CHA Summer Show Statistics!

The CHA 2010  Summer Show demonstrates growth during a down economy despite the trade show industry’s projected declines.  Square footage up, exhibitors up, new exhibitors up, total buyers up, etc…

Read the complete press release at


Today at 9:55 a.m. Michael McCooey (CHA Board Chair), Steve Berger (CHA President & CEO) and Brad Stephens (Mayor of Rosemont) will officially open the annual Summer Show in a ribbon cutting ceremony with scissors provided by Westcott. 

While CHA is not immune to the ebbs and flows of a recovering economy we are pleased to report that the CHA 2010  Summer Show is 9% larger than the 2009 Summer Show with about 9% more exhibitors.  So this year, take advantage of growing CHA Summer Show by participating in the business education as well as the show floor sales activity.

Guest Blogger: Crafty Chica’s checklist for CHA!

I leave this Saturday for CHA. It will be my tenth visit (three times as a newspaper reporter, seven as a professional crafter), but I’ll be doing something new this time – helping to set up the iLoveToCreate booth from scratch!

The show doesn’t open until Tuesday, so that means our team will have two days to transform our space from concrete to craftabulous. That’s 48 whole hours! However, being a reality show junkie, I know those minutes will disappear faster than a tube of squeeze glitter in a kindergarten classroom. I’m bringing my Flip Video to film all the action. I know there will be plenty, I can smell it already. I’m preparing for this gig in many ways. I’ve already bought a pair of cushiony insoles for my sneakers. Not just any insoles, these were labeled “WORKER” for construction and factory workers!

Let me fast forward to my crafty checklist for when the show actually opens. I’m there to demo in the iLoveToCreate booth, teach a class at the Super Show Craft Academy, do a live web broadcast with Cool2Craft, sneak in all the make-and-takes I can, and of course mingle, chat, hug, joke, play and HAVE FUN!!

To reach my MHP (Maximum Happy Potential), these are the things I’m bringing. In no particular order:

Scissor necklace. This is a cord necklace that has a mini-set of scissors attached to it. You never know when you need to cut something! However, I learned at the last show that scissor necklaces are more sought after than the One Ring. My last set was misplaced. Somehow, some way, I’ll score a new one in time for the show.

Permanent markers. There are plenty of crafty people walking around asking for artful contributions to their clothing, books, fabric swatches, emergency signs, suitcases, etc.

Portable handiwipes.
I have this bad habit of trying to walk from Point A to Point B, but get sidetracked with the awesome make-and-takes going on. So I’ll sit down and speed craft and then I have to remove the evidence from my hands before I get back to my assigned workstation. Handiwipes are perfect for this! They are also good because many times I’ll come across a fellow crafter who needs one badly, and it always feels good to help out!

Batteries for my Flip Video. They are so expensive at the hotel! I buy a big package before I leave.

Handmade goodies to give away and trade. I always make a batch of items to give away to people I meet, or to favorite friends, or even the clerk behind the coffee stand. One year I made bracelets. I’ve also made magnets, pins, rings, etc. It’s kind of an unwritten ritual that crafties do at this event. It’s a fun way to show camaraderie and a love for our community. It’s a great way to give shout outs when people ask “Where did you get that?”

Handmade show pieces to wear. I always like to wear new jewelry I made, or clothing items. Everyone does this, it’s a great way to express yourself and share your talents without even saying a word! They make great conversation pieces.

Crafty 911 Kit. Needle and thread, buttons, Band-Aid, glue, safety pins.

An artful apron. There is glitter, glue, and paint flying from every direction sometimes, it’s good to have an apron to protect your fancy wearables. (I make sure the apron has secret pockets to collect stuff!)

The Comfiest Shoes in the World. Heels – no. New shoes that need to be broken in – nada. Flip flops – nil. The best way to soak up all that the convention has to offer is to feel light, airy and springy like a ninja, and that only comes from good shoes.

Lots of business cards. Not just any business cards though. I make sure they are up-to-date and relay my “signature story,” so people will remember me long after the show has ended.

Press kit.
You just never know who you will meet in the ladies room or in the coffee line. Editors, producers, retail buyers, movie stars, etc. I don’t suggest huge press kits though, people like sleek and light. Edit it down so it packs a punch!

One almost empty carry-on. This is because I always have gobs of samples, books, projects, and supplies to bring home.

Makeup to go. Lots of talking is going on, as well as pictures with friends that end up on Facebook and blogs. Lipstick wears off fast, so does eyeliner. I hate seeing pictures after the show, and thinking – “Geez! Why didn’t I freshen up my makeup?”

Mini-notepad. I always get inspired for craft ideas or for the novels I write. I also pick up many tips from my crafty comadres and know if I don’t write them down, I’ll forget.

Phone charger in my purse!
I’m an iPhone addict for everything and I begin to twitch and itch once the battery goes below halfway. I plug my baby in wherever I can.

