Sunday, February 11, 2007

Return from CHA

Hey Margaret and the rest of the SBPCG gang.

Margaret (out current VP) set up this little outpost for us guild members. And at a future member meeting, we'll introduce folks how to blog so everyone who wants to will have a chance to 'speak'.

Since I just came back from CHA, I thought I post a little something about it. Some of you might be interested in attending next year's CHA. CHA (Craft and Hobby Association) helds a truly massive show in Anaheim earlier in Jan 2007. Anaheim, yup, where Disneyland is. In fact, CHA was held in the Anaheim Convention Center, right across the street from Disneyland.

But CHA seemed about the same size! It's a very, very large event, taking up the entire convention center. While it's not open to the public, per se, it's not too hard to attend, provided you know someone who is a CHA member. I demo-ed for Van Aken - maker of Kato Polyclay, so I got an exhibitor badge. This was my first time attending CHA.

With CHA access, I got to sign up for classes and enter the massive exhibit hall, which was chock full of over 1200 vendors, their tempting arts & crafts things and lots and lots of people. Attending not only means getting a peak at all kinds of new and popular arts and crafts stuff, it also means taking advantage of great networking opportunities.

While the primary purpose is doing wholesale orders, vendors seem eager to meet artists to show or hand out samples of new products. There are also publishers looking for new talent.

I got to meet and chat with lots of polymer clay friends and celebrities like Donna Kato, Lisa Pavelka, Syndee Holt, and Judy Belcher.

Will I go next year? I'm not sure. On the downside, the trip cost me about $500 total, included airfare, hotel, food, parking, airport shuttles, although that could be significantly reduced if one does something like sharing a hotel room. If you go there to work, like manning a booth for the event or teach a class, things would be different.

But on the upside, meeting folks, networking, taking classes, seeing all the "toys" is suh-weet!


No comments: