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Crafting The Future
Summer CHA returns to Rosemont with a focus on crafting for kids



The Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) 2008 Summer Convention and Tradeshow featured plenty of activities this year to satisfy even the most avid enthusiast: Show attendees (nearly 7,200) spent their time at 70 educational sessions and 400 exhibitor booths. The convention kicked off with keynote speaker and financial expert Jean Chatzky, who spoke on the topic of how to increase profitability and quit making excuses ("Make money, not excuses--even in a recession.").

This year's show focused on the theme "Kids' Crafting: Inspiring Growth and Creativity," with an emphasis on the importance of the youth market and how to expand your business (and your bottom line) with kids' crafts. Thirty vendors participated in the Kids' Creation Station and offered various product lines for kids. "Grow your business by tapping into the robust kids' crafting market," urges CHA's CEO, Steven Z. Berger.

Creative Archiving

We've got cars that run on leaded, unleaded, and now hybrid fuels. How about scrapbooking, digital scrapbooking, and hybrid scrapbooking? That's exactly what some companies are doing to thrive in the changing scrapbook market.
Prima Hybrid (Prima Marketing) marries digital and paper scrapping by providing software with quick page overlays to its Prima patterned paper, creating a crossbreed. Corel has embraced the scrapbooking market with three different products: Corel Painter Essentials 4, Paint Show Pro Photo X2, and Corel MediaOne, designed as "tools to inspire original art and create beautiful scrapbook memories." Corel's digital media products offer retailers a way to diversify their revenue stream with a solution for traditional, hybrid, and digital scrapbooking customers.

Taking it a step further, Lucidiom and Pebbles have partnered to bring "Share & Tell," a binder program developed by Brenda Birrell, founder of Pebbles. The content is exclusive to Lucidiom's EQ system. The partnership allows digital and traditional scrapbookers to find a happy medium. "Busy parents and crafters don't always have the time to invest in traditional scrapbooking, and with the digital Share & Tell scrapbooking solution from Lucidiom and Pebbles, time is no longer a barrier," explains Kesley Anderson, VP of scrapbook and creative business development, Lucidiom.

Retailers can also take advantage of Unibind's photobook solutions for both traditional and digital scrapbookers. The company's PhotoBook Creator kit allows consumers to take their own printed digital scrapbook page and create a hard-cover scrapbook. Using their hybrid craft paper, virtually anything can be put into the book. The kit also comes with page-layout software.

Hybrid scrapbooking is opening new revenue streams--it's up to retailers to educate their customers that "this ain't your mother's scrapbooking party anymore."

From the educational seminars and make-and-takes to the crowds yearning for coveted door prizes, the show had it all. The message was clear at this summer's CHA show: Children are the future, and there is a place for digital--no matter what name you call it.

Next year's CHA show dates were announced. The winter show returns to Anaheim, CA, January 25-28, 2009; the summer show moves to Orlando, Fl, July 28-30, 2009, and according to CHA, it will be open to consumers for part of the show.


   







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