Post-Show Seminar Throwback Series

So, you attended our Conference Program at the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show in Anaheim earlier this year. You absorbed a ton of information on everything from basic blogging and social media to legal and finance management.

Have you implemented what you learned to better your business yet?

Over the next several weeks, we’ll be featuring your favorite seminar speakers to remind you of the knowledge you learned and why it is important for your creative business.
This week we’re doing a throwback to Kizer & Bender Speaking’s seminar: Feed Your Brain: Engage Customers and Take Your Sales to Insane New Levels. Rich Kizer and Georganne Bender taught you all the things you have to do to be connected to your customers online – listen, interact, react and sell.

Watch this video for a quick recap of key online marketing techniques for your day-to-day business activities.

5 Tips for Exhibiting Success: Turn Product Demos into Sales

Exhibiting at CHA Conference & Trade Shows allows you to showcase your products in person for your customers. But how do you turn those product demonstrations and make-and-take projects into orders on the Show floor? Veteran exhibitors Advantus and iLoveToCreate share some tips for success.

1. Do a project over a demo. “Projects are typically more impactful than a demonstration, because creative people need to feel the product and make a personal connection with it,” says Alyson Dias of iLoveToCreate. The more impactful the experience, the more likely the customer will be to make a purchase. Choosing projects over demos also allows for more face time between the demonstrator and the customer, time that “fosters relationships and builds brand loyalty,” notes Dias.

2. Let the product speak for itself. By nature, craft and hobby customers are visual and/or hands-on learners, so seeing products in action will do more to convince them to buy than a hard sales pitch. “Customers don’t need to be told how wonderful a product is—they want to create and determine that themselves,” says Rana Coggins of Advantus. The more they determine how wonderful your products are first-hand, the more likely they are to buy.

3. Keep it simple. “Keep your projects simple and timed under 10 minutes,” Coggins warns. This allows you to make an impact in a short amount of time where a customer can walk away feeling inspired—and more likely to make a purchase.  “We love seeing the ‘a-ha moment’ when someone creates a project that was quick and simple but looks amazing!”

4. Make it fun. If customers enjoy making a project at your booth, they will be more likely to not only make a purchase but become loyal customers. “Have all the necessary tools and supplies kitted so they can be easily distributed,” suggests Coggins. And make sure the person in charge is enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the products, so he or she can be informative while making the experience fun.

5. Let everyone join the fun. It may be tempting to only make your project open to buyers, but remember to include bloggers, designers, and members of the media as well. “Their positive experience with products will translate into inspiration and education via magazines, websites, blogs and social media—which then inspires consumers to purchase at retail,” reminds Dias.

Using projects and demonstrations will help you have even more success at the CHA Conference & Trade Show. Sign up to exhibit at the 2014 MEGA SHOW today!

QR Code Marketing for Your Creative Business

By Mike Newman,

By now, most people know what a QR code is if they see it – even if they don’t know it by name.  Those ugly, square bar code things that you see in magazine ads, on packaging and coke cans – even on billboards and gravestones – are everywhere.  But though the average consumer may know that they exist, that isn’t the same thing as knowing why they exist.  What is the point of a QR code, and do I have to use it in my marketing?

It is a valid question.  Marketers always love the hot “new” thing – whatever is creating a buzz.  (remember when Groupon was going to conquer the world?)  But the existence of a new tool – and using it effectively and memorably – are two very different things.  QR codes have ridden the buzz wave – but are they worth your time?

I hope you will join me on April 10th for QR Code Marketing: When, How and Why to Use a New Technology.  I’ll walk you through best practices for QR code marketing, how to design a campaign, measure it’s success – and avoid spending a lot of time or money doing so.

QR codes have gone from buzz, to backlash – and back again.  But they can be an effective tool in your marketing arsenal.  After our webinar, you will be ready to engage and educate current and future customers, no matter what your level of technical expertise.

Mike Newman is the founder and president of, a software company dedicated to building tools to bridge the digital and physical worlds.  At, he helps consumers attach video, audio and photo messages to cards, gifts and crafts – and works with companies on digital strategies for their own physical product lines. Mike has been a technology expert for more than a decade, and has been featured on The Today Show, NPR, and The History Channel’s Modern Marvels as well as in The New York Times, Associated Press and more.  You can learn more about at

QR Code Marketing: When, How and Why to Use a New Technology
Date: April 10, 2013
Time: 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EST

What makes one store great and another just a place to buy stuff?

by Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender, Kizer & Bender Speaking!, CHA 2013 Retailing Experts

What makes one store great and another just a place to buy stuff? Join us at 1:00 PM EST on April 3, 2013 for The Inside Secrets of Charisma Retailers™” and find out!

