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.

Industry Celebration and Giving Back Were the Prominent Themes of the 2nd Annual CHA Foundation Gala

Wow, what a night! The 2nd Annual CHA Foundation Gala & Silent Auction, sponsored by Michaels, lived up to its billing of dinner, dancing and inspiration. The themes of the evening were celebrating the industry and giving back, and we accomplished both in a BIG way this year!


Everyone was greeted by a glass of champagne and walked down the “blue carpet” as they entered a “Hollywood awards ceremony” just for our industry!


The first hour was spent at the cocktail reception and silent auction, the proceeds of which benefitted CRE8TIME and The Kids in Need Foundation.

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We had two amazing hosts in Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender of KIZER & BENDER – who should be, if they aren’t already, auditioning for the hosting gig at the Golden Globes next year!


The program kicked-off with the celebration of the CHA 2015 Industry Award Winners.

The CHA 2015 Industry Award Winners went to:

  • Meritorious Award: Herb Lantinga, Notions Marketing



  • Industry Achievement Award: LaDorna & Robert Eichenberg, Ellison


  • Special Recognition Award: Joann Pearson, Michaels


For more about the winners and the Industry Awards, read the press release here.

The program continued with the Exhibiting with Excellence awards, which went to those exhibitors who were judged on overall visual booth appeal; clarity of product being sold; access to make-n-takes; engaging booth flow; as well as enthusiasm and friendliness of Booth staff.

The winners of the CHA 2015 MEGA Show Exhibiting with Excellence Awards were:

  • Island & Peninsula Group – Spinrite


  • Linear Booth – ClearBags


  • New Exhibitor – Little B


  • Critic’s Choice – Spellbinders PaperArts


CHA’s President & CEO, Andrej Suskavcevic, provided an update on the CHA Foundation’s goals for the future, including partnering with other like-minded organizations to continue to drive the momentum of raising awareness for the need to devote more time for creative expression. In addition to the CRE8TIME movement, proceeds from the silent auction and raffle went to support the Kids in Need Foundation (KINF).

Gala17Every year for the past 12 years, CHA has partnered with KINF to harvest product from exhibitors of CHA Trade Shows, which has resulted in the collection and distribution of $1,591,019.75 worth of donated supplies to teachers and their students at the neediest of schools. The funds from the Gala that will be donated to KINF will be used to fund two grants that will help build art programs at a school in the CHA office’s home state of NJ. Dave Smith, the Executive Director, accepted the check on-behalf of KINF.

Gala18After dinner, it was time to award the 2015 Hot Products! 112 products were submitted this year – a record number! A celebrity and media judging panel selected the award winners based on what makes the product unique; how it will improve the crafter’s overall experience; and the interest it generates in crafting for non-crafters.

For the full list of the 2015 CHA Hot Product Winners click here.

The program concluded with the induction ceremony of the 2015 CHA Hall of Fame. This year’s class included:

  • John & Edna Clapper


  • Jane Anne Davis


  • Andrea Grossman


  • Howard Hoffman


  • Vince Naccarato


  • William “Bill” Neu


  • John E. “Jack” Parker


  • Tom Yaley, Sr.


What can we say besides, “What an evening!” Congratulations to all of the nominees, winners and the Hall of Fame class of 2015. We can’t wait to celebrate again next year!

CHA Experts and Resources Program: Pro Advice You Can Use

Being a member of the Craft and Hobby Association (CHA) has helped Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko conduct business and network with our fellow craft industry professionals over the years. But we recently had the chance to utilize a newer benefit to CHA membership—contacting one of the CHA Experts and Resources—that gave us valuable information to save us a lot of time.

 CHA Experts and Resources

Business regulation changes can be a bit difficult to sift through, especially when trying to separate fact from fiction. I contacted CHA 2013 Regulatory Resource, Paul Milne, to get the low-down on the requirements for annual testing of products. He answered me quickly, giving me valuable advice and letting me know how other vendors have responded to specific regulation changes as well. His helpful advice steered our business towards correct compliance to recent regulation changes that may have taken us a lot longer to discover on our own. And since time is money when you’re in business, he saved us money as well.

