10 Things I learned at the CHA Winter Show

I went to my first trade show to learn what I could about art licensing. I chose to attend the CHA Winter show because it was relatively inexpensive to attend and crafting is half of who I am, so the concept of the show was exciting in itself. Not to mention, another artist going to the show is also from Colorado and I knew her, so I knew I wasn’t going to be there completely alone.

I went to the show having no idea what to expect nor much of an idea of how to prepare or what I should be doing while there. I spoke to a few people ahead of time to get a rough idea of what would happen, but really, nothing beats the experience of being there first hand. Here are a few of the things I learned from the show that I think I can carry with me regardless of which show I might attend in the future. Also, I picked up on information and insight that I think will carry me through working in this industry in general.

Put together a press kit
You do not need to be an exhibiting artist to submit a press kit. You only need to be attending the show as a designer. I didn’t know this ahead of time. So the night before the show opened I made an quick display to hold some postcards I brought. There’s also a press kit contest, yet another opportunity to show off your creative genius.

Participate in the Designer’s Showcase
For about $100 I could have had a table display for a few hours one night of the trade show. Although I didn’t see a ton of foot traffic to this event, I think it’s a great experience for a first timer to meet other designers and begin showing off some of your work. I did not know about this ahead of time either, but I did have a press pass so was able to check it out.

Sessions are good
I purchased the “all sessions” pass so I could attend any of the extra learning sessions. I ended up only attending about 4 of them, however all were wonderful. Over the years I have found conference sessions to be a great opportunity to meet people. You never know who you might be sitting next to. Additionally, after the session is over, you can always go up and introduce yourself to the speaker/s and thank them for their time and sharing… another great opportunity to get to know people in the industry.

Be prepared to talk with people
Everyone I met at CHA was very friendly. I didn’t expect the warm welcome and crowd of smiling faces that I encountered. I should have anticipated it a bit more… how can people not be happy around all that crafty-ness? Everyone that is there is there to do business and talk with potential clients. However, there are moments of calm when I was able to chat with other artists and designers.  I also did a few walk thrus of the show floor to see what was what and meet more people. You should definitely come prepared with your elevator pitch.

Plan ahead, do some research and make appointments
Being as new to the industry as I am, I had no idea where to begin with doing research on who to meet. If you can plan far enough ahead, you can use the tools and resources that the CHA offers to do your homework ahead of time. Find out which companies will be attending that you’d like to chat with and start communicating before the show. Try to set appointments during the show. I didn’t have this opportunity so I did a lot of impromptu chatting… not nearly as effective as designated sit down talk time, but better than zero talk time.

Leave time to mingle
There are a number of opportunities to mingle and socialize with the other designers, but you have to be prepared to make friends. If you go to the event not knowing a soul and you keep to yourself, you’ll lose valuable “make new friends” time. Make a point to say hello and get to know people while you’re there. If you’re in a booth the whole time, there’s always end of day mingling, dinner, etc. Making friends is the key to successful networking.

Exhibit setup and prep requires some patience and love and tape
I talked with a number of people as they were setting up their booth who had extra unexpected fixtures or only partial information about their booth. This makes it really difficult to come prepared. If you aren’t going to walk the show before you exhibit (it’s always smarter to walk a show without exhibiting the first time you attend), I highly recommend you do all you can to plan your exhibit and materials with flexibility. The displays I saw that seemed to work the best were long thin panels of art. Big images also work nicely. You can pick your favorites or a theme of art for the booth display – catch their eye and draw them in – and then have multiple books to allow browsing of images when people stop to chat. If you can, talk to others that have exhibited previously and ask for their advice with booth setup as well.

Use the CHA Resources
The CHA has a number of resources to help you research and connect with other CHA members including the CHA networking site. If you attend any of the CHA shows and they offer an orientation, definitely go so you can hear about the benefits the organization has to offer. There are many!

And finally, for any show you attend as your fabulous designer/artist self…

Bring business cards! And have them with you always
When I say business cards, I’m a big fan of making your cards part of you. Cards for artists, in my opinion, shouldn’t just be a nice card with contact information. Artist business cards should represent the artist with style and personality. Create your cards to be something that people will remember if they see it again. Everyone hands out so many cards in so many directions… make yours stand out, but remember to be practical. Standard sized cards are best so people can store them easily, but don’t hold back on the art… you’re not paying an artist to draw it up!

Be confident, you’re here for a reason
Someone has to toot your horn, and if it’s not you, who else will it be? For me it’s very intimidating being surrounded by so many talented people. I always end up doubting my abilities and my skill. Don’t let this stop you! You need to remember that you have a talent and you’re doing what you’re doing for a reason. When it comes to selling yourself and your work, this is no time to let shy take over. Just jump in, and be proud of what you’ve accomplished and confident of where you’re going!

For me, this was definitely money and time well spent. I am more confident in my interest to work in this industry and I met some amazing people… even a few new friends. I highly recommend taking the opportunity to walk a show if you can… the networking alone is worth the investment. Besides, nothing beats the opportunity mingle with like minded people when it comes to motivation and inspiration for success.

