Top 10 Reasons to Exhibit at the CHA MEGA Show

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CHA MEGA Show

The 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show is taking place January 7-12, 2016 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA. As an exhibitor, this is your opportunity to exhibit at the oldest and largest craft industry trade show in the U.S. and get your product in front of thousands of buyers!

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Incase that’s not enough of a reason to convince you, here are 10 more reasons to exhibit at the CHA MEGA Show:

  1. Generate new sales leads with thousands of big box and independent retail buyers who are ready to place orders
  2. Join 400+ exhibiting companies that are showcasing more than 9,000 SKUs
  3. Get exposure – Promote your brand and products to more than 150 global media outlets
  4. Leverage face-to-face networking opportunities
  5. Up-to-the minute exposure to all of the latest product trends and forecasts you need
  6. Expand internationally by reaching valuable buyers and media from more than 55 countries
  7. Develop new partnerships and expand your professional contacts
  8. Launch new products
  9. Increase brand awareness
  10. The only place you can conduct a year’s worth of business in four days

CHA MEGA Show

Valuable buyers from more than 35,000 stores want to place orders with you!

Sign up to exhibit today!

Exhibiting Questions?IMG_4301

For U.S. inquiries, click here or contact Nadine Schwartz via nschwartz@craftandhobby.org or 201-835-1203.

For international inquiries, click here or contact Andrew Morton via amorton@craftandhobby.org or +44 1425 271964.

“Meet the Teachers” Blog Series: Meet John Petersen of IMAGINE CRAFTS!

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jpetersenWe are getting to know some of our Paper Arts+ workshop teachers in this “Meet the Teachers” blog post series. Through the series, you will learn about their art and inspiration, the value in attending their workshops, and what you can expect to learn. This week we’re featuring John Petersen of IMAGINE CRAFTS!

The DIY with IMAGINE Crafts workshop will have projects that can be used as quick make-n-takes or classes in your store. The versatility of these projects will allow you to incorporate them into paper and mixed media projects, as well as stand-alone pieces for home decor and more.

Tell us a little about yourself.
As a child, I had obsessions with paper and everything that could be done with it: lettering, painting, collaging, and even bookmaking. My degree is in photography, yet my passion for paper arts led me to a variety of different fields, including printing and design. In high school, I began to make journals from old books in which I kept sketches, ideas, and clippings of my day to day adventures. Naturally, that led me to the altered arts (and three shelves of books!).

Along the way I picked up a few more obsessions, including calligraphy, beading and rubber stamping. All of these creative endeavors are evident in my current fusion of mixed media works, which combine paper arts with jewelry.

Currently, I lead the education and product development teams for IMAGINE Crafts, featuring Tsukineko. I am also on the design team for Authentique Paper, “The ICE Prince” with the ICE Resin creative team, and an educator for Prima Marketing.

What do you love most about the creative industry?
I am continually amazed at what other artists create, and how they share those ideas with others to help the industry evolve. The possibilities of this industry are endless, just like the artists who can grow and support the community.

What do you love most about teaching workshops? 
My teaching philosophy has been the same over the years – I am here to give you the tools to be creative. My role as an instructor is to educate on how to use those tools to let your creative voice speak and express itself. My only goal in teaching is for students to leave a class with the knowledge to grow as an artist.

What value would you place on attending classes offered at live conferences such as the Paper Arts+ Show? 
There is no other experience like attending a live class. No matter what your skill level, as a student you will always leave a class having learned a new technique or another way of using a product. Even if I have taken numerous beginner classes in the past, I still sign up because I know that it is usually in those classes that I will learn the one tip that’s priceless.

What are the top takeaways that attendees will learn by taking your workshop? 

1. At least one new way of how to use a product that they’re already familiar with
2. How to translate product knowledge into building a sale
3. Passion for being creative

When you’re not teaching, what can we find you doing?
I’m naturally curious about learning, whether it’s in my studio discovering new
techniques or experimenting with some crazy new recipe that I found on Pinterest. In the sunny months, you’ll likely find me outside either doing yard work or enjoying the view of Mount Rainier from my deck, dreaming up my newest creation!