If you’re like me, your job requires you to know a little across a lot of areas. But when you need a deeper knowledge in a particular area or a different perspective, the CHA Experts and Resources program gives you just what you need. You’ll find objective, third-party expert available for information that directly affects your business. It’s like a reference library, but of people instead of books. And the variety of professionals covers a broad spectrum of business know-how to benefit every aspect of your business. I encourage you to try it today!

–Debi Naanes, Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko

Become a Member Today and Enjoy all the Benefits CHA Offers!
Special offer to new members, sign up now and gain access to the Create-n-Connect Trade Show floor for FREE! That’s a $200 Value!
Click Here to Join Today!

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

CHA 2013 Winter Conference Speaker Series (Post 2)

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

Jumpstart Your Business!

By Kizer & Bender, CHA Retail Experts

We’re gearing up for the CHA 2013 Winter Conference & Trade Show! What better time than a new year to jumpstart your business?

First up: Sheer Intensity! THE Retail Boot Camp, a must for every retailer! A down economy can either be an excuse to play it safe or a chance to outpace your competition – only you can decide where you want your business to go. Get ready for some crowd control! Our day long Retail Boot Camp will show you how to successfully differentiate your store from your competition, build a buzz about town, and thrill your customers all at the same time. No theories. No fluff. Just hard hitting information. On the agenda: Consumer trends you cannot ignore… anymore; techniques to hire smart, motivate, reward, and build a strong sales and service team; what’s new, hot and happening in Social Media Marketing, circa 2013; enough retailer-tested,no-cost, low-cost in-store events and promotions to increase traffic andbuild sales and profits; plus how to set your sales floor to sell with the latest in layouts and visual merchandising, store operations tips and inventory control. Save the date, Saturday, January 12, 2013. Seats are limited – don’t miss out!

On Sunday, January 13, we present Land Mines and Slippery Slopes, a BRAND NEW program that outlines 10 common problematic symptoms of failure – land mines – to avoid, how they affect your store’s performance, and what to do about them before they send your profitability slipping downward. You’ll leave armed with specific strategies to help you identify, avoid, and control your land mines, plus how to keep off the slippery slopes that erode and destroy your retail business.

Next up: One Size Does Not Fit All: Marketing to Different Generations. This one’s for retailers and manufacturers, actually anyone with customers. You can’t attract them if you don’t know who they are. Today you sell and market to five very distinct generations: LOMLOTs (consumers with Lots Of Money, Lots Of Time, ages 68+), Baby Boomers (49-67), Generation X (33-48), Millennials (19-32), and Generation Z (3-18). How these consumers respond to your marketing is based on their age – and their generational experience. Technology is huge, but how you use it depends greatly on which generation you are trying to reach.

LOMLOTs may be older, but they’re all over technology. Case in point: Skypeing with grandkids is huge. Texting is fun for Baby Boomers, but it’s as important as air to Millennials and Generation Z. Older gens still read newspapers, younger ones use them to line hamster cages. Gen Xers still enjoy magazines, but their kids prefer iPads. And if you still require shoppers to clip or print coupons you’re missing the boat. And a boatload of customers.

We’ve done the research! You’ll learn what it takes to attract each generation to your product or your store; when to go digital and when to hang on to tradition; which social medias go with which generations; how to get Pinterest followers off of their computers and in to your store; which in-store events attract which generations; how to effectively use e-mail marketing; how to optimize the consumer shopping experience; and more.

As CHA’s Retail Experts, when we’re not in seminars, you’ll be able to find us across from booth 1201 on the Show floor. Bring us your questions, concerns, challenges, opportunities, and photos of your sales floor for a one-on-one, customized consultation.

We’re excited about CHA Winter 2013. There’s so much to do and see and learn. And we’re thrilled to bring our wildly popular Sheer Intensity! THE Retail Boot Camp to the creative industry. So do yourself a favor and click here to register for the CHA 2013 Winter Conference and Trade Show. We’re looking forward to seeing YOU in Anaheim!

~ Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender

Conference Program registration opens Friday, November 16th at 10am ET.  Click here for more information and to register.

NEWS FLASH! Meet the NEW CHA Experts at the Winter Show!

News Flash!  Tony Ford, COO – and CHA Expert reporting…

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Tony Ford Reporting (click for YouTube Video)

On Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2011 from 8:30 AM – 9:30 AM in room 304D at the Anaheim Convention Center, stop in for breakfast before the Show opens as CHA says “thanks” for your participation in a special meet the new CHA Experts forum. Meet the Experts is a new feature of your membership, these leading consultants are here to help grow your business in 2012 with educational opportunities throughout the year in seminars, webinars, articles, and more!

Say hello to the Experts, and get help on your most pressing business questions.

o Emerging Technology Expert: Tony Ford, COO,
o Exhibiting Expert: Jefferson Davis, CEO, Competitive Edge
o Regulatory Expert: Rick Locker, Partner, Locker, Greenberg & Brainin
o Retail Experts: Georganne Bender and Rich Kizer, Kizer & Bender Speaking!
o Web Optimization Expert: Joe Rotella, CTO, Delphia Consulting

Space is limited. Registration included in badge fee, registration and ticket required to attend.

Timely Book for Retailers – Jingle Bells Christmas Sells


NEW BOOK from CHA Members Kizer & Bender entitled “Jingle Bells Christmas Sells!” will help retailers make the most of Holiday sales.

Christmas never seems to be far away when you work in retail. No sooner have last year’s festivities been wrapped up and the Christmas Sale is done and dusted, than thoughts start turning to the next round of Christmas fun. But, in the flurry of activity, crucial steps can often be overlooked as pressure mounts and retailers grow accustomed to the monotony of year in, year out in‐store preparations.  Go to for more about the book.




CHA Members Kizer & Bender Named to Planners’ Favorite Speakers

Meetings & Conventions’ Midweek News Rates CHA Members Kizer & Bender on top of meeting planners favorite keynote speakers.  Kudos on the recognition by your peers.  It’s great to know that our members are truly impacting not only our industry but touching many others along the way.  See the impressive list below…


Planners’ Favorite Speakers

by Loren G. Edelstein
July 1, 2010

Who is the best keynote presenter you have ever heard or used? Here’s what meeting planners told us (listed alphabetically).

Simon Bailey (achieving individual and organizational brilliance;

Tony Bennett (business speaker, individual and organizational effectiveness;

Ken Blanchard (customer loyalty, employee engagement, leadership, organizational change;

Walter Bond (“The Accountability Leader”;

Nancy Goodman Brinker (founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure;

Marcus Buckingham (executive coaching, strengths-driven performance, leadership;

James Burke (science/technology historian, TV personality;

Charles Carroll (chef, culinary leadership/teamwork, career development;

Dr. Lowell Catlett (futurist, economist at New Mexico State University;

Dr. Stephen R. Covey (author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and others;

Lt. Gen. Roméo Dallaire (retired Canadian senator/military official, human rights activist;

Mike Ditka (former coach of NFL’s Chicago Bears;

Dr. Sophia Dziegielewski (social work, human behavior, health care;

Ryan Estis (sales strategies, leadership skills;

Durwood Fincher (“Mr. Doubletalk,” humorous take on corporate culture, customized for client;

Frances X. Frei (professor, Harvard Business School, specialist in service excellence;

Nancy Friedman (“The Telephone Doctor,” motivational business topics;

Patricia Fripp (executive speech coach, presentation-skills trainer;

Dr. Benny J. Gallaway (marine ecologist;

Tim Gard (humor as a business skill, professional enthusiasm;

Christopher Gardner (rose from being homeless to best-selling author/entrepreneur;

Bill Gates (Microsoft chairman;

