Click on each session title to view the description. 

All times listed below are in Central Standard Time. Access a time zone conversion tool here.

Registration for Creativation+, featuring Arts Materials World includes full access to the following education sessions. More sessions will be added as finalized and additional details on each of the following sessions will be released in December.

Back to Schedule-at-a-Glance 

Monday, March 15

Digital Marketing: Essential Strategies for a Noisy World

Speaker: Georganne Bender and Rich Kizer
Time: 1:15 - 2:15pm
Category: Business Insights
Difficulty Level: All Levels Welcome
Audiences: Chain Retailers, Independent Retailers


Have you had it with all the DO IT NOW! ACT NOW! Marketing talk from so-called gurus who love to take your money, but leave you with a bunch of unanswered questions? Then this seminar is for you! Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender will take you through each of the steps necessary to build a digital marketing strategy that gets results. You’ll learn: Retail trends that will change how you do business now and in the future; How to Position your store to create Top of the Mind Awareness; What your Website needs to do to attract and engage customers; How to create Email Campaigns that get results; How to use Content Marketing to grow sales; What you can do right now to Control Your On-Line Reputation; Plus, what to say to Encourage Customer Conversation, how much time you should invest each day on marketing, the latest tools available to help evaluate your on-line effectiveness, and more. This isn't a” Let’s talk” strategy session. You will come away with strategies, tactics, tips and techniques to take your digital marketing to the next level!

 

How to Build Multiple Income Streams From Your Brand or Shop

Speaker: Kathy Cano-Murillo, Crafty Chica, LLC
Time: 1:15 - 2:15pm
Category: Business Insights
Difficulty Level: Fundamentals
Audiences: Open to All Audience Types


Learn how to create multiple revenue streams from your brick and mortar shop, or even just from your digital brand. You will leave with an action list of ideas to ideate, develop, and launch new ways to bring in money.

 

Now's the Time to Learn YouTube

Speaker: Carolina Moore
Time: 1:15 - 2:15pm
Sponsored by the AFCI Digital Content Section


Now more than ever, video is being used by business owners and marketers to engage customers, grab attention, and share stories. Whether you're camera shy or ready for your chance in the spotlight, you'll learn the basics of getting set up on YouTube (the second largest search engine on the web), and leave with a plan for using video to grow your bottom line in 2021.

 

The Digital Buyer's Journey - How to Nurture Your Potential Purchasers in Plain English

Speaker: Spencer Smith*
Time: 3:30 - 4:30pm
Category: Business Insights
Difficulty Level: Level Up
Audiences: Chain retailers, Independent Retailers, Suppliers
*New Voice


In this presentation, Spencer X Smith, a social media expert (Forbes) will share intermediate and advanced-level strategies for effective digital and social media marketing. He’ll map out the buyer’s journey, the various touchpoints involved, and share up-to-date tactics for maximizing your ad spend.

Objectives:
  • Identify the steps involved in the modern marketing mix
  • Establish where to increase your efforts
  • Understand which metrics are most important

 

YouTube, But Do YouStandOut?

Speaker: Angie Holden
Time: 3:30 - 4:30pm
Sponsored by the AFCI Digital Content Section


Are you ready to step up your YouTube game? Learn how to optimize your videos and get more views to your content as well as grow your following the right way! Attendees should have a basic understanding of YouTube and a presence on the platform.

Tuesday, March 16

Earn More with Affiliate Marketing

Speaker: Jessie Raynot
When: 1:15 - 2:15pm
Sponsored by the AFCI Digital Content Section


Incorporating affiliate marketing into your online business is a great way to increase your income. What could be better than making money when your readers buy supplies you’ve introduced to them? Learn the dos and don’ts from a panel experienced in affiliate marketing. Attendees should come with a basic understanding of what affiliate marketing is - ShareASale is a great place to start.

 

Effective Leadership through Difficult Times

Speaker: Joe Rotella, Create & Craft
Time: 1:15 - 2:15pm
Category: Creative Innovation
Difficulty Level: Strategic Thinking
Audiences: Open to All Audience Types


Leadership, especially during challenging times, is paramount to your organization's success. Your employees will look to you to not only get them through this current watershed, but also, continue to achieve your vision and your company's goals. Join Joe Rotella, a SHRM top-rated speaker, as he discusses the current state of leadership, what people are looking for in a leader, Why leadership matters in the creative industry, and finally what you can do to be a more effective leader.

 

INSTA-AMAZING! Level Up All of Your Instagram Content

Speaker: Gale Zucker*, Gale Zucker Photography
Time: 1:15 - 2:15pm
Category: Social Savvy; Trend Watch
Difficulty Level: All Levels Welcome
Audiences: Open to All Audience Types
*New Voice


Instagram is an amazingly powerful social media for everyone in the creative industries. It's all about the visuals ! With the right content, Instagram is a great way to grow a brand, create community around a business and convert viewers to customers. In this seminar professional photographer Gale Zucker will explore what kind of content to use in each of the Instagram channels: the feed(grid), Stories, Reels, Live and IGTV. She'll overview the best way to use each, and spoiler alert: you do not need to use them all! Attendees will learn which channels may work best for them and how to plan and create a consistent, beautiful presence that forms a brand narrative. At the heart of the session, attendees will learn tips, tricks and techniques to create effective images that shine online. Gale Zucker will cover planning, photographing, lighting, accessory gear and camera angles. This presentation is for those new to Instagram as well as those who want to level up their skills and learn how to better tell a story through multiple channels

 

Connecting Brands and Influencers: A Creativation Meet and Greet

Speaker: Cindy deRosier
Time: 3:30 - 4:30pm
Sponsored by the AFCI Digital Content Section


Join AFCI's Digital Content Creators Section as they help brands and influencers connect in a fun and fresh way. This session is open to manufacturer representatives who are looking to develop collaborations with influencers, and to digital content creators who are ready to share those brands with their followers. This meet and greet might just connect you with a future partner.

