From Mike Hartnett’s Creative Leisure News 2/17 Newsbrief
If a trade show is produced and marketed effectively, then the show becomes an accurate reflection of the state of the industry. The Anaheim extravaganza was just such an event.
The show was smaller than last year. Some returning exhibitors took fewer booths and scrapbooking is not generating as many new vendors as it did a few years ago. Attendance was down, too. While final figures are not yet available, the number of buyers was down about 15%, due to the economy and a smaller number of scrapbook retailers. There was a large group of international buyers – not surprising given the weak U.S. dollar.
Mood. Better than expected: A) The national recession that's apparently looming on the horizon does not frighten our industry's independents; B) Many independents seemed to have a better holiday season than national chains such as Wal-Mart, Macy's, etc.; C) They were relatively pleased with January sales, too.
Scrapbooking. The aisles weren't as crowded, but a number of exhibitors said attendees placed larger orders than usual. ... At a CHA task force luncheon for scrapbook retailers, the consensus was that the category's top, crucial priority must be attracting new scrappers.
Note: A video presentation of our CHA seminar, “The Other 88%: Creating New Scrapbookers” will be available for members to view on the CHA website soon.
Crafts. Very little order writing, as usual. Many vendors to the chains are worried by the chains' increasing attempts to go direct to the Orient, particularly Michaels and A.C. Moore. To maintain relationships with the chains, U.S. vendors and importers will have to add value to their product lines. ... The extensive Crafty Chica line from Duncan was the most unique new line CLN saw at the show – the first attempt by a large vendor to address the growing Hispanic population. ... There seemed to be an increase in beads, wearable art, and basic products.
Miscellaneous. The industry is going green. There were enough new eco-friendly products to provide a year's worth of material for Creative Home Arts magazine's new column, "Make It Green." ... Those looking for "the next big thing" didn't find it. ... There was lots of talk about the summer show.
Summary. As is true at every show, most vendors who introduced appealing new products had a good show; those who didn't, didn't.
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