Here’s the deal: Today’s customers are busy, and maybe just a little bit bored with the “same old, same old” they find in too many stores. This makes your job tougher because these consumers expect more than ever before.

We’ve come to realize that there are two kinds of retailers today: Commodity Retailers who make no effort to do much more than they are supposed to do: open for business and hope for the best. Commodity retail associates are there just to collect a paycheck. There’s no customer buzz about town and no fizz on the sales floor, merely shelves full of stuff.

And then there are Charisma Retailers™ who thrive on creating a unique in-store experience that customers just can’t get anywhere else. Charisma retail associates share the same values as the store’s owner: they are there to serve and delight customers.

Any retailer, regardless of what they sell, can be a Commodity Retailer or a Charisma Retailer™; it’s a choice that’s yours to make. Charisma Retailers™ thrive on reinvention. They understand how to live in the present while keeping an eye on the future. They know that the special things they do for customers today, will be the expected things of tomorrow, so they are always on the lookout for new ideas.

We hope you’ll join us on April 1 for The Inside Secrets of Charisma Retailers™. We’ll share ideas and inspirations, and we’ll take your questions to help you unleash your inner charisma!

And afterwards, we hope you’ll take time sit down in a quiet room with a notebook and pencil. Let your mind wander, imagining what your store will be like a year from now. Who will be your customers and what will they demand of you?  What aren’t you doing today that you need to in order to meet future challenges? Keep this notebook handy and do this exercise for fifteen minutes each week.

In time, you’ll be amazed at how quickly the ideas begin to flow, multiply and become reality.  Before long, the retail status quo won’t be good enough for you – you’ll have crossed over from commodity retailing into the rare air Charisma Retailers™ breathe every single day.

Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender are professional speakers, retail strategists, authors and consultants whose client list reads like a “Who’s Who” in business. Companies internationally depend upon them for timely advice on consumers and the changing retail market place.

In 2010 KIZER & BENDER made Meetings & Conventions Magazine’s list of Meeting Planners Favorite Keynote Speakers; they’ve also been named “Two of Retailing’s Most Influential People.” And with good reason: Rich and Georganne are experts on generational diversity, consumer trends, marketing and promotion, and everything retail. They are widely referred to as retail anthropologists because they stalk and study that most elusive of mammals: today’s consumer. Visit their website for more information:

The Inside Secrets of Charisma Retailers™

Date: April 3, 2013
Time: 1:00 PM EST – 2:00 PM EST

Click Here to Register

Mobile is Not Just an Option Anymore – It Is Essential for Your Business

Mobile Commerce and Computing for Business: Retailers, eTailers, Designers and Manufacturers

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

She walked into your store looking for inspiration, 10 minutes later she walked out empty handed. In four out of ten cases, it was her smart phone that caused her to leave without buying. By next year it will be 6 out of 10 times.

She had trouble using your craft product, so she used her tablet to look for instructions, but your site took too long to load on her tablet. So she posted something about her frustration with your product to her 800 fellow crafter followers and moved on to another project

She is going to spend big this year on Black Friday. She’s looking for the perfect craft kits for all the kids on her list. She wants them to love crafting the way she does. But, your site isn’t optimized for mobile commerce, so, she won’t be buying from you.

Mobile is not an option. Mobile commerce, mobile marketing, mobile reputation management and even mobile search and content are moving billions of dollars now and will only expand in the near future. Every day you wait to learn how to use these tools to help your business, you leave dissatisfied customers, untapped market share and real money on the table.

At ArtFire we saw our mobile sales double in a day when we optimized our checkout for mobile devices, the bare minimum we could do at the time with the many projects and constraints.

We have a long way to go. Mobile is so important that our entire re-build of the multi-million dollar ArtFire platform is designed, first for the phone, and then the tablet and only then do we design for the PC. We’re building “mobile first” for our future. You should be considering mobile first for yours.

Join me on February 20th for a one-hour webinar on mobile trends for 2013. We’ll look at the market, the growth, where the current craft customer is and what the future customer will be like. I’ll also give you specific strategies and concepts for you mobile future based on the type of CHA member you are designer, manufacturer, brick and mortar store or etailer.

That customer you’ve built your business around? Well, she’s got the tablet on the table, the smartphone in her purse and a new project in mind. Are you ready to provide her with the level of service she deserves?

Tony Ford is the co-founder of 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

Click here for more information and to register for Mobile Commerce and Computing for Business: Retailers, eTailers, Designers and Manufacturers