Friday, February 01, 2008

Vegas, Baby!

Wow! I am having a blast here ... way more fun than I expected! OK, let's start with the good things:
1) Ali Edwards' class on teaching and promoting scrap classes, Life Art 101. Great class! I was proud to see that I was already doing a number of the things she suggested but was thrilled to walk away with a lot of fresh ideas for making my classes even better. One tidbit I think I will try: spend a few minutes before each class to pull a few of my favorite things from the store shelves and share these during the class. That way people become educated on new supplies and tools, and, if the items happen to be purchased that night, the store benefits, too, with the sales. Ali and CK Media were also kind enough to give each attendee her book: "Life Artist," which she autographed.
2) Candice Stringham's portrait photography class, Exposing Your Creative Vision. This contributing editor for Creating Keepsakes magazine knows her photography and knows how to teach it simply so others can understand how to use their cameras to get the best photos of people of all ages. A handy tip: Get rid of double chins by doing the "chicken neck" maneuver - stick your head forward from the neck ... you'll look funny from the side in real life, but because photography is two dimensional, the image will flatten and you'll look slimmer on paper! Whoo-hoo! And I'm all about looking thinner! Of course, the photo of Ali E and I was taken the day BEFORE I knew this trick...
3) Meeting fabulous people! I met a lot of guys and gals like me - entreprenuers with fledgling, but promising businesses. A couple of the ones that intrigued me were Scrapblog and Digital Scrapbooking Files.
4) Playing with the "Big Boys." Just about every country was represented by exhibitors or attendees at the PMA (Photo Marketing Association) trade show. It is clear why so many people in the scrapbooking industry think scrapbooking should join in with PMA. Huge companies were showing off their newest and most innovative photo technologies: Canon, Fuji, Kodak, Pentax, Epson, HP, Samsung, Sony ... the list goes on. But there were also plenty of smaller companies that caught my attention, many of which would blend in with traditional scrapbooking very well! But more on them later.
5) Shopping! I placed a few orders for *new* product! I have some new idea books for acrylic projects coming from Design Originals, so watch for those soon. I also ordered some of the *new* Wild Asparagus paper from My Minds Eye, as well as some from their Street Market line. This will be for kits/classes coming up for the spring/early summer! Also, K2R will soon carry the Crop-a-dile Big Bite (look for it in March!) and all sorts of Gromlets to use with it. And good news about the case! If you bought your Big Bite on HSN and have screw-off feet, We R Memory Keepers has redesigned the Big Bite since then to have slide-off feet that can be taken off in a matter a moments so the Big Bite can be easily stored away in it's case. Just contact We R from their web site:

6)No one was there! Because so many store owners and teachers decided to stay home and only go to CHA next weekend, I was able to chat with the manufacturers longer, and find out even more about their services and products. Plus, I was able to chat with Ali E without rushing away so the next person could have their time with her, plus I got to know CK editor Brian Tippetts a little bit while I waited between classes.

The bad things:
1) No one was there! Because manufacturers pulled out by the dozens, there were only about 6 of them in the "MemoryTrends" section of the show (also known as PSRO - Professional Scrapbooking Retailers Organization - division of PMA). The nu,mber of classes was significantly reduced, as well, but the MT organizers are refunding me half of my money because of that. But still, as I looked around PMA as a whole, I really think the scrapbooking industry missed the boat on the show. There is a lot of potential here to cross-promote between the different photo industries (in fact I am in negotiations with a few companies now to bring new ideas around). But, on the flip side, I know it is tough for manufacturers and attendees to set up and go to one show and then have to turn around and be somewhere else less than a week later. PMA is in Macrh in 2009 and while I do not yet know the dates for CHA, hopefully there can be enough time so that more people can do both shows.
2) There was a lot of miscommunication between Memory Trends, PMA and me as an attendee. It took me almost two hours to figure out where I was supposed to be Thursday with what paperwork because the info desks all sent me to different places that were wrong. In fact, when I finally got to my first class (Ali's) without a moment to spare, I did not have the tickets I was supposed to have. Thank goodness they let Rodney and I in, anyway, and we straightened it all out later.

But, for the most part, I must say that I am pleased I came to the show. I have made a lot of contacts, seen a lot of SoCal friends and learned, not only about scrapbooking, but about the photo industry as a whole. And I am very much looking forward to CHA next weekend so I can compare and contrast the two.


Anonymous said...

It sounds like a wonderful time - wish I could have been there! Thank you for finding out about the Big Bite feet. :)

Jennifer AKA SS

Laura said...

Thank you again Jessica for letting represent K2R for the day.. I too thought it was very informative. Looking forward to next year!