Whether you’re a seasoned CHA member or a newbie who’s just barely registered this year will be everyone’s first time at Creativation! I’ve put together a few tips ( many I wish I knew the first time I went) to make your trip to Creativation enjoyable and profitable!
Tip ! – Download the Creativation app
This app is key to having a good experience. Not only does this app contain the show’s schedule, and list of vendors, but it also has maps, social media tracking, and downloads for courses and classes. Once you input your schedule information it will also tell you what classes and events you have coming up.
Tip # 2 – Pack comfortable shoes
Don’t get me wrong I love trading in my daily yoga pants for my convention skirts and jewelry – but leave the heels at home. The showroom is BIG and you’ll be on your feet for a large chunk of the day. Wear shoes that will work for you and invest in some gel inserts. Upside – you’ll easily make your daily steps goal on your Fitbit.
Tip #3 – Bring Business Cards
Whether you’re a blogger or the head of a major company business cards are the life blood of networking. While this process might seem antiquated – it still works! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve met with someone that I wanted to connect with after the show asked for their card only to be met with a sheepish smile and excuse that they didn’t have a card. “They didn’t arrive in time for the show… etc.”. To be honest that slip of paper with your contact information will get lost in the bottom of my purse. There are lots of overnight business card services – it’s worth the cost so you don’t miss out on networking opportunities. Have a way for people to contact you – put it on a card.
Bonus tip: I like to carry small post its and write a few notes about the person and what we talked about and stick it to the card so I can remember them later.
Tip# 4 – Have proper luggage
This is not a “carry on only” trip. There are two reasons for this: First, you’re going to be taking home samples, lots of samples and you will need a place to put them. Make sure you have ample space in your luggage for these. Second crafting samples don’t always agree with the TSA. And while it’s technically legal to carry 30 metal crochet hooks in you carry on it might raise a few eyebrows (and red flags). It’s just better to keep crafting supplies in a checked bag. It will make your (and the TSA agents’) life easier.
When I first went to the CHA mega show I noticed while I was waiting for the exhibit hall to open that most of the people had a rolling bag. I confess that I thought it was strange (and a little dorky). After about 2 hours of walking the hall with my large sample filled bag digging into my shoulder, I realized the genius (and un-dorkiness) of having a rolling bag to put everything in. It’s worth having a rolling bag to save your shoulders.
Tip #5 – Smile and say hello
I’m an introvert. I make a concerted effort to smile and talk to people. It’s amazing you can meet at Creativation. It’s great to meet other creatives who have a passion for making amazing art, crafts and general awesomeness. I think this is the most important tip out of all of them. A smile and friendly attitude can open doors and opportunities.