May 23, 2007

Grab Some Popcorn - CHA vs PMA

Somebody pass me the popcorn – there’s a fight brewin’ and I’m just going to watch it for a while before I take sides.

I blogged a month or so ago about the case for the third show. Well, now we have another chapter to this Scrap Soap. And, before all you consumers roll your eyes and say, “What does this have to do with me”, you better consider that it DOES have something to do with you because this fight could affect your purchasing habits and what NEW products you get in your LSS next in early 2008.

So, in a nutshell, industry educator The SMART GROUP was recently acquired by the Photo Marketing Association. No biggie – companies in this and every industry change hands regularly. But, The Smart Group was and still is part of the “Kill Memory Trends” movement. They argued recently that CHA Winter and Summer were enough and we didn’t need a THIRD show muddying up the waters. Well, apparently they changed their tune when they changed hands. Now, they are arguing that CHA SUMMER and the PMA show (which is like a week after the CHA Winter show – you know that show, it’s where everything in the scrapbook universe makes its debut) are the ones everyone should attend. And, on top of this, the Memory Trends Show might be acquired by the PMA. Clear as mud???

YIKES! Pull up a chair and pass the popcorn! The heavies are now weighing in on this and it could mean the industry is getting ripped in half. I’m not going to name names because, frankly, I don’t hold any malice towards anyone for choosing one or the other. That’s my point – every vendor must choose for themselves (and some already have). And, retailers must choose for themselves. But, what if all the wholesalers choose one show and the retailers choose the other? That’s like giving a party where nobody comes. Quite a comical thought, actually.

While the case to align the scrapbook industry with the Photo Marketing Association makes sense, what doesn’t make sense is this fury to murder trade shows. Many industries have their own shows. Shoot, I was in a pizza place the other day and saw a magazine about the Pizza Show. I assume that Pizza joints also go to the BIG food shows in addition to pizza shows. Yes, pizza is bigger than scrapbooking, but you get my point. Again, I believe that people must evaluate and decide for themselves. We’re all smart people and must make decisions that are good for our businesses. Usually that means following the crowd, but we need to come to that conclusion on our own.

The case for PMA as presented by the head of the Smart Group is that without photos, scrapbooking is nothing and that scrapbooking is a way to preserve and present photos. Compare that the CHA (The Craft and Hobby Association) where Scrapbooking is a late-comer to this decades old association. Without scrapbooking, crafts are still crafts and scrapbooking is just another craft. The CHA was around long before scrapbook vendors filled 50% of its trade show. Yet, not a lot of attention has been paid to scrapbooking despite the fact that it’s a MAJOR player at CHA now.

Compare this to the Photo Marketing Association which has a whole section called the Professional Scrapbook Retailers Organization (PSRO), headed up by industry Maven Jeanne Wines-Reed. They seem more devoted to supporting the scrapbook industry and it makes more sense to align with an industry that is interested in our specific craft.

Okay, therefore what? It makes sense but buyers and sellers have to get together on this. How is that going to happen? I for one was THRILLED that CHA Winter moved back to Anaheim. I hate the Las Vegas strip area with every fiber of my being and the thought of now having to attend shows back there makes me cringe. But, if there isn’t anyone in Anaheim next year, then Viva Las Vegas…

So, I am going to sit in my recliner and munch on popcorn and watch this develop and hope for the best. At best, what will happen is that your local scrapbook store may carry fewer new lines come next year because some vendors will not be at the show your LSS owner goes to.

Or, as was suggested at ScrapBiz today, perhaps a virtual trade show is in order – send me the new stuff by email and then wait by the phone for me to call. That way, those who choose to go to one show or the other won’t miss out.

1 comment:

AimeeInOhio said...

agh I ahve a headache!