Creativation 2019 - Five Fabulous Days

Creativation 2019 has come and gone. It was the 6th time I'd attended this craft industry trade show and it was, by far, my most productive and worthwhile show. Over the course of five days, I connected with new-to-me brands, reconnected with brands I've worked with before, took valuable classes, and spent quality time with friends old and new. I tried new products, spotted trends, and soaked everything in. 

Over the next few days, I'll share some of the fabulous new products I saw, show you projects I made, and tell you all about the trends for 2019. Today is an overview of everything I did. 


Day 1: Thursday, January 17

I was up at 3:00 am and headed to the airport for my flight to Phoenix. Once in Phoenix, I took the metro from the airport to the Renaissance, dropped my luggage, then headed to the Convention Center to register. 

A few things about my name badge. As you can see, I am a "Digital Content Creator" (DCC). The Association for Creative Industries (AFCI) is divided into member sections. I qualify as both a Designer member and a DCC, but dual membership isn't allowed and DCC is the better fit for me. The blue ribbon indicates that I'm a Creator VIP

Each Creator VIP got a huge tote full of samples donated by 26 of the exhibiting companies. The tote weighed about 30 pounds and all of us were overwhelmed the generosity of the manufacturers. I'll be showing you projects with these supplies over the next few weeks/months.

I headed to Creativation University, where I took a class about moderating Facebook groups, then a lecture that covered 3000 years of the western alphabet. 

I had to leave that class a few minutes early (which I hated to do - it was fascinating) so that I could set up for the class I was teaching. 

I had around 60 introverts attending my class and I heard positive feedback from many of them. I was very happy with how the class went and delighted to get to know some of the attendees better over the next few days. 

After my class, I joined around 80 craft bloggers at Mi Amigos for dinner, crafting, and connecting. So much fun!!

The event was sponsored by Plaid. I used their Glitterific paints (affiliate link) to create my sparkly globe. I love how it turned out! 


Day 2: Friday, January 18

Friday is all about education. There are seminars and hands-on workshops on a huge variety of topics that relate to the craft industry. 

I started with an 8:00 am class about GDPR by Kiffanie Stahle of the artist's J.D. It was extremely useful, though not one of the more exciting classes I took. 

Next was two back-to-back classes about video. I am a complete novice when it comes to video, but I see the value of incorporating it in my business. I learned how to make quick and easy slideshow videos (which I shared daily on my Facebook page). I loved learning about Arkon mounts. I haven't decided which set-up I want, but I'm leaning toward this one (affiliate link). 

Next was another class about legal stuff - disclosures, endorsements, sponsorships, etc. Then, the Digital Content Creator section meeting.

Next up was a brand meet-and-greet, a class on transforming inspiration into action, a private meeting with a brand rep, and then the New Product Networking Event. In past years, this event has been in the lobby, but this year it was on the show floor. However, all the booths were blocked by curtains. No sneak peeks!

The event was ridiculously crowded, but I did my best to see what was featured. 

I was very excited by the white lettering pen set by Faber Castell (not for sale yet - bummer.)

Here is the Glitterific paint I'd used the previous day. 

The Winky and Dutch buttons were really cute and come in a zillion designs. 

Mod Podge Ultra (affiliate link) that sprays on? Tell me more! This is a potential game changer. 

And an odorless version of E-6000? Yes, please!!

After oohing and ahhing over all the items on display, I met up with my friends from the May Phoenix trip at Hanny's

The food was incredible. Anita and I shared two salads and two desserts. 

 After a long day of learning and fun, I headed back to my home-away-from-home, the Renaissance.


Day 3: Saturday, January 19

The trade show floor opened at 9:00 am, but the Creator VIPs were allowed on the floor at 8:00 am. Woo-hoo! 

I did a live video during that time. I did my best to stay out of the way of the exhibitors who were frantically working on last-minute touches.

At 9:00, the show floor opened to everyone. I spent the next four hours trying to soak everything in, to get a feel for what was new, to look for trends, to watch demonstrations, and to develop a game plan for the rest of my time.  

In the afternoon, I watched Project Embellish, a jewelry making competition between six talented designers. That was a lot of fun. 

When the show floor ended, I zipped back to the hotel, then headed to the Prime Networking Event

It's an invitation-only event for bloggers and influencers. Sponsors who are interested in working with content creators are set up at tables around the room. This is what it looked like when I arrived, but it filled up very quickly. 

As if it weren't enough to have such a great opportunity to talk with brands, Prime stuffs us with the most delicious food and drinks. It's a fantastic event. 


Day 4: Sunday, January 20

Another beautiful morning in Phoenix!

I had quite a few meetings scheduled for Sunday. In between the meetings, I did live booth tours, a bunch of make-and-takes, and attended a lecture on the importance of cursive writing. 



I also took a painting class from Plaid (you can take their classes for free online!). Andy Jones is an outstanding teacher.  

When the show floor closed, I zipped over to the Sheraton for an event called "Meet Me at the Show," sponsored by Simon Says Stamp and Scrapbook and Cards Today

What an evening! This was the inaugural event and it was absolutely amazing. There were make-and-takes set up around the perimeter of the room, tasty food, huge goodie bags (two tote bags, stuffed), and a whole bunch of door prizes (I won one from Avery Elle!!)


Afterward, I headed back to the hotel. It took me 2.5 hours to pack. Here's a peak at just SOME of the product samples, prizes, and goodies I needed to fit into my luggage. 

It took my roommate, Betsy, even longer to pack. Between the two of us, it looked like the contents of an entire craft store were spread on every surface of our room!


Day 5: Monday, January 21

My first activity on Monday started at 7:30 am, so there was not much rest for the weary. I packed up the last things and headed downstairs. As I wrestled my way down the hall, into the elevator, and across the lobby with 70+ pounds of luggage, I realized there was no way I'd be able to manage my two suitcases (45 lbs. and 25 lbs.) and a rolling tote on the metro to the airport. I scheduled a SuperShuttle for that afternoon and was pleased to learn it was only $12 from the hotel to the airport. Not as cheap as $2 for the metro, but worth it!

I checked my luggage at the hotel, then headed to the convention center for the AFCI Annual Business Meeting and Town Hall. Even though there are a lot of things I'd rather do than attend a business meeting at 7:30 am, I think it is critical to attend, learn what's going on with my organization, and have my voice heard.

When the meeting was over, Betsy and I headed to the Stamping Village (a section of the trade show floor for stamp companies) to do their "stampenger" hunt. 

It was WAY harder than it seemed, but we worked together and finished in just over an hour. It was really fun and I hope it's back next year.

I had a meeting, then wandered the show floor. I stopped to see the companies that had won booth awards, including Webster's Pages and Fiskars.

I did more make-and-takes and took a bunch more photos. All too soon, it was time to go.

The airport was crazy and my flight was delayed, but I made it home in one piece around 10:00 pm. It was a whirlwind of a trip in the best of all possible ways. I already have my calendar marked for the next Creativation show, January 16-20, 2020!


  1. Looks like you had an action-packed 5 days....and are now brimming with lots of creative inspiration. :)

  2. Wow!! Loving all the photos!!! I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed for me and you next year!!!! xoxo :)

  3. It was awesome seeing you! It sure was a great show this year!


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