Virtual Backgrounds for Creativation

This time last year I was busy preparing to travel to Creativation, the trade show for the Association for Creative Industries (AFCI). Creativation is the highlight of my year as a creative professional. For five days, I get to try all the latest and greatest craft products, take classes, and spend time with thousands of craft manufacturers, retailers, designers, and my fellow Digital Content Creators. 

The 2021 Creativation trade show will be virtual (and has been moved to March). It's not what anybody wanted, but it is what it is. I'm disappointed not to have an in-person conference, of course, but am determined to make the best of the situation and get as much out of it as I can. There are some upsides to the virtual conference (temporarily rebranded as Creativation+ to reflect the expanded possibilities with the online environment). The most obvious is cost. By attending from my own home, I'm saving on the cost of plane tickets, airport shuttles, a hotel room, and meals out. That's huge. Classes will be recorded, so for the first time I can attend multiple workshops and seminars that are scheduled for the same time slot. I won't miss out on anything at home or putting a burden on Steve to handle all the parenting duties for the week. I'm not sure all of that makes up for the downsides of a virtual trade show, but since it is what it is, I might as well look at the bright side. 

AFCI held a contest for its members to design virtual backgrounds that will be used during the conference. I'd intended to make one to enter, but I love playing with PicMonkey so much that I actually created five. Each features the Creativation+ logo and the official color palette. 

In December, the judges announced the nine finalists, of which five would win. One of mine made the cut, the one with the stapler. Click the image below to see a larger view of each entry. 

I have no idea who designed the other eight designs and am very curious to find out. While my design is not my favorite amongst the finalists (it wasn't even my favorite amongst my own designs), it is in my Top 5. Unfortunately, my fellow AFCI members disagreed and mine was not a winner. 

Oh well! I'm interested to see whether people use the winning backgrounds or not. Personally, I'm going to use something with my own branding rather than Creativation+ branding. I'm guessing most industry professionals are savvy enough to do the same, unless there is some sort of prohibition to using anything other than the official backgrounds. 

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