I attended CHA’s Summer Show (Craft & Hobby Association) in Rosemont IL. It all happened earlier this week. I would like to comment to my experiences as I had intentions for this show and it was a working vacation for me.
Purpose for going?
- To network and build connections with companies I already know.
- Introduce myself to other companies that I don’t know much about.
- gain creative insight to other ideas.
- I’m into Fibre Arts and want to meet other like minded people in this area.
- I found the CHA website hard to navigate. I would be logged out of a session and I had to email several times for help.
- It’s sometimes hard to know what to schedule yourself for when other companies / people want to make arrangements to meet you but they aren’t sure of their scheduling. The advantage is that I had the power to sign off on different courses within days of going.
- I was forewarned by a trusted source that CHA is primarily a scrap booking / paper arts gathering. This information comes into play further into this document.
- I was super impressed with the hotels that were recommended by CHA.
- Great communications and signage for us to follow.
- Shuttle busing was 10 – 15 minute cycles for the majority of the day.
- We were unaware that we could arrive a day early and register for CHA to get our badges and promo materials. We heard about it as we seen someone else with a badge at the hotel. We mad dashed to the centre to get our materials to avoid a lengthy wait on the day opening of the show.
- I didn’t realize the show wasn’t open on the first day we were planning to be there.
- We were required to be there for a presentation. This day early caused us to have to book at two hotels for the duration of our stay.
- We had booked seminars that were spread out because we thought we could walk the show floor.
What I Liked:
- The badge price of $25 was really worth it. Unlimited seminars / workshops to attend.
- The show floor was extremely creative, but later we would find that there was hardly anyone on the floor that is related to the fibre arts. More on that in the negatives.
- We thoroughly enjoyed some of the seminars / workshops. A few of the workshops were lacking in enthusiasm from the presentators which made for a long 1 hour.
- One workshop hadn’t prepared themselves properly for teaching which created a bit of a juggling act for themselves.
- Many vendors on the floor were doing Make N Takes. Allowing you to play with their materials.
- Many othe vendors were also doing demonstrations as well.
- Lots of swag were handed out. Some vendors being extremely generous.
- There is water on the teaching levels for us to have at no charge.
What could us improvement:
- I believe the cost of the food is out of the hands of CHA. However, every vending opportunity was rediculously overprices. 1 can of pop was $3. A slice of pizza was $6.25. Many people after paying for their meal were upset with the prices of food.
- I was there looking for reps for the Fibre Arts. Only two companies were on site.
- Virtually the entire show was dedicated to paper arts.
- In a meeting. I asked if CHA is short for Scrap Booking. They claimed it was a trend and that the January 2012 show is twice the size and has better representation of crafting as a whole.
- I seen a ton of inspiration, though not directly related to my interests.
- A few vendors were rude when they learn you are asking questions with no intention to buy.
- One vendor in particular will never have my support after the treatment I received at the show.
I am going to go to the next show and make a judgement for mself and determine where I stnad with membership.