Announcing the New AFCI Board Officers


The AFCI Board of Directors recently elected three new people to serve as officers.  We had a chance to sit down with each of them about their newly elected positions and what they are looking forward to most in their new roles.

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Jim Thielen – Chairman

AFCI:  Jim, congratulations on being elected as Chairman.  You’ve been in the creative industry for sixteen years and have dedicated your time to serve as a member of the Board.  In this new role as Chairman, what are you hoping to achieve?

Jim:  As a member of the Executive Committee, I am committed to the vision of creating a healthy, vibrant and innovative community that enriches people’s lives through creative activities.  I will work with the entire Board to ensure we are delivering high value services in support of our members, so together we can make the vision a reality.

AFCI:  What would you say to someone who is interested in joining the Association?

Jim:  There are so many exciting and new opportunities in the creative industry.  The industry is rapidly changing and evolving to include much more than arts and crafts.  When you join the Association, you are immediately connected to a global community that you can engage with to exchange ideas.  You are also exposed to new industry opportunities that develop and may potentially grow your business.

AFCI:  As you already stated, networking is one of the biggest reasons for joining AFCI.  The Association produces events for the members so that they can connect with each other.  What is one of your favorite memories from an AFCI event?

Jim:  My favorite AFCI event was Creativation 2018.  The educational seminars and workshops were high quality and interactive, allowing people to share and learn from each other.  The topics were new and relevant so people that attended discovered new ideas that had the potential to spur the growth of their businesses.

Joe McClain – Vice Chairman

AFCI:  Joe, you are fairly new to the creative industry.  What will be your primary focus serving as a Board officer.

Joe:  First, I’d like to say just how honored I am to be elected to represent our membership as an officer.  I’ve been in the industry for just over three years since taking over as CEO for Help Heal Veterans, a nonprofit that manufactures and distributes therapeutic arts and crafts free of charge to veterans and active duty military undergoing health care.  As someone who comes from a career of service, and currently leads a non-profit whose sole mission is one of service, it should come as no surprise that I’ll be focused on how I can best serve our membership.  In my mind, that means working with some of the great industry leaders on our Board to help create and nurture an environment where our very diverse membership can succeed.  There’s a lot of change happening right now in our industry.   As we all know, change can be a challenging time for any industry, especially if we’re slow to adapt.  In my mind, it’s also a time of great opportunity.  As a new officer, I hope to help guide our Association to shape a future that best enables member success.

AFCI:  What would you say to someone who is interested in joining the Association?

Joe:  Joining an association and interaction with your industry peers are key factors in keeping your finger on the pulse of trends, the business environment and innovation. Being able to adapt to a rapidly changing environment and leveraging the resources that only an association provides will help your business succeed.   There’s also the intangible benefit that creatives and innovators understand:  that creativity is often sparked by interaction with like minded individuals who share your passion. You’d be hard pressed to find another forum like AFCI to generate that spark.

AFCI:  What value have you gained by attending an AFCI event?

Joe:  At a recent event, I was talking to a group of Designers over a cocktail and discovered that the healing power of the creative process is something that applies across all demographics, not just the veterans I serve.  From that discussion and listening to their ideas on what may appeal to the diverse demographic I serve, we at Heal Vets expanded the product offerings for veterans by using materials that were different for us.  Our change has proven popular with clinicians, therapists and the vets they treat.  The confidence to take that leap came from the interaction and follow-up discussions made at an AFCI event.

Bradley Beck – Secretary

AFCI:  Brad, we’d love to hear more about your industry background.

Brad:  I have been in the creative industry for 35 years.  I started out as a Manufacturer Representative for my Dad’s company, covering the West Coast back in the Tall Mouse, Moskatel’s, H&H Craft & Floral Supply days.  I have been at DESIGN MASTER color tool, inc, the COLOR design resource, for the last 20 years.

AFCI:  What would you say to someone that was considering joining the Association?

Brad:  Join us and get involved. The benefits you gain from joining an organization like AFCI is directly proportional to how involved you get.  You can become an active member by exhibiting or attending Creativation, volunteering for a committee assignment, or networking at one of the many social events throughout the year.  Your investment in time will be richly rewarded.

AFCI:  You must have so many memories tied to our industry.  What is one of your more recent memories?

Brad:  Yes, there are so many.  More recently, I would say the time spent listening and learning from my fellow Board members.  Their expertise, knowledge and understanding of the industry makes me more informed and hopefully a better Board member.

 

Meet the AFCI Board of Directors at the Annual Business Meeting taking place during Creativation on Monday, January 21 starting at 7:30am.  Learn about your Association’s future plans, share your feedback and discover ways you can help impact the industry.  Register here.

Creating Effective Live Crafting Video Demos to Build Your Brand


This is sponsored content by Aaron Roth, VP Sales and Marketing,  Arkon Mounts

Shown here, Janet Wakeland of RemarkablyCreated.com demonstrates how crafters can use Arkon’s phone and tablet stands for demonstrations and tutorials.

Visit Arkon Mounts at Booth #627 at Creativation 2019 and attend the tutorial led by Arkon VP Aaron Roth on Sunday, January 20 from 3-4pm titled, “Crafting Videos Made Better with Arkon’s Remarkable Creators Phone and Tablet Stand Bundle.” Learn the importance of creating high-quality crafting videos.

INTRODUCTION

If you have a Facebook or Instagram page, you’ve probably seen other crafters live streaming as they create their next amazing masterpiece. Going live to a global audience may be easy for some, but for many others, the mere thought of public speaking can be truly debilitating. Fear of speaking is the most common phobia, ranking even higher than the fear of death. Embracing the use of live video will help you overcome these fears and will undoubtedly have a positive impact on your business.

LIVE STREAM ESSENTIALS (Tools Required to Go Live)

If you own a business, odds are that you also have a mobile phone. Your mobile phone is arguably the single most important tool for your business. Not only does it serve as the lifeline between you and your existing customers, it can also be used to create compelling content to attract new customers. Some also prefer the use of a tablet computer (iPad) due to the larger screen size, making it easier to see comments. Phones and tablets are basic essentials for every live streamer.

The three best platforms are Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, though their respective features may be slightly different depending on whether you’re an iPhone or Android user. Be sure that you regularly update your apps to ensure that you have access to the latest features.

IMPORTANCE OF A STABLE BROADCAST | Mounts, Holders, Stands, & Tripods

While not required to go live, having your phone or tablet secured in a quality holder is strongly recommended as it will greatly improve the quality (stability) of your broadcast and the viewer experience. Having your device mounted also means that your hands are free to craft or demonstrate during the live video. These types of broadcasts are some of the most popular!

Arkon Mounts offers a full assortment of mounts, holders, stands, and tripods for live streaming. Here are the mounting solutions recommended for your video or live stream demonstrations.

The Remarkable Creators Video Phone Stand Bundle (Model RCBTABLED) This popular bundle combines the best-selling Arkon Pro Stand, which allows crafters to shoot professional overhead views of their demonstration. It also includes a Tablet Clamp Mount, which attaches to the shaft/pole portion of the Pro Stand and is used to log in to live video apps on a secondary device like an iPad to see comments or to see the view of the phone that’s positioned overhead. Arkon’s LED Ring Light is a fan favorite in the crafting communities, particularly with those who create live video demonstrations. It clips onto the top of your phone, doesn’t block the camera, and features a USB-chargeable battery. Battery life is usually about 45 minutes per full charge.

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The Remarkable Creators Clamp Phone or Camera Stand with Ring Light (Model CLAMPRCB) This new bundle is essentially the clamp version of the Remarkable Creators Phone and Video Stand Bundle and features three essential video products: Arkon’s Pro Stand Clamp Mount for Live Video (Model CLAMPRV29), Tablet Clamp Mount Add-On (Model TAB131), and Clip-On LED Ring Light (Model SPLEDRING). A camera adapter is also included for use with pico projectors or MEVO cameras. The clamp is less prone to tipping and can be secured to a counter, table, podium, desk, or other clampable surface up to 2.25 inches wide.

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ARKON Live Streaming Essentials Bundle

Arkon also offers the Live Streaming Essentials Bundle, which features a Phone Tripod with the LED Ring Light and Ultrasonic Remote. The tripod phone mount fits all smartphones up to 4” wide and allows the phone to be positioned in either landscape or portrait orientation. The ultrasonic remote control is designed to work with both iPhone and Android phones and is ideal for using with the tripod to easily take photos or videos from up to 30 feet away. Includes a timer, zoom capabilities, flash on/off, and automatic focus.

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Aaron Roth is the inspirational Vice President of Sales and Marketing and co-owner at Arkon Mounts, the most recognized and respected brand in the live streaming video category. In addition to being a regular speaker at live streaming and social media events, you’ll also find Aaron broadcasting daily on Instagram and Facebook from the Arkon Live Lounge, an office studio at the Arkon headquarters in Arcadia, California. Arkon has an extensive assortment of mounts, holders, stands, and tripods to support your live streaming video broadcasts.

AARON’S TOP 10 LIVE STREAM TIPS

  1. Join, and go live from Facebook Groups related to your business
  2. Create “shareable” content
  3. Use Arkon Mounts to hold your phone or tablet steady
  4. Clean phone or tablet camera lens before going live
  5. Engage with your audience; Say hello to people as they join your broadcast
  6. Always have your branding in view of the camera (something with your logo on it)
  7. Use relevant hashtags on ALL Instagram and Facebook posts to increase your reach (e.g. #crafting, #crafts, etc.)
  8. Utilize giveaways of your product to create excitement around your brand
  9. When an App sends out an update, immediately download and go live to see if there are new features.  Facebook and Instagram Live continue to improve on a regular basis
  10. Have fun, and build great friendships!

ABOUT ARKON MOUNTS

Arkon Mounts supplies a wide range of high-quality tablet and phone mounts, tripods, and other accessories designed to enhance the live streaming experience. Arkon celebrates its 30th year in business in 2018.

  • 600+ mounts, holders, stands, and tripods for phones, cameras, tablets

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2-Year Warranty on ALL Arkon Mounts

November Trends Report: 3 Creative Trends We’re Seeing


This Trends Report is brought to you by the AFCI Trends Committee.

The Association For Creative Industries (AFCI) Trends Committee is always on the lookout for creative trends to keep your business in the know about what’s popular on the Internet and with crafters, makers and DIYers. Here are the current trends we are seeing.

All of the trends in this report were submitted by Jennifer Priest, Smart Fun DIY

WEAVING AND BOHEMIAN TEXTURES

Weaving and bohemian textures are still here in force.  Weaving projects with yarn and textiles are being used as home décor and for statement fashion pieces, like DIY totes and DIY pillows.

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DIY Faux Woven Pillow by Kailo Chic

OVERSIZED POM POMS AND TASSELS

Keep an eye out for oversized pom poms and tassels.  These embellishments are being used in multiple ways in craft projects and DIY décor.

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Giant Pom Pom Throw by Vintage Revivals

EXTREME SIZING

Go extremely tiny or extra large – from miniature piñata earrings to giant wall hangings, either way you will be on trend.

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Moon & Star Pinata Earrings by Meri Meri

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Embroidered Cleo Wall Hanging by Anthropologie

Teaching Your Passion™ 4-week course


By Marjie Kemper

As a long-time Designer Member of AFCI, I appreciate the value of teaching and taking classes. I’ve taught in-person classes for many years at many different venues, from small mom & pop shops, to a major retail chain, to AFCI’s annual conference  when it was the Craft & Hobby Association MegaShow.  I’ve also taught online for Craftsy.com and I’ve self-hosted my own online courses.  Through a combination of in-person classes and the wonder of the internet, I’ve been honored to teach over 7,000 students over the last six years.

Over the years, many of my students and peers have asked how I was able to establish myself as a teacher in all of these venues.  This often recurring question caught my attention and prompted me to create an intensive 4-week course where I teach people how to teach their passions, whatever they may be.

What is Teaching Your Passion™?

Teaching Your Passion™ is a 4-week online course that is chock full of everything you need to learn to teach classes live and online.  I take you through all the steps necessary to determine what to teach and where to teach it. We cover finding and evaluating teaching opportunities, pitching your ideas to stores and event organizers, getting hired and getting paid, dealing with travel and transportation issues, classroom management and logistics, and much, much more.

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What’s in the course?

This course consists of 15-modules jam packed with everything I wish I’d known when I started teaching nationwide and online six years ago.  I share my exact systems, strategies, and scripts. This isn’t fluff… it’s tried and true.  It’s exactly what I’ve done to land teaching gigs in small shops and major retail stores, at retreats and conventions, and online.

How about videos and tech?

I teach technical things like how to make videos, how to create graphics, and how to use social media to promote your classes and events. I’ve included content calendars, planning strategies, and lots of checklists.  I’ve also included loads of videos and worksheets as well as resources showing what systems and products I use on my courses.

What about live interaction?

You’ll enjoy a private Facebook group for communication, strategizing, and networking.  I will personally be active in the group every day for the whole four five weeks, and I hope you will, too!  You can access the course on your phone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer.  You don’t need to sign on at any specific time…. work at your own pace!  Since I am checking in every day, I can answer your questions regardless of the time you post them.

AFCI Blog 2_3 Sneak peek at sample of course materials - Teaching Your Passion™ with Marjie Kemper

When does the course start?

Teaching Your Passion™ starts on Monday, November 5.  It’s normally a 4-week course but this time I am spreading it out over 5 weeks, so that those who live in the USA can have a week off during Thanksgiving Week.

Testimonials

Here’s what some of my prior TYP students say about the course:

“Taking this class is a must if you plan on teaching your craft. Marjie gives you the best instructions. She really helps you put everything into perspective. Instructional materials are awesome! This class went above and beyond my expectations.”  [Angela Huggins ~ New Jersey]

“I have successfully and with less stress taught my first 3-hour live class, all thanks to Marjie Kemper’s Teaching Your Passion™ course!  Marjie has thought of everything in this very extensive and thorough class. She’s broken everything down to bite-size nuggets of knowledge so you never feel overwhelmed.”  [Carole Monahan ~ Connecticut]

“Marjie’s manner is upbeat, encouraging, supportive, and inclusive.  I benefited from her vast experience. The interaction with Marjie and other students allowed us to share what had worked for us and what we needed help with.  And Marjie was able to answer our specific questions and share ideas related to our fields of interest, which will, I am sure, make our teaching better. She made new techniques seem easy, something very valuable to me.”  [Marilee McKelvey ~ Massachusetts]

“Marjie simplified social media and how to use all the various platforms easily.  This class gave me the tools I need to grow my art instruction business quickly and easily.”  [Karlene Schoonover ~ Texas]

“Marjie has inspired me to go forward with teaching. I have not been so motivated in several years!  This class was full of information, and process. I learned what I need and what can be shelved. The class was incredible and for once I feel empowered.  I wish I could bring Marjie home to live in my studio.”  [Mary Ellen Maney ~ Massachusetts]

What is the AFCI Member Benefit?

AFCI members save $50 using code AFCI at checkout.

How Do I Sign Up?

Registration is now open and closes when the course begins on Monday, November 5.  Sign up here.  Be sure to use the special AFCI member benefit code for $50 savings!

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Questions?

Marjie welcomes your questions at marjie@marjiekemper.com and you can learn more at Marjie Kemper Designs.

Create an Effective B2B Drip Marketing Campaign


by Sandi Rosner for Stitchcraft Marketing

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A drip marketing campaign can be an effective tool to turn prospects into customers. But what is drip marketing? How can it best be deployed by manufacturers, wholesalers and business service providers?

In this article, we’ll explain the process and value of drip marketing, show you an example of a drip marketing campaign, and talk about how to use this tool as part of your overall B2B marketing plan.

What is Drip Marketing?

A drip marketing campaign is a series of strategically timed emails that are delivered to your customers and/or prospects to guide them down the road toward further engagement with your brand. Defined triggers, or specific responses, will automatically generate next steps that are relevant to the prospective customer.

You can think of a drip marketing campaign as a series of breadcrumbs leading your prospect down the path from introduction to providing value to establishing credibility to making the sale.

Why is Drip Marketing Effective?

According to a 2014 study by marketing automation provider Yesware, 70% of email marketing campaigns end after the first email. If your B2B marketing ends with a single email, you’re missing a lot of opportunities. The same study showed even if you don’t receive a reply to your first email, you have a 21% chance of getting a reply to the second one. Still no response? Keep sending.  There is still a 25% chance you’ll hear back from the recipient sooner or later.

Drip marketing helps keep you top-of-mind with your prospects. They may not be ready to buy when they receive your first, second or fifth email, but each communication builds familiarity and credibility.  When they are ready make a move, you’ll be their first call.

Drip Marketing Example

Let’s say you’re exhibiting at a large trade show like AFCI’s Creativation, or The National Needlearts Summer Show. You’d like to invite existing customers and prospects to set appointments to meet with you in your booth. You’ve obtained the email addresses of registered buyers from the show’s sponsoring organization.

Your first email would be sent about 2 weeks before the show and could look something like this:

Subject: Looking forward to meeting you at Creativation

Hello (name):

We’re putting the finishing touches on our booth for the upcoming Creativation show, and can’t wait to show you what’s new for 2019.

Can we set up an appointment to meet at the show? I want to be sure to give you my full attention when you visit us in Booth #(XXX). Please reply with a couple of times that work well for you and let’s get this on our calendars.

Looking forward to sitting down with you.

Best,

Note that this email includes a Call To Action – “reply with times that work.” We’ve told the prospect exactly what we’d like them to do.

If the prospect replies as requested, you’ll send an immediate response confirming an appointment time. You’ll then schedule a reminder email to be sent 2 days before the show.

If you don’t get a reply to your first email, your second email would be sent 3 or 4 days later, and would read like this:

Subject: Creativation Appointment slots still available

Hello (name):

We’re expecting Creativation to be our busiest show yet, and our appointment times are filling quickly. We’re thrilled that so many of our customers are excited to see our 2019 collection!

To help you prepare for the show, here is a link to our 2019 Craft and Color Trends Forecast. I hope you find it useful as you put together your buying plan.

I’d love to walk you through our new line of (whatever) and show you how it works with the trends we’ll be seeing next year. Can I set aside an appointment slot for you? I’m open between 9:00 and 10:00 Saturday morning, or between 2:00 and 4:00 Sunday afternoon. Let me know what time is good for you.

Looking forward to seeing you in Phoenix!

Best,

Note that this email raises the stakes a bit by employing FOMO (fear of missing out). We’ve implied that the prospect’s competitors are scooping up all the appointment times. They need to act quickly to reserve their spot.

We’ve also encouraged the prospect to see us as an authoritative source on what’s going to be hot next year, by linking to a trend report. Better yet, since the trend report lives on our website (maybe a blog post?), clicking the link brings the prospect into our environment.

Once again, a reply from the prospect will generate an immediate response confirming an appointment time, with a follow-up reminder 2 days before the show.

Still no reply? Send a third email about a week before the start of the show:

Subject: See you at Creativation!

Hello (name):

We’re looking forward to meeting you at Creativation next week. Be sure to come see us in Booth # (XXX). Our entire team is excited to show off the new products we’ve developed for you and your customers.

We’ve still got a couple of appointment spots open for Monday morning.  Please give me a call at (XXX-XXX-XXXX) immediately if you’re available. I’d love the chance to show you how our new (whatever) can fit into your assortment.

We’re bringing a limited number of sample packs you can take home to try our newest products at your convenience. Show this email to any member of our staff in Booth #(XXX) to claim yours.

See you in Phoenix!  Don’t forget the sunscreen…

Best,

Our focus has shifted from making an appointment to getting the prospect to visit the booth, while still leaving the appointment door open. Note that we’ve included the booth number twice. We’ve also included 2 CTA’s in this email: call if you’d like to make an appointment, and bring in the email to claim a sample pack.

Of course, you’re going to collect business cards at the show, and you’ll divide them into current customers and prospects. You’ll follow up on these leads with a new drip marketing campaign!

Making Drip Marketing Work for You

There are 5 basic steps to implementing a drip marketing campaign.

FIVE BASIC STEPS TO IMPLEMENTING A DRIP MARKETING CAMPAIGN

We’ll look closer at each step.

Segment Your List

Drip marketing is not a one-size-fits all solution. The more personalized and specific your emails, the more effective they will be.

At the very least, segment current customers from prospects. Your messages to current customers will focus on retention, service and upselling. Your messages to prospects are more introductory and educational.

Consider segmenting your list by the source of the lead.  Did you meet them at a trade show? Did they fill out the “contact us” form on your website? Did they respond to a lead generator offer? Each of these circumstances merits a different drip marketing path. See our blog post on targeting and segmenting for more information about segmenting your list.

Define the Path

For each segment, map the path your drip marketing campaign will follow. Your map for prospects who downloaded a lead generator might look like this:

Sequence Subject Purpose
Email 1 Thank you and welcome This is the handshake. You’re acknowledging the prospect and beginning to make friends.
Email 2 Introduction to company Let the prospect begin to get to know your company and what you do
Email 3 Link to relevant content – a blog post or how-to video Begin to provide value and establish credibility
Email 4 Link to a list of current best sellers – e.g, “20 Top Selling Colors for Fall 2018” Continue providing value while more directly bringing your product or service into the conversation
Email 5 Link to a great cornerstone content piece Continue providing value and establishing credibility
Email 6 Specific product or service descriptions, introductory offer, free shipping on first order Move towards closing the sale, perhaps add some enticements to buy.

How quickly will you move through this sequence? Will you send an email every 3 days? Once a week?

At each step in the sequence, define what happens if the customer makes a purchase as a result of that step. Does the lead move into another segment, perhaps a first-time customer follow-up campaign?

Employ Automation

Effective drip marketing is only sustainable through the use of the auto-responder tools included in your email platform. Work with your email provider to be sure you understand how to set up the triggers for automatically generated emails. All the popular platforms have this capability, and they all work a little differently. See how  Mailchimp’s automation works here. For Constant Contact, click here.

Write the Emails

Here are a couple of tips to keep in mind as you write the emails that make up your campaign:

  • Keep it casual and friendly. You may be engaged in B2B marketing, but there is still a person reading your email and making the buying decision. Don’t be too formal or too corporate.
  • Keep it short. Ideally, your reader won’t need to scroll down to see the meat of your message.
  • Always extend a hand. Every email should invite the reader to get in touch if they have questions or if you can be helpful. Be sure to include the contact information for your sales or customer service staff.
  • Always include a Call To Action. Well designed click-through buttons and other links will help you see where you are connecting with your prospects.

Evaluate the Results

Set aside time on a regular basis to analyze the results of your drip marketing campaign. Which emails have generated the most response? Which links are drawing the most clicks? How many prospects have been converted by a particular campaign?

See what lessons you can learn, and how they can be applied to future campaigns. Your drip marketing campaign will always be a work in process, evolving to meet the changing needs of your customers and your business.

