Without going into any details (long story), all I'm going to say is I, among many, am not very fond of CHA at this particular time! Unfortunately, I did not attend the last day of the convention as intended although I did stay the weekend for the JF&A/SuperCraft show -- another long story!!!
As I did not attend the last day of the trade show, I ran into a few trade members/exhibitors and other attendees at my hotel that were leaving the convention heading back to their perspective homes, and I tried to get some feedback. However, I couldn't judge by their conversations how things went for them nor could I read anything in their facial expressions, and I'm not a person to just come out and ask for information not volunteered. I do hope, for their sakes, the convention went better than the "Super" Craft Show. I hate to say it but the craft show was truly a huge disappointment!!! Both the craft exhibitors and buyers were extremely upset with CHA, and complaints were flying all around like crazy-- wow, is CHA going to get an ear FULL!!! I have to agree, however, CHA was not very nice this year and this was not a "super" craft show and should not have been referred to as such even with the word "section" attached to it!
The craft section was located in the very back of the Convention Center in a small "tight" corner. The booths were about 3-4 rows deep with not more than a total of about 30 booths, and surrounded by and behind the cafeteria area. It was as though they were being hidden away!!!
Of course, the JF&A show covered the entire front and surrounding areas and had thousands of people flocking to it, but the tiny-tinny craft section was basically empty. Compared to the rest of the floor, I don't think many people even realized there was a craft section. To make matters worse, there were not many happy faces among the craft buyers and/or exhibitors. Many of the exhibitors were upset and felt as though CHA had "dropped the ball on them" (an expression one of them offered me) and the few crafters I spoke with expected much more of CHA too so, therefore, were very upset as well. Just to give you an idea, take a look at the exhibitor at this booth:
She looks happy, huh? Or, this poor guy:
And how much crafters/buyers-attention did the craft section get? Well..., this was about the most people I saw all together at one time at a booth for the entire 3 days I was there!
Now, take the picture below, add it before the picture above and imaging counting back about 3 rows -- that was the "super" craft show!!!
From left to right, one picture is the ending wall and the one directly above is the beginning wall. The other side of the blue rug behind the roped off section of the above picture is the cafeteria area.
Another of the complaints among the few crafters/buyers was that more than half of the exhibitors were companies most of us probably aren't even very familiar with. Many were small stamping companies but, I thought, very nice. I think the most well-known names there were Archivers and Splitcoast Stampers, who was there giving cardmaking instructions only. Actually, there were very few make 'n takes, no craft classes and only a few giveaways/contests this year! Other familiar exhibitors were Flower Soft and Crafters Companion.
For the small number of craft booths, there were some nice projects on display though:
As for me, as much as I didn't want to enjoy the JF&A show, I had a blast!!! I felt as though I was a trader to my fellow crafters/companies but that show was fun. JF&A carries everything you can imagine other than just jewelry -- clothing, beauty accessories, designer sunglassess, purses, shoes, etc.!!! I had a free make-over, got my hair styled for free on Friday and sweated it out by Saturday...lol!!!; got a glitter tattoo on my arm (don't panic, it eventually washes away)!!! And I even had my eyes done with glitter eyewear although I immediately went and washed my face of it; and I had characters painted and rhinestones placed on my nails which I've also already removed -- but it was just all so much fun!!!
Of course being a crafter, I didn't walk away from the craft section empty-handed either -- I couldn't walk away from craft accessoriess if I wanted to -- no matter what!!! I made the best of that situation too (so I didn't feel so much the trader as I could have had I purchased nothing). I found some things I needed and some I wanted. Here's some of the damage I came home with:
Here are a couple more bags of stuff I tossed in for good measure -- Buster decided he wanted in the picture too as he was sticking around being nosey! LOL!
So, after a huge disappointment and being most upset with CHA after my first day fiasco, I did manage to end up leaving last night with a smile:
Well, I've shared as much as I dare! After I catch-up on some things missed after being gone from home these last several days, I'll be back to visit and share some crafts using some of my new treats!!!
Glad to be back, missed you all, and can't wait to join you again!!!
I'll be seeing you!