CHA Paper Arts+ Blog Hop – Day 4

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Welcome to Day 4 of the CHA Paper Arts+ Show Blog Hop! The ‘hop has been going great and the participation has been awesome!

We’re in the home stretch and we still have GREAT projects created from exhibitors’ products by CHA Designer Section members for you to see!

How to win:
There will be a “password” at the end of each designer blog post. Make sure you keep track of all of the “passwords.” At the end of the hop on Friday, May 22, you’ll need to use the “passwords” to form a phrase.

The first two people to tweet us @Craftandhobby with the correct phrase will win:

  • 1st Prize: $500 toward travel to the Paper Arts+ Show (trade only)
  • 2nd Prize: $25 AMEX gift card

Follow the #CHAShow hashtag on social media to share in all of the Paper Arts+ Show fun! Also, don’t forget to register for the  Paper Arts+ Show! Registration is NOW OPEN!

Here are your Blog Hop stops for Day 4:

First stop:
CLICK HERE if you dare to see CHA Designer Candice Windham’s inspirational project using product from exhibitor Dare2BArtzy.

Second Stop:
CHA Designer, Marjolaine Walker, put together a great project using product from
Linnie Blooms. CLICK HERE to see pictures of the project and the steps she took to create it!

Tomorrow is the final day of the blog hop! Don’t miss out on the final passwords to complete the phrase! Click here to view the schedule.

Top 5 Reasons to Sponsor a Workshop or Seminar at the CHA 2016 MEGA Conference & Trade Show!

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Interested in speaking or hosting a workshop at the CHA 2016 MEGA Conference & Trade Show? Applications are now open! This is a great opportunity to share your knowledge and expertise with buyers.

Here are 5 reasons why you should consider signing up:

1. Get your products in the hands of serious buyers off the Show floor
SAMSUNG CSC 2. Raise brand awareness
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3. Increase booth traffic through product knowledge
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4. Build credibility in the creative industry
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5. Get buyers’ undivided attentionSAMSUNG CSC

APPLICATION DEADLINE:
Seminar/Demo-nar applications are due by August 14, 2015. The deadline to be included in the Show Preview Guide is June 1, 2015.

APPLY NOW!
Due to size limits, filling out an application does not guarantee acceptance. Please make sure to complete the application in full, including your complete bio, references, and both a long and a short description of your subject for marketing purposes.

Fill out the online application today.

Independent Craft Retailers Reveal Long-Held Secrets

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By Laurel Lee Pollard, White Collar Crafter

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In 2014, the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) Paper Arts Section (PAS) Steering Committee was asked to outline educational opportunities that would be appropriate for attendees of the newly-launched Paper Arts+ Show. Responding to industry demand, the 2014 inaugural event was generously hosted “to-the-trade” by CHA.

It was agreed that, in order to respond to the educational needs of the independent “indie” craft and hobby retailer, the PAS Steering Committee would need to pinpoint specific challenges that the indie retailer faces on an annual basis. To that end, the PAS Steering Committee, comprised of the following industry insiders, created the CHA Benchmark Survey:

The PAS Steering Committee took this opportunity and came up with the following goals:

  • To establish a benchmark standard of comparison between similar craft businesses.
  • To highlight business factors and practices that make an independent craft retailer successful.
  • To share these standards and assist CHA in creating or highlighting existing educational/business opportunities to help businesses replicate this success.
  • To share data with suppliers who can use the information to adapt their products and services to increase independent craft business success.

With the PAS Steering Committee’s long-standing influence within the craft industry, and with the backing of CHA, the Committee was able to glean remarkable results. Well over 350 indie retailers from across the broad spectrum of the craft industry, both CHA and non-CHA members, responded openly to the survey.

As a former indie retailer for well over a decade, I can attest that the type of information available in this survey is normally only shared by the indie retailer with its closest confidant. This CHA Benchmark Survey is a remarkable opportunity for indie craft retailers to gauge their success against others in the industry.

If you are looking to take advantage of this timely behind-the-curtain information, including the key findings of the top 15% of independent craft retailers, I encourage you to experience the archived CHA 2014 Benchmark Survey Webinar hosted by Denzil Quick and Katie Kohlmann. This information and expert craft industry commentary can be found nowhere else.

** Let’s keep this valuable conversation going. I encourage you to share your thoughts of the results in the comments below.**

Craft on!

Laurel Lee Pollard
White Collar Crafter
WhiteCollarCrafter.com
Social: @WCCrafter
LinkedIn

MEET THE SPEAKER: MIKE PERIU

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CHA’s NEW eCourses are a series of one-hour sessions where you will have the option of learning live, or at your own pace through recorded sessions. They are an easy and efficient way to expand your business knowledge throughout the year!

Our first eCourse, The 5 Step Path to Getting Your Business Loan Funded, will be taught by small business expert Mike Periu.

mike-periu-experto-financieroMike has degrees in Finance and International Business from Georgetown University and is a seasoned executive with over 15 years of experience in small business finance. He is the founder of Proximo, LLC., a leading provider of small business financial education and training services. Mike is also a leading national voice for individual empowerment through financial education and entrepreneurship, having been interviewed over 500 times by national and international media. His appearences include NBC, Univision, CNN en español, Telemundo, HITN, TVE, RTE, SBS, MegaTV and others. Mike also publishes a small business finance blog available here.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m originally from New Jersey, but live in sunny Miami now. I have been a business owner for over 15 years and also invest in and advise other small businesses across the country. I studied finance and started my career in the corporate world, but quickly realized that it wasn’t for me. I wanted to use my talents to help families, entrepreneurs and small business owners make better financial decisions. That’s what I’ve been doing for years and that’s what I plan to do for a very long time.

What are the top five takeaways that students will learn by taking your class?
1. Attractive alternatives exist for borrowing money designed for small businesses.
2. How to select the right lender for your particular circumstances.
3. How to prepare your loan request.
4. How to negotiate to get the best terms possible.
5. How to calculate how much money you’ll really need.

What’s the biggest challenge owners face when applying for a small business loan?
The biggest challenge is being small! Traditional lenders are not interested in lending money to small businesses at a low interest rate. They are in the “wholesale money” business; they like to loan millions of dollars at a time. When they have to sell “retail money” – anything under one million dollars – they either decline or charge very high interest rates. My course will teach small business owners how to deal with wholesalers and how to tap new alternative options that are specifically designed for them.

Each week you’ll be covering a different step on how businesses can borrow money effectively. How is this style of learning effective?
Most craft and hobby business owners are busy working on the day-to-day responsibilities of their stores. They usually don’t have much free time, so it isn’t realistic for someone to take two days to attend an intensive training seminar. A couple of hours of lessons and assignments each week is a realistic commitment. Also, by spreading it out over time, students will have the opportunity to absorb all of the information that I’m going to share.

You mention the tide is turning and that money is now available. What do you attribute that to and how can retailers cash-in?
It’s only recently that new technology has allowed the creation of alternative small business lenders that offer reasonable interest rates. In the past, the only options were traditional loan products or very high-interest merchant loans. Today, small business owners are empowered through greater choice. They can cash-in by literally cashing-in! Now, more than ever, is the perfect time to raise money for a business. Interest rates will start going up soon, which will make financing more expensive. The sooner one can lock in a loan, the better the chances that it will be at a lower interest rate.


The 5 Step Path to Getting Your Business Loan Funded begins April 14, 2015 and runs through May 12, 2015.

During this five week eCourse, Mike will take you step-by-step through the following:

Week 1: Figuring Out Your Financial Need vs. How Much You Should Ask For
Week 2: Gathering Your Paperwork
Week 3: Finding the Right Lender
Week 4: Reviewing Your Loan Options
Week 5: Negotiate and Close Like a Pro

This course consists of a one-hour lecture and 30 minutes of discussion. Participants who successfully complete the course will be given access to a complimentary application review.

Register Today!

