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.

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.


There are opportunities available to sponsor a workshop at the upcoming Creative Retailer Retreat in Pittsburgh, PA. Click here for more info:


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.


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. .


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.


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.


“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.


“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 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. 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.


“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 (; Attendee Choice Award – Spellbinders Paper ArtsImperial Gold (; and two Honorable Mention Innovative Product Awards – June TailorT-shirt Transformation Ruler Center ( and We R Memory KeepersEnvelope Punch Board (

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

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