Okay, that’s it. Did I miss anything? What are your must-take items?

P.S. My publisher is sending a box of my new crafty-themed novel for me to give away all next week. Mention it to me, and I’ll give you one!

Guest Blogger: “CraftyChica” on getting ready for the summer show!

For professional crafters, the Craft & Hobby Show and the Craft Super Show are our versions of a movie premiere red carpet event. Except we wear comfy sneakers because the carpet never runs out…it keeps going and going and going all around the convention center. As we make our way through each aisle, hands pointed in one direction and our eyes darting in another, there are flashes coming from every direction. But not from cameras – I’m talking sparkly new craft supplies that are going to be on the market soon! There are also art displays. And handmade showpieces. And make-and-takes. And freebies.

Luckily, I have a dream job where I work for one of these companies, iLoveToCreate. Every month I spend a week at thier Fresno headquarters and get sneaky peeks of all the cool new inventions they are working on. In addition, they manufacture my Crafty Chica product line. My job is to make as many funkfabulous (I make up words when I get excited) projects I can, using all the products. My boss asks for these to be “showstoppers.” Talk about pressure to perform! So basically, I’ve been working non-stop for the past two weeks, like an over-caffeinated mad scientist, making “showstopper” display items for our booth.

Here is a microshot at a piece-of-a-piece-of-a-piece-of-one of them in progress:

project in progress

If you have a crafty business and live in the Chicago area, I highly suggest that you bring some friends and check out the Craft Super Show next month. It is open to the public and you’ll get an insider’s view of a craft trade show. Opportunities abound. If you do make it out, come and find me in the iLoveToCreate booth and let me know how you like the event. It will change your life and take you to the next level of ultimate crafty hoarding artfulness!

Peace, love, and glitter!
Kathy 🙂

CHA Returns to Rosemont for Summer 2010

I am shocked but it appears that some of you haven’t heard that CHA is returning to Rosemont for the 2010 CHA Summer Show and Craft SuperShow.  So here it is again the official release:

Back by Popular Demand, CHA Returns to Rosemont

The Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) is pleased to announce the CHA 2010 Summer Convention & Trade Show and the CHA Craft SuperShow will return to the Donald E. Stephens Convention and Conference Center in Rosemont, Illinois after one season in Orlando, Florida. The annual CHA Summer Trade Show will be held from Tuesday, July 27 through Thursday, July 29, followed by the CHA Craft SuperShow consumer event from Friday, July 30 to Saturday, July 31, 2010.

“We are so glad to have CHA back home in Rosemont,” explained Christopher R. Stephens, General Manager, Donald E. Stephens Convention and Conference Center. “We look forward to working with CHA and its members to rejuvenate and revitalize the Summer Show and are also very excited to help promote the new Craft SuperShow to the crafters of the greater Chicagoland area.”

For more than 30 years Rosemont has hosted the annual CHA Summer Show creating a friendly and familiar venue for CHA and its members. Like many other trade shows, CHA recently faced declines in both trade show attendees and exhibitors due to the sagging economy. After trying several different marketing programs to revive the Show in Rosemont, CHA relocated the Summer Show to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida and launched the CHA Craft SuperShow consumer event in 2009 in efforts to reverse this trend, grow the show, and expand the industry.

The CHA 2009 Summer Show in Orlando attracted about 5,000 trade show attendees with a 5% increase in the number of attending retailers over 2008. Summer Show exhibitors came from 49 different states and Puerto Rico, as well as internationally from countries across South America, Europe, and Africa. Additionally, there were over 50 new exhibitors at the Summer Show. Many who participated felt it was a successful venture despite the recession.

Following the Summer Show, CHA staff started to solicit feedback from exhibitors and the general membership about the experience in Orlando. Based on post-show CHA Summer exhibitor surveys, 50% of respondents preferred Rosemont to Orlando while the other 50% were split among several other venues. CHA hosted several member conference calls in which members commented about a desire to return to Rosemont. Member emails about returning to Rosemont were also sent to CHA staff which drove further discussions on the topic of venue selection for the 2010 Summer Show. Based on the common and recurring theme of returning the Summer Show to Rosemont, CHA contacted representatives from the Donald E. Stephens Convention and Conference Center and successfully negotiated a one-year agreement with options beyond 2010.

“As a member-based organization it is imperative that we listen to our members and develop the most effective approach to accomplishing our common goals and objectives. Developing a practical strategy to grow the Summer Show and expand the industry are high priorities at CHA and are key factors behind the bulk of the decisions we make,” explained Steve Berger, president and CEO of CHA. “We are grateful for the creative minds in Orlando who partnered with CHA to develop a successful and meaningful program that helped increase buyer attendance and expand crafting participation with consumers. By working with our partners in Rosemont, we are confident that the Trade Show will grow significantly and the SuperShow will continue to gain momentum becoming an integral part of CHA efforts to expand the craft industry.”

What do you think about this?