in-store and online.
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 consumer anthropologists because they stalk and study that most elusive of mammals: today’s consumer.
KIZER & BENDER are well known for their unique and intensive consumer research. Any speaker can talk about customers, but Georganne and Rich actually become them. In addition to yearly focus groups, one-on-one interviews, and intensive on-site studies, their research includes posing as every kind of customer you can imagine. And maybe even a few that you can’t! The result of their research is literally straight from the customers’ mouth: solid ground level intelligence you can use to better serve your own customers.
KIZER & BENDER’s observations are widely featured in the medias, including the ABC News special report “How Stores Hook You.” Their books Jingle Bells, Christmas Sells! and Champagne Strategies on a Beer Budget! have helped thousands of retailers improve their bottom line, and their bylined column, Georganne & Rich on the Road was twice honored with The American Society of Business Publications Editors Award of Excellence (ASBPE)
KIZER & BENDER will be presenting the following seminars at the MEGA Show: