I’ve been lucky enough to attend CHA for the last few years…. It’s a great experience! It’s like crafting heaven! I joined CHA and have attended the Mega show because I have a card making app – Crafty Card Gallery for iPhones & iPads.
My app was even featured in the CHA magazine! I have met a lot of great people through CHA – if you are thinking about joining, I would definitely recommend it!
Here are a few tips if you’re a first time attendee to the Mega show:
1) Wear comfortable shoes! The show floor is HUGE! We averaged over 12,000 steps per day – so make sure your shoes are comfy!
2) Bring a bag (and if it’s a rolling bag, even better) to put all the make & takes, brochures, etc in! You will get lots of stuff – and it gets tiring carrying it all. It also helps to make sure to put a luggage tag on the bag in case you accidentally leave it somewhere (that has happened to me before).
3) Bring some snacks (hangry is no fun – and the snack bar food is just o.k.)
4) Be sure to bring an extra backup battery for your phone (especially if you’ll be posting to social media or taking pictures) – it seems like my phone dies faster at CHA and I take a ton of pictures and post a lot to facebook. You don’t want to miss out on taking a great picture & not be able to snap it because your battery is dead. I took over 800 pictures this year at CHA (bringing a regular camera is a great idea too).
5) Have a plan for how you’re going to do the show. We always start on one side of the hall and go row by row the first day. The second day we may skip around to make sure we see the places we really want to see. And the third day we make sure we get to everything else. It’s best to make sure you make it to your favorite places – because sometimes you’ll want to go back a few times. Also, manage your time – pay attention to how much time you have left in the day because it’s easy to spend a lot of time at one or two booths.
6) Be prepared to see some of your crafting idols! I was totally geeked out the time I got my picture taken with Becky Higgins (one of my crafting heroes) (Surprisingly, my non-crafting friends were not as impressed as I was) and there’s always a crowd around Tim Holtz and Vanna White – sort of cool to see them in person! Even some of the bloggers/you tube people you follow – you’ll see a lot of them there. Photo below from CHA 2013
7) Bring lots of business cards! Everyone will want them. I am horrible at remembering to pass them out so I have a wonderful friend who makes sure they get to people and that I get their business cards (and any relevant notes jotted down).
8) Take notes of things that are great. I can’t tell you how many times my friend and I couldn’t remember where we saw a certain thing… So now we try to take pictures of booths or company names or take notes on brochures or business cards so that we can go back to them.
9) If you can meet up with others you know try to arrange it! I have a group of ladies that I know through Facebook and crafting and blog hops that I meet up with at CHA every year! It’s very fun!
10) Take your vitamins! The years I have taken my vitamins before, during and after I made the trip (we fly) I’ve come home healthy. There are lots of people in the convention center and you want to make sure you stay healthy.
11) If you’re not the most outgoing person, wear something that is attention getting – it will make conversation starting easier! One year I wore a beautiful scarf, last year I had really interesting fingernails (see picture below).
12) if you can take advantage of some of the classes, be sure to do so. CHA offers a ton of great classes, and there are often classes such as COPIC markers scheduled during the show at nearby hotels. Last year I took a COPIC marker class
And most importantly – expect to be inspired by all the creativity, talent, and cool stuff that you will see!
I love the experiences I have had at CHA – getting to see a 3D printer and laser cutter in person, meeting designers and the people who have developed the products I love to use (and getting to ask them questions about the product), seeing new products months before you can get them in stores, and getting to try new tools and learn new techniques! I hope you have a fabulous time at the show! And if you follow me on facebook, you’ll be able to see what I see when I’m there 🙂
Thanks so much for visiting! And don’t let me forget –
Here is the link to win!
Leave a comment on your blog (mandatory) answering the question – “What is your favorite “can’t live without” craft supply or tool?”
Tweet about the giveaway (tweet text includes #CHAshow hashtag; can tweet daily for extra entries)
Answer a multiple-choice poll about how often you “cre8time” for crafting (double entry value)