The Paper Arts+ Show is around the corner and Show registration is open! Register for imaginethe DIY with IMAGINE Crafts workshop today!

Stay tuned for next week’s blog post where we will feature Bonnie Krebs and Kate Swanson of
Art Impressions!

Go on an Exclusive Tour of the CHA 2013 Winter Show Floor in 3 Minutes


Didn’t make it to the CHA 2013 Winter Show in Anaheim, CA this past January? Here’s your chance to go on an exclusive tour of the Show floor in less than 3 minutes!

Save the Dates for upcoming CHA Shows and Events:

  • Creative Conference CANADA
    April 11, 2013 Calgary, Alberta
  • Creative Conference NYC
    May 19–21, 2013 New York, NY
  • Create-N-Connect
    July 22-25, 2013 Las Vegas Nevada
  • CHA Town Hall Meeting in Utah
    March 20, 2013 Sandy, Utah
  • CHA 2014 Conference & Trade Show
    Friday, Jan. 10 – Tuesday, Jan. 14 Anaheim, CA
  • 2014 Create – n – Connect Conference & Trade Show
    Monday, August 4 – Thursday, August 7 St Louis, MO
  • 2015 Create – n – Connect Conference & Trade Show
    Monday, July 27 – Thursday, July 30 Charlotte, NC

What Will You CRE8TIME For…? (Show Us Your Hands!)


At the CHA Winter Show iLoveToCreate asked, “What will you CRE8TIME for this year?

What will you Cre8time for? www.ilovetocreate.com  www.cre8time.orgWhat will you Cre8time for? www.ilovetocreate.com  www.cre8time.orgWhat will you Cre8time for? www.ilovetocreate.com  www.cre8time.orgWhat will you Cre8time for? www.ilovetocreate.com  www.cre8time.org

We LOVED that question, and decided to have CHA Staff participate:

I will CRE8TIME for... www.cre8time.orgI will CRE8TIME for... www.cre8time.orgI will CRE8TIME for... www.cre8time.org

You can view all of the photos on the CRE8TIME Pinterest page.


Now we’re asking for YOU to get your employees, co-workers and friends to JOIN US!

Here’s what to do:

Our goal is to collect 2,000 photos by the end of February.

Thank you for helping to spread the movement. It’s amazing what we can learn about each other through creativity!

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.

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The CHA “HOT 20” Announced for the 2013 Winter Show

The Craft & Hobby Association’s (CHA) celebrity media judges are pleased to announce their picks for the 2013 Winter “CHA Hot 20” list of products. The CHA Hot 20 are headlining products that will be introduced at the CHA Sneak Peek Media & Buyer Event on January 11, 2013 during the CHA 2013 Winter Conference & Trade Show held at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California from January 11 – 15, 2013.

The CHA celebrity panel judges selected the “CHA Hot 20” from dozens of new craft products entered in the Innovations New Product Showcase. The following were selected as CHA’s Hot 20 products of the CHA 2013 Winter Show:

Faber-Castell – Mix & Match Gelatos Misting Kit enables the creation of colorful mists using a simple process and the tools using the 8 NEW Gelatos colors. Booth #1549.

Sticky Sticks LLC – Sticky Sticks are tongue depressor-sized craft sticks with the most amazing adhesive on one side of one end. They stick permanently to paper, ribbon, felt, foam, and wood. Booth # 2305.

CTF Enterprises, Inc. – FixNZip is a patented, zipper slider replacement that repairs zippers without tools or sewing. Booth #2105.

We R Memory Keepers – Envelope Punch Board is the first and only Envelope Punch Board on the market! Just punch and score for perfect envelopes. No scissors necessary. Booth #1664.

Ranger Industries – Tim Holtz Distress Paints are fluid water-based acrylic paints for multiple surfaces and are reactive with water just like Distress Inks and Distress Stains–perfect to accomplish a wide variety of artistic techniques. Booth #636.

Environmental Technology Inc. – EnviroTex Jewelry Clay® is a new professional grade Jewelry Clay® that will not shrink when cured. EnviroTex Jewelry Clay® will adhere to glass, metal and wood. Booth #1429.