“Meet the Exhibitors” Blog Series: Art Impressions

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MeetTheExhibitors2Art Impressions is the next exhibitor in our “Meet the Exhibitors” series. Art Impressions is a family-owned business, which opened in 1987. Since starting out primarily selling educational stamps, the company has grown significantly over the past 28 years. Today, Art Impressions is well known in the craft industry for its comical characters, whimsical designs and interactive stamping techniques. What makes the company stand out is its incredible diversity of images, each one created by the company’s sole designer and co-owner, Bonnie Krebs. All of Art Impressions’ products are made in the USA.

Art Impressions LogoWhat products are you most excited about featuring at the Paper Arts+ Show?
We will feature some of our brand new Watercolor releases as well as some new interactive stamping ideas! You won’t want to miss seeing our new Spinners and holiday images.

Why should people stop at your booth?
We love attending CHA shows and spending time with our customers. Whether you order from us or a distributor, we always want to support our stores in any way we can. Stop by for some free stamps, promotional products for your store, demos and make-n-takes!

Why should buyers come to Paper Arts+?
We attended Paper Arts+ in 2014 and loved the experience. Spending quality time with our storeowners is truly invaluable. Events and food breaks were contained to the Show floor, which gave us extra time to mingle. We can’t wait until July to do it all over again!

Beyond your products, how can you bring additional value to the buyer?
Many of our current storeowners know that we love to do whatever it takes to help our independent retailers. At our booth, we love to show off new product and give you the tools to better promote it. Also, you’ll have the opportunity to grab some freebies and promotional products, as well as literature and packets for upcoming wholesale promotions, including our semi-annual Catalog Party. In addition, we will include card samples, posters and window clings when requested with wholesale orders!

You can visit Art Impressions at the Paper Arts+ Show in booth #301. Registration opens on June 3, 2015. For more information, visit www.craftandhobby.org/paperarts.

Workshop Success at the CHA Mega Show


by CHA Designer Member Carol Foldvary-Anderson /varyCarol Arts.

At this year’s CHA 2014 MEGA Show, I hosted an Oil Pastel Smudge workshop and I was excited to have had 22 Newbie “Smudgers” from all over the globe attend, some of the areas represented were: Mid-West to California and Nevada in the US, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and South Korea. This diverse group of attendees made it very exciting and to see them share my passion about a technique was very inspiring.
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This was the first workshop I have hosted with CHA and in doing so I am truly motivated to do more with the Oil Pastel Smudge technique then I had ever imagined.

I would encourage anyone that is considering offering a workshop at the next CHA 2015 Conference & Trade Show to do so.  You will reach new heights in sharing and creating, like none other.

Sharing in our industry is the essence of the creative spirit we are instilling in our association. Nothing can match the joy and encouragement you are able to receive when you give – you are able to receive so much more in return.

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There are opportunities available to sponsor a workshop at the upcoming Creative Retailer Retreat in Pittsburgh, PA. Click here for more info: https://www.craftandhobby.org/eweb/DynamicPage.aspx?Site=CHA&WebKey=ecd39676-7c45-4d0f-a36c-66cacf6bcffd

 

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.

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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. .

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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.

CHA Celebrates Innovation at the 2013 Winter Show


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.

Booth Placement Blues & 7 Things You Can do to Draw Traffic to your Location


The Truth About the Real Impact of Floor Location on the Overall Success of an Exhibit

By Jefferson Davis, Competitive Edge

You know the old adage in real estate…. location, location, location. This adage appears to apply to exhibiting too. Get the best booth location and your success is assured.

But is it really? Instead of blindly accepting this as truth, we might want to ask a few questions like “What is the best booth location?”, “How much of an impact does location really have on the success of an exhibit?” and “What can we do if we don’t have the best location?”

Best Booth Location Theories Abound

There are many theories on where the best booth locations are. And most of them are just that, theories, not supported with any hard research.

One theory says front and center is the best location. But in a large exhibit hall with multiple entrances, where is front and center, really? Another theory says draw a triangle out from the main entrance and try to be within the triangle. Another theory says the majority of attendees turn right when entering the hall, so be in the right center of the hall. Another theory says place your exhibit near your competitors. Another says be near concession areas.

