I've gotten a few questions about how CHA works, so I thought I'd answer them in brief as best as I can. Let me know if you have other questions.
The CHA Trade Show is an industry-only show. You have to have a retailer, manufacturer, designer, educator, press, or service provider badge to get into the show. There is a CHA Super Show that is open to the public. But it isn't a reveal of new products the way that this one is. It's a lot of shopping with big box stores like Michael's selling their wares. As for shopping at the Trade Show....
At the CHA Trade show the only people who can buy things are the retailers. And there is no product to buy right then and there. You simply place your order. For a detailed look at buying, please visit this post.
The focus at the Trade Show is definitely on showing off the new products and making sales. Most booths have make-and-takes or demos.
I always want to sit and do them all and learn about all the new stuff out there, but I'm also very conscious of not wanting to take up a seat if a retailer (who might buy) is there. After all the show is about selling, right? Selling and networking. There are side deals and meetings and parties and all sort of business that goes down at CHA. I can definitely say that attending CHA has changed my career in the industry. Not necessarily in the ways that I always wanted it to, but nonetheless, something interesting always comes out of my time there.
And now a few last thoughts...
Vintage: Now some of these companies always offer vintage. At some of these companies the styling was vintage. At some of these companies the projects had a vintage flair. But I chose a few photos that showed off the major vintage trend!
There are also still a lot of dress forms. Off-the-page accessories like frames, chipboard shapes to decorate, etc. are still going strong. Shabby chic seems to be creeping in everywhere. Punches and die-cutting remain very strong. I noticed a lot more supplies that are specifically intended for colorants to be added to. I also noticed a lot of companies pairing up: Stamps from one company that match die cuts from another, so you can cut out your stamped image perfectly. Paint and ink from one company that coordinates perfectly with patterned paper from another company. I think in this economy cross-promoting and pairing up makes a lot of sense!
Top 5 Favorite Products
This was a ridiculously hard list to compile. There are a lot of things that I love and want and will buy. But here are my "want them right now" five:
Sassafrass Lass metal flowers:
Studio Calico opaque white mist:
Kaiser Craft Wooden Frames (upper right corner):
Prima/Donna Downey tall canvas album:
Basic Grey Curio Collection:
I hope you have enjoyed my perspective of CHA! Thanks for stopping by!