Fiskars Brands Inc. – The AdvantEdge™ Punch System adds decorative borders to craft projects while the slide-and-lock technology keeps the paper in one place and slide the punch cartridge from one lock-in slot to the next, keeping every punch perfectly spaced. Booth #1000.

Fiskars Brands Inc. – Fuse Creativity System® is the only 12” system on the market that can die cut and letterpress in one easy pass through the machine. Booth #1000.

Beadalon – The Jewel Loom™ designed by International Jewelry Artist Julianna C Hudgins fits perfectly in the palm of your hand allowing for ease of use for a comfortable grip and ultimate control while bead weaving. Booth #1237.

Plaid Enterprises Inc. – Plaid FolkArt Handmade Charlotte Stencils designed by Rachel Faucett, include functional, family-friendly designs that come to life with FolkArt paint. Booth #1401.

Plaid Enterprises Inc. – Martha Stewart Crafts™ Glass Paint is specially formulated, high performance premium paints that are permanent, dishwasher safe, and UV/weather resistant. Booth #1401.

ImpressArt® Metal Stamps – ImpressArt® Design Stamp Packs offer jewelry and mixed media artists collections of metal stamps in themes ranging from weddings and family to sports and shabby chic. Booth #733.

Spellbinders Paper Arts – Spellbinders Imperial Gold is brings out the 4th dimension with die templates that cut, emboss, stencil and deboss. Never before have you had the ability to cut & create in multiple layers with a single die template. Booth #2565.

Katy Sue Designs – Silicone Molds for decorating cupcakes and candies are FDA compliant perfect for fondant, candy or chocolate top instantly. With developments in food safe colourings such as pens, crafters can now transfer colour techniques to their cakes. Booth #2725.

Purple Cows, Inc. – Encaustic Paint is handmade in the USA from the highest quality of naturally purified beeswax, damar resin with a 1:8 ratio and the finest dry pigments. Booth #2581.

Global Solutions, Inc.– Self Adhesive wax seals are an easy way to make your project special. Simply peel and stick the seals on to invitations, scrapbooks, cards, soap or wine bottles. Booth #610.

The DMC Corporation – Emma Broidery: Memory Thread How To Guide features more than 60 pages of instructive photographs and projects that educate, encourage and inspire crafters and stitchers alike. The book includes step-by-step instructions for trendy jewelry making and paper crafts as well as needlework applications. Booth #1337.

Craft Attitude – JEWELRY ATTITUDE™ is a way for jewelry makers to personalize their metal, leather, beads, charms and accessory jewelry items with photos and names. By printing right on the inkjet compatible film, photos and words are crisp and clear. Booth #477.

Krylon – Krylon® Glitter Blast™ Glitter Spray is a uniquely intense, sparkling glitter finish with exceptional depth that makes it easy to achieve an irresistible look on almost any surface. Booth #2508.

June Tailor, Inc. – T-Shirt Transformation Ruler Center, lets you mark and cut perfect T-Shirt blocks for quilts, tote bags, pillows and more. Printed grid lines and 45° markings to perfectly align and center t-shirt graphics. Booth #1291.

The CHA Hot 20 represent only a glimpse of the thousands of new products that will be launched or on display at the CHA 2013 Winter Show.

CHA media judges include Jenn Mason, mixed-media artist, designer and Editor of Cloth Paper Scissors Magazines; Nancy Nally publisher and editor of Scrapbook Update, a leading online source for scrapbooking industry news and information; Stephenson Darling a director for Northridge Publishing, a leading publisher of scrapbooking and crafting magazines and idea books, including Scrapbook Trends, Cards, Bead Trends, Create Idea Books and Creative Retailer Magazine; Julie Mc Guffee, author, craft industry veteran who is the current host of Scrapbook Soup; Jenny Barnett Rohrs is the founder and “craft evangelist” at CraftTestDummies.com, the “Consumer Reports” of craft product review blogs; Ana Araujo a 20-year industry veteran, author and Host and Executive Producer of the online Craft TV Channel When Creativity Knocks, and the host of the new show Mama Knows Best.

