First was Crafting Trends: What's In and Hot for 2016 and Beyond, taught by Linda Swingle. Linda identified quite a few of the hottest trends for the year, including:
- metallics (especially gold, silver, copper and bronze)
- natural elements and colors (lapis, amethyst, shell, pebbles, wood, stone, sky tones, earth tones, seascape)
- forest creatures (especially foxes and owls)
- vintage (especially from the 1930's, 1970's and 1980's)
- Americana, folk art, and handmade items
- chalk paint
- faux finishes
- wood burning
- global and/or tribal inspiration, especially from India
Did you spot any of those in the CHA photos I've shared so far? I definitely saw them!
My second class was SEO and Blogging - What the Heck is Google Looking For? by Ann Butler and Theresa Cifali. This class was very valuable to me. I've learned a lot about SEO (search engine optimization) through my work with both Scrapbook.com and Fun Family Crafts, but there's so much more to learn. And it is ever-changing! I came away with a list of specific things I will be doing here at My Creative Life. (Not to worry - as readers, you probably won't notice any difference. But it should improve my searchability quite a bit.)
Next was the three-hour Google Marketing Boot Camp by Joe Rotella. Wow, what a class! Joe normally teaches this over four days, so the amount of information he packed into three hours was impressive! The class was hands-on, so I was able to put some of his recommendations into effect on my blog immediately. I'd love to take the four-day version with him.
I only took one non-business related workshop: Weave a Ring on a Mini Loom by Carol Porter. It was completely different than anything I've ever done, which is exactly why I took it. I spent more time undoing mistakes than actually making progress, but that didn't prevent me from enjoying every minute.
Attract Opportunity: Jump Start Your Brand was by the fabulous Kathy Cano-Murillo, aka The Crafty Chica. What an incredible speaker and motivator! Kathy shared great tips to develop our brands and achieve our business goals. Her enthusiasm is infectious and I will absolutely be taking courses by her in the future, no matter what the topic!
The keynote, A World of Craft: The Craft Industry Reacts to Sociocultural Trends, by Philip Fimmano was not technically a class, but I learned so much there I'd be remiss not to mention it. I took six full pages of tiny notes during his one-hour lecture! He had so much to share about trends and fashion and craft and the interconnection between them all, throughout every segment of society.
Working with Bloggers was a panel of five craft professionals who represent different areas of the craft industry. Each had invaluable information to share about blogging, networking, and working with manufacturers. Again, I left with a big list of specific things I will be doing in the near future.
Creating Your Brand by Laura of Laura Kelly Designs was another fantastic workshop. She shared her career path, interlaced with tips for building our own brands and being successful in the craft industry. Her overall message is to be authentic, be passionate, and think big.
The final class I took, The Law of People: When Others Work For or With You by Tammy Browning-Smith, might have been the most valuable of all the classes I took. It was certainly the most eye-opening. Since I am in the position of both working as and with an Independent Contractor, this gave me a far better understanding of the legal ramifications of both sides. I really appreciated Tammy taking the time after class to speak with us each individually about any legal concerns we had.
I really can't say enough about how wonderful the classes at the CHA Mega Show were this year. Thanks so much to all my fabulous instructors!