More photos from CHA Winter Show 2010

More reading about A first timer’s experience at the CHA Winter Show | guest post by Jen Goode on the Arti Licensing Blog of Tara Reed

Living in a bubble

Over the last month it feels like I’ve been living in various little bubbles, hopping from one reality to the next as if controlled by some kind of cosmic TV remote. Things have been moving so fast that I until today I have yet had a moment to catch my breath, let alone stop to connect with all the people along the way.

January 16-20 I was in Las Vegas for Affiliate Summit. Once again the show was fantastic! Along with all the fabulous parties, sessions full of tips, tricks, advice and information, I once again organized the AS Mentor program, I think it was a great success. The events started within hours of my landing in Las Vegas – there were more people, more activities and more opportunities to learn than ever before! I was moving non-stop until it was time to hop a plane back home.

More photos from ASW10

I came home just long enough to wash my clothes and find my artsy mindset to head back out of town, this time to Anaheim for the Craft and Hobby Association Winter Trade Show. This was my first experience (in my entire life) of hanging out with such an enormous group of creative people – I was in heaven! I went to this event to check out the scene for art licensing, a new direction I hope to take my art. The experience was amazing yet I had a serious learning curve as far as the tone of the show compared to my past experience with the crazy socializing atmosphere of the internet socialites at . You can read more about my experience on tara Reed’s Blog, A first timer’s experience at the CHA Winter Show.

More photos from CHA 2010

While I was away, the Colorado government began the process of trying to push through a bill that would kill the Performance Marketing industry in Colorado. AKA the Advertising Tax, HB 1193 threatened to hurt mine and thousands of other affiliate businesses with one big swoop. When I arrived home from CHA on the 27th, I jumped in head first to fight for my business and the continuation of the industry in the state. The battle isn’t quite, over, as the bill still has to pass a 3rd reading in the Senate along with a final vote by both the Senate and House, however, affiliates have been removed from HB 1193 entirely from the bill. Weeeee Ha! It’s amazing what can happen when you combine the power of the people with team effort.

All the traveling, networking, learning, socializing, planning, coordinating and everything else that goes along with event hopping I’ve been doing, ended with a not to fabulous flu day yesterday. My tired body stayed on the couch all day while I finally rested my mind.

It’s been a sureal experience jumping from one reality to the next – each with a whole new set of faces. I’m so thankful for notes and social networking so I can keep in touch with all those that I came across.

Most of all I’m thankful for my family – my husband especially who played single parent while I was away.

Now on to being productive – or at least sorting my thoughts for another adventure – what next?

HB1193 is bad for Colorado

Over the last week, Colorado has been discussing House Bill 1193. This bill is also known as the Advertising Tax throughout the permformance marketing community. In the states that have passed this bill (New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island) hundreds of business have been destroyed over night.

The Colorado House has one more vote on this bill tomorrow, so today I wrote and just sent the following letter in hopes my state representatives hear and realize the impact their votes will have on my family and hundreds of other small business owners in Colorado.

My name is Jennifer Goode and I am a 4th generation Coloradoan – very proud of my Colorado heritage. I am a mother of 3 (14, 7 and 2) and both my husband and I are small business owners. I’ve been successfully self employed for over 10 years. I pay my taxes, support local fund raising efforts and do all this due to online business opportunities.

I oppose HB1193 because it doesn’t help Colorado’s budget, it will directly impact my business and family along with hundreds if not thousands of others in Colorado – devastating our incomes. I urge you to vote NO!

I have a number of websites that advertise for various retailers. I do not collect money nor handle transactions. I do not deliver products. I advertise and redirect traffic to advertiser websites.

One such example is http://www.detailsofdesign.com – I share ideas about creating art and advertise for various art related companies, but I do not sell the art supplies and programs myself. This business model is important to me because it allows me to run a business and earn an income while working from home with my children.

If HB1193 passes, the out-of-state retailers I work with will terminate this business relationship as they did with New York, North Carolina and Rhode Island when similar bills passed. As result my income will be devastated. This will, in turn, hurt the Colorado budget as I can’t pay income tax on income I don’t earn.

I urge you to vote NO on this bill. If passed it will result in Colorado small businesses going out of business literally over night. The amendment included in this bill does not solve the problem… Advertisers will still terminate their relationships with Colorado affiliates. This bill will not earn new revenue for the state of Colorado, but if passed, it will lose revenue for a great number of Colorado businesses, organizations and families.

I can appreciate the need to gain new revenue for Colorado. I have young children in public school, and my grandmother is also a Colorado resident. My grandfather, Rollin Barnard, was an active member in a variety of areas throughout the state including Mayor of Greenwood Village. At one point I myself was a single mother benefiting from public assistance with a 2 year old son. I appreciate and am so grateful for the funding the state provides for our children, seniors, families and schools. HB1193 is not the answer to gaining new revenue – for these types of needs – not for any of our state’s programs. HB1193 will only create more need, putting more people out of work and more families in financial despair.

Please, I urge you, vote NO to HB1193.


Jennifer Goode
Colorado small business owner – Independent voter

More info about this bill, A pdf file from the state website: http://bit.ly/CObill

If you would like to support this effort, please sign up with the PMA.