6 Keys to Conducting an Effective Pre-Trade Show Staff Meeting


How to Prepare Your Exhibit Team for Peak Performance

By Jefferson Davis, Competitive Edge

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You would be hard pressed to find a single professional sports team that does not gather their team members for a final meeting just before the start of every game. That meeting reinforces all the important information, strategies and game plans that have been prepared over the previous days or weeks. That meeting also puts everybody “in state” and “on purpose”.

In contrast, many exhibitors do not gather their show team together for that all important final meeting before the big show. Or if they do, the meeting is informal and unorganized. This is an oversight that can seriously impact your show performance and results.

Here are six keys to conducting an effective pre-show staff meeting:

1. Hold it the day before the show opens: While you may have several meetings in the weeks leading up to show time, the best time for the final team meeting is the last setup day. A good time slot is 4pm to 6 or 7pm or later depending on if dinner will be served at the meeting.

2. Make participation mandatory: Require all exhibit staff to arrive in the convention city by 2pm at the latest, if at all possible. In your meeting invitation, stress that the meeting is mandatory and that there will be repercussions for not attending. Some of my clients tell their staff they will not be reimbursed for airfare if they miss the pre-show meeting. Of course, this would not be enforced for unforeseen travel delays, illness and so on.

3. Have a key executive kick off the meeting: The presence of a key executive like the President or VP of Marketing and/or Sales will help reinforce the importance of the meeting.

4. Have a clearly defined agenda: The agenda should at minimum cover the following topics: introduction of team members with show roles and duties, key and emergency contact information, overall show goals, schedule of show & hospitality events, booth duty schedule, review of pre and at-show marketing
programs, review of VIP invitation list, discussion of staff in booth roles, review of best exhibiting skills, product messaging and FAQ’s for products, booth layout and walk-through, demonstration overview and walkthrough, literature distribution, promotional product distribution, lead capture process and lead goals, and sales offers and required paperwork.

5. Make it fun: You can make the meeting holding it at a fun venue like a bowling alley, laser tag, whirly ball center, ESPN Zone or place like that. You can also make it fun by having contests and team events during the meeting.

6. Carry it over to the booth: While the pre-show meeting is the kick-off, you should also conduct brief end of shift or end of day meetings to review how the show is going, discuss problems and opportunities, and make mid show adjustments to stay on track. CHA allows exhibitors to remain on the show floor for 1 hour after show close each day to allow time for meetings and booth reset. Remember, an effective pre-show meeting is a critical part of successful exhibit program. Be sure to apply the relevant the ideas in this article so your team with be “in state” and “on purpose” when the doors open on your next big show.

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.

CHA 2013 Winter Conference Speaker Series (Post 5)


Throughout the months of November and December we have featured the speakers and instructors who will be teaching courses at the 2013 Winter Conference January 11 – 14 in Anaheim, CA.

Business Bootcamp: Advanced Social Media Marketing

By Tony Ford, CHA 2013 Technology Expert; Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder of ArtFire.com and principle consultant for Bounce Rocket Media

Social media accounts for 90% of the brand impressions for ArtFire.com.  We use it to get more than 50 million impressions per week for our brand and our sellers’ products.  It is the single most powerful tool in our entire marketing and communication plan. Our team members are like scientists in the wild, exploring, testing, probing and looking for ways to make our programs better, and ensure that every effort can tie back into the actual revenue of our business.  In this workshop, I’ll be sharing that research and those methods with you.

I’m guessing you have social media accounts.  You’re posting things about your business.  You’re even getting some followers and friends.  This is the right thing to do.  You know you need to do it, but it’s starting to take a lot of time.  Your boss or your business partner (and even maybe you) are wondering, “What is this supposed to do for the actual money making part of the business? How do we rise above the crowd, above the noise and get our message out where it will result in more sales?”

Basic social media is so easy nearly everyone in America under the age of 60 is doing it, and the advanced level is complicated enough that even the few who do it for a living are actually doing it well.  It’s time to move beyond the consumer level, beyond the casual user level, and into becoming a social media scientist.  In this seminar we’re going to look at the tools and methods used by those who live full time as social media scientists.

