I just got back from the CHA show (Craft & Hobby Association Trade Show) last week. It is where all the manufacturers who make art and craft supplies show their wares for the upcoming season. Retail store buyers, craft designers, and others who are members of the association convene at the show. There are two shows a year, one in January, and one in July. It’s basically like a crafter’s dream come true, being surrounded by tons of craft supplies, craft celebrities, and tons of crafty make-and-takes.
Why I attended CHA
I attended the CHA summer show for a few reasons. One of the mains reasons was to make connections with manufacturers and industry leaders to hopefully benefit craft bloggers in the form of increased industry awareness about what a powerful resource craft bloggers can be. I participated in two committee meetings: the CHA Social Media task force, and the CHA Young Executive Committee meeting.
Why I am a CHA Member
I am a member of the Craft & Hobby Association as a designer (I design craft projects for my own site, for other websites and publications, and sometimes work with manufacturers as well), but I am primarily (and at heart) a member of the press. I became a member of the association because I wanted to signify to CHA my seriousness in becoming part of the CHA community. At this time, there is no membership in CHA for the press (although you can apply for press credentials to gain entry to the show).
Can bloggers attend CHA?
Admitting craft bloggers to the show has been a serious topic for CHA during the past two shows. For this most recent show, they updated their press credentialing process to better vet and accommodate new media/bloggers. Details for press credentialing can be found at the CHA site.
In short, yes, bloggers can attend CHA, but you must have a blogging platform that discusses craft and hobby industry-related items. You can’t just be a personal blogger and qualify to attend CHA as a member of the media. If you are a personal blogger with an intense interest in crafts and you want to go to the show but don’t qualify, I suggest getting in there by working with a manufacturer to help with their demo/make and takes tables.
More Resources about CHA Summer Show 2011
- Craft Critique’s Coverage of CHA Summer 2011
- News: CHA Opens up Winter 2012 show exhibiting to non-members
- Craft Test Dummies’ coverage of the CHA Innovations Showcase