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Craft association experiments with a shorter trade show

Expert says many shows have trimmed schedules to benefit exhibitors, but shorter shows don’t translate to shorter visits by attendees

February 5, 2016
By Walt Williams

The Craft & Hobby Association is moving its annual trade show from Anaheim, Calif., to Phoenix next year, and in the process the trade group is shaving a day from the event’s schedule.

The 2017 CHA MEGA Conference and Trade Show will be three days long as opposed to four, as it has been in recent years. The reason for the change came from members, according to Maureen Walsh, CHA’s vice president of membership and marketing.

Post-conference surveys in the past few years indicated that exhibitors in particular felt the show was too long.

“In our industry, trade show budgets are always in a state of flux, and (trade shows) are one of the places companies are looking to cut costs,” Walsh said. “So we are trying to help our exhibitors and manufacturers—who we rely upon so greatly to fund sponsorships and throw this big event—meet their needs.”