You’re likely doing a lot more than just social media, which means you’re too busy to spend all day on this.  How can you maximize your social media impact in less time?  I’ll show you the tricks my team uses.

How can you tie your efforts to the bottom line and prove the impact on your business? You’ll learn how to  customize google analytics and prove that your efforts ring the cash register. You’ll also learn the sites and services to use to put a real dollar amount on the reach you are getting now.

How can you double dip, use software tricks, and create loyal fans and friends who will not just read your posts, but spread your brand far and wide?  Learn the copywriting, headline writing, and consumer psychology tricks to get your message moving and transition from publisher to thought leader.  You’ll learn how to improve your odds at going viral.

How do you make social media more powerful?  You treat it like science.  You study what works and test new ideas.  I’m  going to open up the laboratory and show you the tools.  I’ll explore split testing of social media advertising and message, the best practices for  launching new campaigns and how to use social media to boost your SEO.

Finally, I’ll show you what I read and who I follow online to keep up-to-date on social media marketing and exactly how I follow hundreds of blogs and marketing technique sources in very little time each day.   This is an ever-changing field, but with the right tools you can not only keep up with the changes, you can thrive where others may get overwhelmed.

Unlike a normal seminar, this workshop will be a mix of presentation, Q&A and hands-on work.  Think of this like a group consulting session.  The goal will be for everyone to walk away with real world methods they can use to save time, expand their brand reach, and make more money. I look forward to seeing you in Anaheim.

~ Tony Ford

Tony Ford is the co-founder of ArtFire.com and principle consultant for Bounce Rocket Media, a new media and social marketing consulting firm based in Tucson, Arizona.  Bounce Rocket provides social media marketing and new media marketing services including staff training, account management and education for a wide range of firms with a special focus on creative professionals in the art, music and literature space as well as small business and non-profits.  More information can be found at BounceRocket.com.

CHA Conference Program registration is OPEN!  Click here for more information and to register. Register for a Conference Program by December, 21st and be entered to win TWO admission passes to Disneyland Park.

The Most Overlooked Key to CHA Exhibiting Success


By Jefferson Davis, Competitive Edge

Guess what percentage of marketing professionals with college degrees received exhibit marketing as part of their university curriculum?  2% |  7% |  13% | 24%?

If you guessed 2% you are right. As a nationally recognized tradeshow expert, I am often asked “What is the single most important key to making tradeshows deliver real results for our company?” People expect me to tell them things like “get a better booth location”, “build a bigger, flashier exhibit”, “do a better job promoting your exhibit”, “demonstrate your products better”, “capture better leads” and things like that.

All of these things can help. But, when I tell them the single most important key to making tradeshows deliver meaningful and measurable results is to update and expand their company’s exhibiting knowledge base, they look surprised. They tell me “we know how to exhibit, we’ve been doing it for years.” I then ask them to tell me about the results their exhibit program is delivering, and far too few exhibitors can speak of any specific results. They all seem to know what they are spending, but too few know what they are really getting.

The question of how to make tradeshows deliver results is a very poignant question because many companies’ exhibit programs fail to deliver measurable and meaningful results. I believe strongly that the lack of formal exhibiting knowledge is one of the main reasons.

Consider these shocking exhibiting industry statistics:

  • Only 24% of exhibitors set objectives for tradeshows
  • Less than 20% of exhibitors do any form of targeted pre-show marketing.
  • 84% of booth staffers have never received training on how to work a tradeshow
  • 76% of sales people views tradeshow leads as “cold” calls.
  • 87% of tradeshow leads captured are never effectively followed up on.
  • Only 14% of exhibitors have any organized form of post-show measurement.

These statistics point to a major problem. Marketing departments spend almost 1/3 of their annual marketing budget on tradeshows. Sales department are asked to staff the exhibit, often against their will or desire. Both departments spend significant financial and human capital, and both with very little formal education or training on how to best do so. And it shows in their results.