An effective drip marketing program takes some thought and work to plan and implement, but it can produce much better results than a one-size-fits-all email campaign. You’ll find more information on auto-responders and drip marketing as part of Stitchcraft Marketing’s online course, Magic Wand for Social Media. To find out how we can help you make drip marketing part of a comprehensive marketing plan, contact Leanne@stitchcraftmarketing.com.

Attendee Spotlight: Alison Bevis


AFCI Member, Alison Bevis owns The Crafty Chain in Brisbane, the capital of and most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland.

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AFCI Members (left to right): Anita Takemoto, Cheryl Stapleton, Alison Bevis, Brooke Snyder, Cindy deRosier

Earlier this year, Alison completed the post-Creativation survey that was sent to all attendees. She shared that she would prefer other locations than Phoenix for the trade event. (It’s a long trip from Australia!) And, she wasn’t the only person who felt this way. So, in conjunction with the City of Phoenix, AFCI invited Alison and four other attendees who had a similar opinion to revisit Phoenix and explore the culture and things to do.

We spoke with Alison after the trip to learn what she discovered and if her opinion of the location changed.

What are some of the places and things you discovered that Creativation attendees should know about?
“The Downtown Phoenix Ambassador Program is really unique. We have community volunteers in some country shires in Australia, but to have people who will walk you back to your hotel at night or help you carry bags to your car…well, that is just the best service!!”

What was your favorite Phoenix business or place you visited and why?
“I really enjoyed visiting Porter Barn Wood; what a cool forward-thinking young bloke – he will do well in this world!! The (Hazel & Violet) printing shop was a highlight too! It would be a nice workshop with some friends while in town.”

The favorite Phoenix restaurant you tried?
“My goodness…we didn’t have a dodgy meal anywhere!!”

Why are you looking forward to attending Creativation?
“Besides catching up with all my NEW friends!! It is the best place to see new product from the wholesalers, manufacturers and to place orders (before many other businesses) and see the demos with these products to take this knowledge back to my store.”

Register for Creativation

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Join thousands of creative businesses for Creativation, January 17-21, 2019 at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Education will start on January 17; the trade show will open January 19-21. Register for your badge, classes and events today at www.CreativationShow.org.

Thinking about extending your stay to explore Phoenix? We’ve partnered with the City of Phoenix to provide you with resources to help you plan your trip. Click here to explore trip ideas, see things to do nearby the Phoenix Convention Center, and find free virtual travel guides.

Need a hotel? We’ve made it easy for you to book hotels near the event in Phoenix through our new hotel booking partner, Hotels for Hope. Hotels for Hope’s 600,000+ hotel partners allows us to expand the number of hotels at great rates available for Creativation, which gives your company more choices of where to stay! Plus, for every Creativation hotel room night booked through Hotels for Hope, $2 will be donated to the Kids In Need Foundation, AFCI’s Charity of Choice. Book your hotel now!

Penny Black: Exceptional Designs For Every Style


This is sponsored content by Penny Black.

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With their NEWEST collection of stamps and dies, Penny Black will surely inspire you with exceptional designs for every style.

Penny Black’s brushstroke stamps are always a fan favorite. This unique style of stamp will give your cards the look of hand painted artwork! Additionally, this new collection will have you stamping breathtaking winter scenes, combining the charming line art with your favorite coloring media, and smiling big as you stamp critters and snowman friends. This new collection also includes a wide array of brand new die cuts perfect for all of your projects.

Not only is Penny Black a leader in developing unique stamp and die cut designs, but their BLOG, FACEBOOK PAGE, INSTAGRAM, and YOUTUBE CHANNEL are full of ideas and tutorials. Sign up to be a PENNY BLACK CLUB MEMBER (it’s free!) for inspiration and news delivered directly to your inbox. And be sure to head over to Penny Black’s WEBSITE and ONLINE STORE to see all of these new designs.