CHA 2015 MEGA Show Brings Industry Together To Showcase Hot New Products

Featured


The CHA MEGA Conference and Tradeshow, the largest event for the craft and hobby industry, concluded a successful 74th annual event, January 9-13, 2015 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA.  The CHA MEGA Show, produced by the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA), brings together the entire industry for five days of education, networking and product innovation.

mEGA1 MEGA2

Exhibitors began setting-up on January 8th and they quickly brought their booths to life, as they, along with Show staff and the decorators, worked quickly to get the Show floor ready for opening on Saturday morning.

MEGA3

MEGA4 MEGA5 MEGA6

The CHA 2015 MEGA Show drew thousands of buyers from 56 countries to see the newest products coming to market. Good Housekeeping TV, MSNBC, Better Homes and Gardens and a host of other global media outlets were present to get a glimpse of tomorrow’s craft trends, interview small business entrepreneurs, and report on innovation, new products and industry awards of excellence.
MEGA7mega7

As a hub for learning, the CHA MEGA Show Conference offered more than 100 programs including Business Seminars and Workshops, Demo-nars®, Feed Your Brain seminars, Hands-On Labs and Artisan Workshops. Seminars with a focus on technology and social media were popular among attendees.

MEGA9

mega10

SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSC

Rachel Shechtman, owner of STORY in NYC, delivered an inspiring Keynote Address on “Rewriting Retail: From Making Sales to Creating an Experience.”   She gave attendees plenty of good ideas on how to re-think their retail space and make it a multi-sensory experience for customers.

IMG_0714 SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSC

Show opening day on Saturday morning saw the registration area packed with attendees lining up and exhibitors making last minute touches to their booths. The Show floor featured an array of education and interactive activities including an Independent Retailer Conference, product workshops, a Makerspace with live demonstrations a Designer Showcase featuring the hottest craft designers, celebrity appearances, and fashion shows.

megacrowd

ribbon

SAMSUNG CSC

show1

New additions to the Show floor also included an Art & Paint Pavilion, sponsored by the Society of Decorative Painters, that featured the latest art materials and paint suppliers, live hands-on painting demonstrations and a curated art gallery showcasing artists’ best hand-made decorative paintings from all over the world.

show5 how3

The Hot Product Showcases were a top destination area for Show attendees and featured 24 nominees in eight categories.  The winners of the Hot Product Awards, selected by a jury of expert media and celebrity judges, were announced at the CHA 2nd Annual Foundation Gala on Sunday, January 11, 2015. Click here to view the 2015 Hot Product Winners by category.

SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSC

show2 show4

The Show had its own Maker Space area, combining tech influenced DIY and inspiring presentations by craft industry innovators, Sarah Hodsdon and Jill Mackay.

maker

The Independent Retailer Conference — dedicated entirely to the unique lifestyle and responsibilities of retail small business owners—was an incredibly popular new Show floor feature that included 15 minute power seminar sessions presented by top small business experts.

irc1 irc2 irc3

More than 400 people attended the CHA Foundation Gala, a charity event to benefit the CRE8TIME Movement, the CHA Foundation’s consumer outreach program that is designed to inspire creativity in everyone.

In addition to the CHA Hot Product Awards other presentations at the Gala included the launch of a grant program with the Kids in Need Foundation (KINF) to support art education in public schools, Industry Awards for Exhibiting with Excellence and the 2015 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Click here to view all awards recipients.

gala gala2

andrej1 andrej2

In 2016, the CHA MEGA Show will celebrate its 75th anniversary edition, January 8-13, 2016 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA.  For more information visit www.craftandhobby.org.

Click here to view the MEGA Show Facebook photo album.

Industry Celebration and Giving Back Were the Prominent Themes of the 2nd Annual CHA Foundation Gala

Featured


Wow, what a night! The 2nd Annual CHA Foundation Gala & Silent Auction, sponsored by Michaels, lived up to its billing of dinner, dancing and inspiration. The themes of the evening were celebrating the industry and giving back, and we accomplished both in a BIG way this year!

Gala1

Everyone was greeted by a glass of champagne and walked down the “blue carpet” as they entered a “Hollywood awards ceremony” just for our industry!

Gala2
Gala3
Gala4

The first hour was spent at the cocktail reception and silent auction, the proceeds of which benefitted CRE8TIME and The Kids in Need Foundation.

Gala5 Gala6 Gala7

We had two amazing hosts in Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender of KIZER & BENDER – who should be, if they aren’t already, auditioning for the hosting gig at the Golden Globes next year!

7a

The program kicked-off with the celebration of the CHA 2015 Industry Award Winners.

The CHA 2015 Industry Award Winners went to:

  • Meritorious Award: Herb Lantinga, Notions Marketing

gala7b

Gala8

  • Industry Achievement Award: LaDorna & Robert Eichenberg, Ellison

Gala9
Gala10

  • Special Recognition Award: Joann Pearson, Michaels

Gala11Gala12

For more about the winners and the Industry Awards, read the press release here.