Tradeshows have changed in complexity over the last several years. The body of knowledge on how to make tradeshows productive and profitable has exploded and yet far too few exhibitors are seeking out the latest thinking and best exhibiting practices. Many companies are operating on an exhibiting model that is 10 years outdated.

So where do you look for the latest and best exhibiting practices? While there are many good resources, CHA is a great place to start. All exhibitors, in the three months leading up to the trade show, will receive a bimonthly e-newsletter with timely, “how-to” articles, exhibiting tips, cost saving advice and deadline reminders. Exhibitors can also access the CHA Exhibitor Update e-newsletter and the Successful Exhibiting Article Series through the Exhibitor Success & ROI Center (ESRC).

Through the Exhibitor Success & ROI Center, CHA is providing free exhibitor webinars, tips & tools for successful exhibiting, research and statics on the value of trade shows, and an “Ask the Tradeshow Expert” email Q&A program. Please make sure you and the key people in your marketing and sales departments read the articles and review the information included in the Exhibitor Success & ROI Center. Most importantly, please use what makes sense for your situation. By doing so, we can assure that exhibiting knowledge will no longer be a gap in your company.

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.

CHA 2013 Winter Conference Speaker Series (Post 4)


Throughout the months of November and December we will feature the speakers and instructors who will be teaching courses at the 2013 Winter Conference January 11 – 14 in Anaheim, CA.

How to Make the Most of Your Quality Budget

By Paul Milne, Manager, Restricted Substances Testing Services, SGS

There are a great many regulations out there.  Perhaps you’ve noticed.  In the United States in particular the complexity is compounded by regulatory requirements at both the state and the federal level.  Simply keeping track of all the requirements for restricted substances in your products can occupy a fair amount of your time.  To complicate matters, there are different requirements depending upon age of use of the products, with children’s articles naturally coming with more restrictions than those articles intended solely for adult use.  How can you ever test to all those limits?

The simple answer is that you can’t.  There are too many individual regulations to chase after to test exclusively for each one.  However, as you go through things, certain commonalities will crop up.  For example, most jurisdictions are concerned with the levels of lead and cadmium in various products.  This is notable because lead and cadmium make very vivid and bright colors depending upon how they’re combined with other elements.  Those same colors that appeal to artists are also the ones that can be problematic.  Do you need to test?

Not necessarily.  You can stipulate that those dyes and paints that contain lead and cadmium are to be for use by adults only.  To comply with the Labeling of Hazardous Art Materials Act (LHAMA), you will place statements on your product to the effect that these dyes or paints are only for use by adults, wash hands after use, keep out of reach of children, etc.  (To know exactly which warnings are required, you will have a toxicologist review your formulation and give you a Toxic Risk Assessment (TRA).  This will eliminate having to deal with the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) which is concerned with lead and cadmium (among other substances) in children’s products.

For the US, that leaves California’s Proposition 65 which is designed to limit the exposure of Californians to chemicals that are toxic, cancer-causing, or cause reproductive harm.  Normally, manufacturers try to eliminate the toxic substances in their products in order to comply with prop 65, but in this case, the toxic substances (lead and cadmium) are a necessary part of the product.  Not to worry.  You place a warning label stating that there are toxic substances in this product and that allows you to sell in California.

So you have managed to comply with US regulations and only gone out of pocket for the TRA.  By knowing what was in your product, you avoided unnecessary testing for things that “might” be there.  By classifying it correctly as an adult-use product you were able to avoid CPSIA regulation, and by understanding Proposition 65 regulation you knew you couldn’t avoid a warning label so there was no point in testing.

This realistic example is one way to stretch that quality budget, and I will be presenting more ways at the CHA Winter Conference as well as being part of the CHA Experts & Resource program.  In the meantime, if you have questions regarding chemical regulations and compliance, please feel free to contact me at pmilne@craftandhobby.org.  I look forward to hearing from the CHA members over the coming months.

~ Paul Milne

Conference Program registration is NOW OPEN!  Click here for more information and to register. Register for a Conference Program by December, 21st and be entered to win TWO admission passes to Disneyland Park.