Rudy Giuliani (former New York City mayor, speaks on politics, leadership, crisis management;

Barbara Glanz (improving employee morale, retention, productivity;

Dr. Al Gobar (real-estate economist;

Doris Kearns Goodwin (presidential historian, political news analyst;

Al Gore (45th U.S. vice president, author of An Inconvenient Truth;

T. Scott Gross (performance management consultant;

Erin Gruwell (educator, inspirational speaker, author of The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them;

Jeremy Gutsche (creativity, leadership and innovation strategy;

Keith Harrell (motivational speaker, “attitude coach”;

Lou Heckler (motivational, management training, customer service;

Regina Herzlinger (“The Godmother of Customer-Driven Health Care,” Harvard Business School;

Art Holst (former NFL official, speaks on business topics, motivation, change, football;

Lou Holtz (retired football coach, sportscaster, author;

Brian Jones (laws of dating, building better relationships;

Dewitt Jones (professional photographer, speaks on creativity, passion and vision;

Leland Kaiser, Ph.D. (health-care futurist;

John Kasich (candidate for governor of Ohio;

Don Keady (CEO of Australian Institute of Sales, Marketing & Management;

Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender (business success, branding, customer service, generational differences;

Keith Krach (business entrepreneur, technology pioneer;

Mike Krzyzewski (“Coach K,” Duke head coach, motivational/sports themes;

Paul Laudicina (A.T. Kearney chairman, global business policy isssues;

Jay Leno (humor, entertainment;

Allison Levine (team captain for the first American Women’s Everest Expedition;

George Lucas (sales consulting, training and recruitment;

Clay B. Marsh, M.D. (pulmonary disease expert, Ohio State University;

Josh McDowell (Christian faith, humanitarian efforts;

Dr. Johnny Miller (motivational/inspirational topics;

Mike Mullane (U.S. astronaut, author;

Dr. Kjell Nordstrom (business speaker and author on corporate strategy, leadership and globalization;

James Oberstar (Minnesota congressman, transportation policy expert;

Sarah Palin (governor of Alaska 2006-2009, Republican vice-presidential nominee 2008;

Dawn Penfold (meetings industry career specialist;

Bertrand Piccard (balloonist, topics on pioneering spirit, overcoming stress, finding inspiration;

Charlie Plumb (former Navy fighter pilot/POW;

Colin Powell (retired Army general, U.S. secretary of state 2001-’05;

Aron Ralston (rock climber who amputated his own arm;

Mike Rayburn (“World’s Funniest Guitar Virtuoso,” blends music and comedy;

Susan RoAne (motivational business topics, how to work a room, connecting with people;

Tony Robbins (motivational speaker on achieving one’s dreams;

Patricia Russell-McCloud, J.D. (work/life balance, education, diversity, leadership;

Mark Sanborn (leadership development;

Tim Sanders (“The People-Centric Business Expert,” CSR/sustainability, leadership;

Eric Schlosser (author of Fast Food Nation;

Norman Schwarzkopf (retired U.S. Army general/Gulf War;

Dave Schwensen (communication/presentation skills, personal creativity, humor;

Bradley Seitz (CEO of Topaz International, business travel topics;

Randy Siegal (fostering dynamic leadership;

Sam Silverstein (creating a culture of accountability in business;

Jack Sims (marketing, business growth, brand awareness;

Stan Slap (corporate strategist, business speaker;

Michael Tchong (future trends, insipiration;

Richard Thornburgh (lawyer, governor, former attorney general;

Phillip Van Hooser (leadership development strategist;

Erik Wahl (artist, presents on untapped potential, leadership, empowerment;

Mikki Williams (work/life balance, change, communication skills, creativity;

Larry Winget (“The Pitbull of Personal Development”;

Bill Whitley (attracting and engaging clients, achieving top sales performance;

Peter Yesawich (chairman and CEO, YPartnership advertising/marketing/PR agency;

Zig Ziglar (motivational speaker, performance trainer;

Gayle Zinda (cancer awareness, motivational messages;