The program continued with the Exhibiting with Excellence awards, which went to those exhibitors who were judged on overall visual booth appeal; clarity of product being sold; access to make-n-takes; engaging booth flow; as well as enthusiasm and friendliness of Booth staff.

The winners of the CHA 2015 MEGA Show Exhibiting with Excellence Awards were:

  • Island & Peninsula Group – Spinrite

Gala13

  • Linear Booth – ClearBags

Gala14

  • New Exhibitor – Little B

Gala15

  • Critic’s Choice – Spellbinders PaperArts

Gala16

CHA’s President & CEO, Andrej Suskavcevic, provided an update on the CHA Foundation’s goals for the future, including partnering with other like-minded organizations to continue to drive the momentum of raising awareness for the need to devote more time for creative expression. In addition to the CRE8TIME movement, proceeds from the silent auction and raffle went to support the Kids in Need Foundation (KINF).

Gala17Every year for the past 12 years, CHA has partnered with KINF to harvest product from exhibitors of CHA Trade Shows, which has resulted in the collection and distribution of $1,591,019.75 worth of donated supplies to teachers and their students at the neediest of schools. The funds from the Gala that will be donated to KINF will be used to fund two grants that will help build art programs at a school in the CHA office’s home state of NJ. Dave Smith, the Executive Director, accepted the check on-behalf of KINF.

Gala18After dinner, it was time to award the 2015 Hot Products! 112 products were submitted this year – a record number! A celebrity and media judging panel selected the award winners based on what makes the product unique; how it will improve the crafter’s overall experience; and the interest it generates in crafting for non-crafters.

For the full list of the 2015 CHA Hot Product Winners click here.

The program concluded with the induction ceremony of the 2015 CHA Hall of Fame. This year’s class included:

  • John & Edna Clapper

Gala19

  • Jane Anne Davis

Gala20

  • Andrea Grossman

Gala21

  • Howard Hoffman

Gala22

  • Vince Naccarato

Gala23

  • William “Bill” Neu

Gala24

  • John E. “Jack” Parker

Gala25

  • Tom Yaley, Sr.

Gala26

What can we say besides, “What an evening!” Congratulations to all of the nominees, winners and the Hall of Fame class of 2015. We can’t wait to celebrate again next year!

Introducing CHA’s New Blogger Membership

Featured


By Andrej Suskavcevic

Last week we introduced a new category of membership for bloggers. This was a result of months of consultation with our Social Media Section leadership, the CHA Board appointed Membership Committee and the Board itself. Feedback thus far has been very positive and I wanted to take this opportunity to explain some of the thinking that went on that got us here.

CHA has a wide-ranging membership, not only by the type of business (supplier, retailer, etc.), but also the kind of business (beading, quilt, paint, etc.).  Though, for many our key value proposition is the MEGA Show, much of the work we do is supporting the various communities that constitute our membership. As the industry evolves we need to evolve with it. Over the last couple of years we have seen the growth of blogging within the craft industry. Many current CHA members utilize bloggers to promote their products or stores. Given that blogging has become part of the social fabric of the craft industry we felt it was time to highlight this community with its own membership category. Through this effort we look to help build the connections with other CHA members for mutual business success.

The criteria for membership were established to attract established bloggers that do this as a business versus individuals who are blogging to support their love for crafting.  It’s a challenge as to where to draw the line of being inclusive versus exclusive. Our current criteria seek to find that balance. See the criteria here. We particularly had this in mind when it came to access to the MEGA Show floor. We are looking for bloggers to be multipliers and influencers for the industry and not go to the Show for free stuff. We are additionally developing Show guidelines to help blogger members better understand the do’s and don’ts of networking and business development at the Show.

As we bring blogger members onboard we will be taking in all of the feedback we receive along the way, and if we see a need for a change to the criteria we will bring that to the Membership Committee for consideration.

I tip my hat to all of our members in the “CHA 2015 – See you in Anaheim” Facebook group for all of your feedback and thoughts. I read all of the comments and as you see above we are incorporating your ideas to make this a better, welcoming experience for everyone involved. Keep the feedback coming. It’s what makes CHA better.

Cheers,
Andrej

An Update From the CHA Social Media Section


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


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!

Walnut Hollow: Success Secrets of CHA Show Exhibiting


Walnut Hollow has been a leader in the craft industry for 41 years and a member of the Craft & Hobby Association since its inception. This inspiring company supplies fine wood surfaces, tools and accessories for hobbyists and crafters, and exhibiting at Craft & Hobby Association Conferences and Trade Shows has yielded them successful results for many years. Why do they have such successful results? Here are two secrets.

Success tip #1: Make personal connections.

Exhibiting at CHA shows gives you the opportunity to make personal connections with buyers, distributors, and other industry professionals. Face-to-face connections allow for optimal business and networking opportunities.