As you can see, many theories abound. Which do you subscribe to?



Research on the Impact of Location on Success of an Exhibit

Instead of looking to theories, why don’t we look to research? A quantitative study of twenty seven (27) tradeshows conducted Exhibit Surveys concluded:
“There was no statistical correlation between a booth’s location in the front, right, left or center of the hall and who had the most traffic and who was most remembered.”

I realize this may not be what you want to hear and it may very well go against what you believe. But unless you can produce hard research to the contrary, you might be wise to accept it as truth. I think it’s enlightening and bit freeing too. It means you no longer have to be so worried about where you are located, because it doesn’t make a big difference in the end.

What to Do If You Still Don’t Believe You Have a Good or the Best Location

If you really don’t like your location, I guess you could try to get a different space. But that will not be easy to do in popular shows. Better advice would be to do a more effective job of designing and marketing your exhibit. For design tips, please read 21 Ways to Improve Your Exhibit Effectiveness.

Here are 7 things you can do to draw traffic to your location regardless of where you are on the show floor:
1. Do more targeted pre-show marketing letting people know you will be there and what they can learn and do at your booth.
2. Make sure your booth number is highly visible in marketing media.
3. Include a map of the exhibit floor with your booth highlighted in your marketing.
4. Do a better job of creating your exhibit description to draw more interest.
5. Use social media like Twitter and Facebook to announce demonstrations and events in your booth.
6. Use at-show marketing media like the official show directory, show daily ads and inserts, signs and meter boards.
7. Use city and venue marketing media like billboards, taxi top ads, hotel room drops, hotel room TV advertising.

By letting go of old booth location theories, knowing the research about the real impact of location, and using proactive strategies to drive traffic, you will no longer be singing the booth location blues.

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.

About Face: The Real Power of Tradeshows


By Jefferson Davis, Competitive Edge

Here’s a few interesting questions:
1. How important is face-to-face contact in how your company opens doors, build relationships and ultimately brings in customers?
2. How important is face-to-face in how you maintain and expand customer relationships?

Most of us would answer critical to both of these questions.

Ask your sales staff, if they are finding it easier or harder to get face time in the field and the odds are good they’ll tell you it’s harder than ever before.

Consider these two facts:
1. The average cost of a field sales call in North America is $596. The average cost of a tradeshow interaction is $227. Tradeshows reduce the cost of a face to face contact by $369 or 62%.
2. In the field, the average salesperson gets face time with 2.3 people per day. At a tradeshow, they can see 3 to 8 people in a single hour. Multiply that number by the number of people staffing your booth and the number of hours in the show and you begin to appreciate the efficiency factor of tradeshows.

Combine those two statistics with the fact at a tradeshow, the customer comes to you, with a relatively open mind, on your turf, in an environment hyper-conducive to talking and doing business and now you really start to see why tradeshows are one of your most effective sales and marketing media.

When it comes to tradeshows, however, ask the unsuccessful exhibitor what they are buying and you’ll hear phrases like; “concrete”, “real estate”, “floor space”, “visibility” and “leads”. Sometimes you’ll even hear things like “it’s a necessary evil” or “our absence would speak louder than our presence”.
Ask the successful exhibitor what they are buying and you’ll get a whole different set of answers like, “great opportunity”, “our most effective marketing and sales media”, “industry access” and “face time.”’

This may sound simple, but when it comes to tradeshows, being absolutely clear about what you are really buying is the first step to making them more productive and profitable for your company. When you strip a show down from all the big, pretty booths, the lights, images and sounds, what do you really have? You have an industry specific marketplace where the supply and demand sides of the industry meet face to face to talk and do business.

We need to face this fact… any meaningful results we achieve from tradeshows will be in direct proportion to the quantity and the quality of the face-to-face interactions we have with show attendees.

You can get more done in three days at a tradeshows then you could in weeks or even months in the field – if you approach and execute the show properly.

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 program. He can be reached at 704-814-7355 or Jefferson@tradeshowturnaround.com