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