Walnut Hollow uses their exhibiting connections not just to make personal connections with buyers but to create partnership opportunities with other manufacturers for cross promotion. “Over the years we have built successful relationships with a variety of manufacturers to cross promote our products together,” says Christine Wallace, Marketing Communications Director for Walnut Hollow. “Buyers understand that their customers will not shop their stores for only our tools and wood products, but include other products in their projects.” Cross promoting with other manufacturers allows for extra exposure, as Walnut Hollow’s products can be showcased in partner booths as well as their own, so these personal connections really pay off!

Success tip #2: Showcase your strengths.

Exhibiting at CHA shows allows you to showcase your products in person directly to buyers, instantly inspiring them and answering any possible questions in the moment.

Walnut Hollow suggests you spend ample time considering various ways to showcase your products, narrowing down your ideas to what makes the best impression on the buyer. In order to sell their new and innovative products to CHA show attendees, Walnut Hollow makes sure knowledgeable staff members are on hand to demonstrate them and answer questions. “Sometimes interaction between those selling or demonstrating products and a buyer influences the buyer to help him or her understand why their customers would want to purchase Walnut Hollow products from their stores,” says Wallace.

Join Walnut Hollow and hundreds of others at the CHA 2014 Show. Make valuable business connections and showcase your products – exhibit today!

The 2014 CHA Hot 20


Be among the first to get your hands on the BEST NEW
PRODUCTS at the 2014 CHA Mega Show!

We’re talking Creativity . Originality . Ingenuity . INNOVATION! And the CHA 2014 MEGA Show is the ONLY place you can see all of the newest and most innovative products to hit the marketplace – and all in one place! You won’t want to miss the NEW Product Preview VIP Event (open only to Buyers and Media), on Friday, January 10, 2014.

DSC00123

Let’s talk CHA Hot 20!

What’s the CHA Hot 20? Just the hottest new items of 2014, hand-selected by an esteemed panel of industry experts, from this year’s new product submissions. Attend the New Product Preview VIP Event and you’ll be among the first to get up close and personal with a select number of never released, newsworthy products, and the companies that created them. You’ll also have an opportunity to speak with the innovators and trendsetters who are shaping the craft industry.

CHA is dedicated to providing you with the tools you need to help you grow your business! Don’t miss the New Product Preview VIP Event. Space is limited. Be sure to get your tickets when Education Program Registration opens on November 5. .

07-218-0_1532

P.S. Exhibitors: We want your new items! If you would like to participate in the 2014 New Products Program, please click here to enter product/product line(s) that will launching to consumers in 2014. Please note that any product available for sale in 2013 will not be considered for display or for the Hot 20). In order to be considered, entries must be received by November 29, 2013.

Social Media Section Update


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.

Social1

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

Social2

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

Social3

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.

 

CHA Behind the Scenes: Planning the 2014 Conference & Trade Show


Be a fly on the wall for this meeting of CHA decision-makers to learn what they have in store for the 2014 “Mega Show”!

Badge Registration Opens: October 1, 2013
Education Program Registration Opens: November 5, 2013

Visit www.craftandhobby.org for more information.

CHA Exhibitor Spotlight: FabScraps


Over the next few months leading up to the CHA 2014 Conference & Trade Show on January 10-14 in Anaheim, C.A., we’ll be profiling our exhibitors – giving you exclusive access into their business and how they benefit from exhibiting at trade shows.

FabScraps is the largest manufacturer of paper crafting and scrapbooking supplies in South Africa. This dynamic manufacturer creates trendy papers, spray inks and embossing powders, book- and journal-making kits, fibers, embellishments, and more; and next spring they will host their own scrapbooking event. We chatted with this fast-growing company about how participating in Craft & Hobby Association Conferences and Trade Shows helps build its business.

FabScraps blog post 3

Why does FabScraps exhibit at CHA trade shows?
CHA shows are the largest craft shows in the U.S., and specifically target the trade. As a scrapbooking manufacturer, our customer base is the retailer, and having a platform such as CHA shows to directly target them is a hugely worthwhile marketing and promotional opportunity.  Seeing our products in person on display and used in projects in our booth helps retailers see their subtle designs more clearly, which really convinces them to purchase.

FabScraps blog post

What are the top benefits you receive from exhibiting at CHA trade shows?
We get direct access to most U.S. craft stores, have an excellent forum to successfully launch new products, and take many orders at the shows.

What advice do you have to help manuf be prepared to exhibit for the first time at a CHA show?
Make sure your booth is designed well to enable maximum traffic flow. And ensure you have enough staff on hand to cover order taking, demonstrating product to prospective buyers and meeting with suppliers.

FabScraps booth design makes it easy for customers to see their products up close.

FabScraps booth design makes it easy for customers to see their products up close.

Visit FabScraps’ website to see more of their exciting products and find out more info about their upcoming 2014 event. And join them and other companies in exhibiting at CHA shows to help your business grow!

Download a copy of the CHA 2014 Exhibitor Prospectus today.

Click here for more information about the CHA 2014 Conference & Trade Show.