“We added several new features to this year’s Show,” explained Steve Berger, President and Chief Executive Officer, CHA. “From the new Conference format with an all-access badge, to later show floor hours and a new Los Angeles venue, which all seemed to be well-received by the members we spoke with at the Show.”
With an official name change from the CHA Convention & Trade Show to the CHA Conference & Trade Show, CHA implemented a new Conference model for its 2011 Winter Show that provided all attendees with greater value, convenient hours, greater networking opportunities, and unlimited access to the CHA Trade Show floor, Conference programs, and special events.
The CHA 2011 Winter Conference featured business and craft education and provided attendees with unlimited access to all seminars, workshops, and special events for only $25 pre-sale/$50 onsite (an approximate $250 value). The favorable response to these changes was overwhelming. The new CHA Conference program increased average seminar attendance by 140% over past shows.CHA post-show surveys report record-breaking attendance at the Show Event and the International Reception, significant increases in the Annual Business Meeting attendance and numerous sold-out workshops. According to CHA post-show surveys 84%of attendees agree that the CHA Winter Conference & Trade Show was a good value based on the total cost to attend. Additionally, 43% of attendees participated in networking events for the first time because of the new all-access badge.
“At the Conference I learned more in one day than I have in six months of retail traffic,” explained Patsy Krall of Artsy, Rubber Stamps and Paper Crafts in Loveland, Colorado. “It’s the best Conference we’ve ever attended.”
In addition to the new Conference and educational focus, CHA also launched several new programs at the CHA Winter Show including a new Pinnacle Club for VIP buyers who attended the past six consecutive CHA Shows. These VIP buyers qualified for exclusive access to a Pinnacle Club lounge which provided complimentary computer use, bag check, shuttle to the airport, complimentary beverages, and even foot massage.
This year the Innovations Showcase was enhanced with an exclusive Sneak Peek Media & Buyer Event held on January 28th for 260 buyers and members of the press. CHA’s panel of celebrity judges selected 20 of the hottest items to be featured in an exclusive demonstration prior to the show floor opening. This year every product entered into the Innovations Showcase received a 3-minute interview on CHA-TV, CHA’s new webcast program.
Continued improvements with CHA’s Show BizConnections and Exhibitor Invitation Program made it easier to coordinate meetings as participation with the electronic scheduler increased by over 400% with more than 1,250 companies having used the system. Similarly the Exhibitor Invite Program grew from four companies this past summer to over 24 companies that issued over 25,000 invitations to attend the CHA Winter Show.
CHA post-show surveys identified the L.A. debut as a major success in terms of the quality of the buyers with74% reporting the attending buyer quality at satisfactory to excellent.
“We’ve gotten into Jo-Ann Stores because of this Show and we’re very happy about that,” explained Patty Newton of Elephants on a Wall.
The CHA 2011 Winter Show hosted 5,245 verified trade show attendees. Buyers came from 47 states and Puerto Rico with international attendance from 56 countries including Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Australia, Brazil, Netherlands, and Japan. There were 12 more countries represented this year than in 2010. Almost 80% of all CHA member buying companies attended the Show and 90% of CHA member manufacturers exhibited at the Show.
Some 522 exhibitors filled 193,827 sq. ft. of exhibit space representing a 5% increase in show floor square footage, up from 185,250 sq. ft. in 2010. Additionally, 110 companies or about 21% of the exhibitors were new to the CHA Winter Show which represents an 8% increase over the number of new exhibitors at the CHA 2010 Winter Show. As of February 17, 2011 93% of exhibitors are planning on exhibiting at the CHA 2012 Winter Conference & Trade Show held in Anaheim, California January 29 – February 1, 2012.
About the CHA 2011 Summer Conference & Trade Show
The CHA 2011 Summer Conference & Trade Show will return to the Donald E. Stephens Convention and Conference Center in Rosemont, Illinois on Tuesday, July 19 – Thursday, July 21, 2011 with the Conference starting on Monday, July 18, 2011.
About the Craft & Hobby Association
The Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) is an international not-for-profit trade association consisting of thousands of member companies engaged in the design, manufacture, distribution and retail sales of products worldwide including the $29 billion U.S. craft and hobby industry. For more information about CHA’s programs in Canada go to www.cchacanada.org. For more about CHA, membership, or its award-winning CHA Conferences & Trade Shows visit www.craftandhobby.org.