I also urge you to write your representative today!

Penguins, People and Art Licensing

I’ve been designing and creating art for over 14 years, the last 5 focusing on Print on Demand. Now, I’m heading into a new realm of selling art… art licensing. I’ve always wanted to be lucky enough to have art I created on products for the masses to buy, yet I’ve never been sure where to start. I’ve designed product packaging and labels for clients but that’s not really MY art… it’s art someone else wanted me to make for them. I’ve also sold hundreds of products featuring JGoode art through places like Cafepress or Zazzle – but this angle doesn’t allow you to walk into the mall and see a JGoode penguin to purchase.

So Now, after years of focusing on online marketing for my art, I’m taking the leap and heading toward the world of art licensing in hopes of building relationships and landing contracts with manufacturers so you CAN walk into a retail store and find the penguins just waiting to be taken home. How cool would that be?! I can think of 100 things I’d love to see with a penguin… or any JGoode grin for that matter. I’d start collecting my own art!

Tomorrow I will be heading to my first art licensing related show, CHA (aka Craft and Hobby Association’s Winter Trade Show). I’ll be checking out the sessions and learning me something fabulous. Of course the penguin will be with me, so if you’re near by, holler and we can take a picture!

Here’s a little video that I created in honor of this big step…

Special thanks to Tara Reed for the inspiration to create the video.

I am hoping to continue to learn and grow with this new direction. It’s an exciting industry! I want to take my design business to the next level. I hope you come along for the ride!

Denver Helping Haiti

I just received an email this morning from KHOW radio with an invitation to help raise funds for the Haiti people.KHOW will be broadcasting live from the Denver Press Club TODAY from 3pm-6pm and is inviting you to stop by and make a donation. You can also make a donation through the website or text via your cell phone.

Here’s the full message:

After being hit by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake, the people of Haiti need your help. 630 KHOW is joining forces with Andrew Hudson’s Job List and the Red Cross of Colorado to raise funds for the relief effort in Haiti.

We will broadcast our show 3pm – 6pm tonight live from the Denver Press Club at 1330 Glenarm Place in downtown Denver. You can drop by during the show with a donation, drive by the Press Club at 13th and Glenarm and we’ll have Red Cross volunteers collecting your donations in the streets (no parking hassles!), make a contribution online at www.khow.com, or text “Haiti” to 90999 to donate $10.

Nobody can help everybody, but we can work together as a city and have a real, positive impact.

See you tonight, jen!
Dan Caplis & Craig Silverman

Places to find JGoode and The Penguin this month

Running my own business, working my own social networking, creating new art and grinnable goodies… all working from home –  I tend to hide out and not socialize as much as I should. I really do need two of me to accomplish the list I create for myself. However, this month is particularly busy with travel and events, not nearly as much home time. There is a wide array of topics I’m interested and involved in so the mix of upcoming events for JGoode Designs and The Penguin is rather spread out between designing art, handmade goods, internet marketing and social media/networking – regardless of how thin I might be spread sometimes, it is what I do and I love every minute of it!

JGoode and The penguins
Me and my Pengs

The penguin and I will be at the following events,
if you’re nearby definitely say hi!

Listen to me on Twitter Talk Radiolive online
January 6 at 12:30pm PST
(podcasts of the show will be available later through itunes)

Affiliate Summit West 2010 – Las Vegas, NV
January 16th – January 20th

Mile High Mamas/Mom it Forward @Sephora- Boulder, CO
January 16th – January 20th – more info

CHA Winter Convention and Trade Show – Anahiem, CA
January 22 – January 27th
the show is really 1/24-1/27 but I will be attending industry sessions and the Super Craft Show on the 23rd.

More upcoming events:

South Denver Internet Group – Lone Tree, CO
January 12th – Clocktower Grill

meeting – Denver, CO
February – Location TBA

SURTEX – New York, NY
May 16-18, 2010

I’m pretty sure me and my penguin mobile will be out and about round town from time to time as well… I do have to make sure the kids eat, ya know. So if you see me around please wave!

Wear red today and get a love button for shouting it out!

Today, Feburary 6th 2009, is National Wear Red Day, an event promoted by the American Heart Association with support from companies around the country as well as thousands of people just like yourself. The idea is to wear red to help raise awareness of the dangers of women’s heart disease…

Every minute, someone’s mother, daughter, wife or sister dies from heart disease and stroke in the United States.”

So pull out whatever red you have today and wear it. Take the Heart Check-upDonate if you can and Shout out to everyone you know to help spread the word.

In addition to my shout out to wear red today, I’m offering a special series of “love buttons” this year. If you comment here on my blog or my facebook page, you can get your own love button for free. Yes, absolutely no cost to you – AND I will donate 1.00 to the American Heart Association.


Limit one freebie per mailing address. If you would like more.. see below for details on purchasing more buttons.

Please, do not post your mailing address on my blog
– just leave an accurate email address and I will contact you for your shipping info.

Buy More Buttons

You can also buy love buttons from the JGoode Designs online shop.
Proceeds from these items are donated to the American Heart Association.