Thousands of creative products buyers from chain and independent retailers, and distributors attended the 75th anniversary of the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) MEGA Conference & Trade show.
The Show took place in January at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA. This annual event – on of the largest marketplace for the creative products industry in North America – had more than 370 exhibitors, 67 countries represented, and 12,000 new products on the exhibit trade show floor.
“This year's CHA Mega show succeeded in bringing the creative products industry together to learn, connect and discover new trends, innovations and ideas that will help craft businesses grow and provide customers with the right products, techniques and materials to express themselves creatively,” said Mark Hill, the newly appointed President and CEO of the Craft & Hobby Association.
The CHA Mega show was a hotbed for what's trending in the industry, kicking off with a keynote Address by international forecaster, Philip Fimmano of Trend Union/Edelkoort. To a standing room only crowd, he shared eight archetypes of a consumer and also provided insights into the mindset of millennials, who are seeking out handmade products and hands-on hobbies. “They want more and more customisation on what they buy and input in the making process,” said Mr Fimmano.
CHA's designer committee also presented a showcase representing what is currently trending now with 3D portfolio displays of current trends in colours and motifs, handcrafted home décor, renegade crafts and jewellery art. Other show floor areas included the New Exhibitor area, with more than 100 companies participating, including some first-time toy, kid crafts, papers, and paint manufacturers.
A group of companies from the Netherlands were a draw with booths in the Dutch Pavilion, which embodied the charm of the area, as well as the Art & Paint Pavilion, sponsored by the Society of Decorative Painters, which included hands-on make-n-take painting classes for attendees.
Celebrities who love to craft and social media stars including Vanna White, Sondra Celli of TLC's My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding, Amy Tan, Julie Fei Fan Balzer, Rebekah Meier, Julie Comstock, Mark Montano, Allison Gharst and Kellie Dooley, Tim Holtz, Katie Sabin, and Sizzix's surprise guest David Tutera, drew crowds to exhibitor booths and led live demonstrations of new creative art trends and techniques.
As the creative classroom of the industry, the Conference Program was well-attended. There were 213 total educational programs, of which 51 were sold out. The conference included workshops, business seminars, and demos that provided on-point knowledge and a sensory education for craft retailers, distributors, creative professionals and designers, to help grow their businesses and strengthen their skills.
The CHA Hot Product Showcase – a show highlight – featured 21 hot product finalists in eight categories along with new-to-market innovations from exhibitors. The winners of the Hot Product Awards, were announced at the CHA Foundation Gala and represented an array of products that will appeal to experienced crafters as well as those just learning a new craft or DIY skill. Click here to view the 2016 CHA Hot Product Awards winners by category.
More than 400 people attended the CHA Foundation Gala, benefitting the Kids In Need Foundation (KINF), and watched presentations for Exhibiting with Excellence Awards, 2016 CHA Hall of Fame inductees, and Industry Recognition Awards for service and philanthropy.
Next year, the CHA MEGA Show is moving to the Phoenix Convention Center, in Phoenix, Arizona, and will take place between 19th - 23th January, 2017. A State of the Industry Report and other major research findings will be unveiled at the 2017 event, along with many other new features!
For more information visit www.craftandhobby.org or www.chamegashow.org. For exhibiting information contact: Andrew Morton at firstname.lastname@example.org for international inquiries.
Posted: 10 February 2016
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