 

How to Create Community Around Your Brand

Speaker: Kathy Cano-Murillo, The Crafty Chica
Time: 3:30 - 4:30pm
Category: Social Savvy
Difficulty Level: Level Up
Audiences: Open to All Audience Types


Community is the key to a successful business, it's how our brands thrive. From one person click a link to a sold-out craft night - there are many creative ways you can bring people together using your personality, brand, and ideas. Kathy Cano-Murillo, The Crafty Chica, will share the different in-person and online methods she uses to unite her followers formally over the world into one happy family of creatives! You will leave with a list of jumpstart ideas to tailor to your own brand.

 

Legal Nuts and Bolts Selling Online

Speaker: Kiffanie Stahle, the artist's J.D.
Time: 3:30 - 4:30pm
Category: Business Insights
Difficulty Level: All Levels Welcome
Audiences: Designers, Digital Content Creators, Educators/Demonstrators, Independent Retailers, Professional Makers/DIYers


Attendees will learn what's legally required to sell online, including when sales tax must be collected, how to use customer reviews, and when California's Prop. 65 applies.

 

Wednesday, March 17

Instagram Stories That Grow Your Brand

Speaker: Tisa Jackson
Time: 1:15 - 2:15pm
Sponsored by the AFCI Digital Content Section


Feeling unheard or unseen on Instagram? Don’t overthink it. In this workshop style class, you will put pen to paper and identify how to build up your brand’s presence and connect with your ideal audience. This session will include setting up - or re-visiting - your bio, tips for creating a consistent and cohesive feed, and the importance of on-brand photos. Attendees will also hear how to maximize engagement through partnerships with stores or brands. By establishing the basics, you can then focus on being yourself and having fun, while accomplishing your goals.

 

PHOTOEDITING in your PHONE: Make Your Images Shine

Speaker: Gale Zucker, Gale Zucker Photography
Time: 1:15 - 2:15pm*
Category: Social Savvy; Trend Watch
Difficulty Level: All Levels Welcome
Audiences: Open to All Audience Types
*New Voice


Here's the secret of all the best photos: they’ve been edited! Whether a quick adjustment to color and contrast or more complex pixel pushing, the digital image making process includes photo editing to truly let the content sing. In this workshop professional photographer Gale Zucker will demo and share tips using Snapseed, a photo editing app for IOS and Android. It is a user-friendly multifunctional tool that enables truly professional-looking results. Topics covered will include an overview of the app, simple adjustments, retouching people and products, creating a signature look for a consistent visual presence, adding type, and formatting for all of the social media. This class is for all levels, iPhone or Android smartphones are both suitable. It would be a great class to accompany Gale Zucker’s Insta-Amazing workshop.

 

What's Happening Right Now at Retail! (Panel Discussion)

Speaker: Georganne Bender, KIZER & BENDER Speaking!; Jayna Gedney, Ben Franklin Crafts; Christina Widemark, Scraps of Love, LLC; Heidi Kaisand, American Quilt Retailers
Time: 1:15 - 2:15pm
Category: Creative Innovation
Difficulty Level: All Levels Welcome
Audiences: Chain Retailers, Independent Retailers


After months under a stay in place order, consumers are looking to retailers to enrich their lives. Keeping customers close these days takes more than ever before. AFCI has put together a panel creative retailers who not only survived the COVID-19 shutdown, they thrived! We'll discuss what each one did to engage customers via online sales, Facebook Live broadcasts, social media posts, email blasts and more. We'll talk about what they did on their sales floors and in their windows to entice shoppers to visit once their stores reopened, plus, what they have done since to keep customers coming back for more. Bring a notebook because you'll come away from this panel with oodles of ideas you can easily implement in your own store!

 

Instagram Stories Highlights: What Are They and What's Your Plan for Creating Them?

Speaker: Anna Ebert, FunnelCake Social Media
Time: 3:30 - 4:30pm
Category: Social Savvy
Difficulty Level: All Levels Welcome
Audiences: Open to All Audience Types


What are those circles (Instagram Stories Highlights) below an Instagram profile bio? More importantly: What type of content goes in them, how does content get there and are Instagram Stories Highlights worth using? On top of that, other Instagram users might make their Instagram Stories Highlights look easy, but there's actually a great deal of strategy that goes into planning, creating and bringing creative Instagram Stories Highlights to life. During this hands-on session, attendees will learn the ins and outs of how Instagram Stories Highlights work, explore how to strategically and creatively leverage them, begin creating their own Instagram Stories Highlights and draft a road map for future Instagram Stories Highlights. This session is beginner-friendly, and intermediate-level Instagram users who are new to Instagram Stories Highlights may also benefit. Session attendees should have an Instagram account set up and bring a mobile device to fully participate in the hands-on portions.

 

Keys to Authentic Influencer/Brand Partnerships

Speaker: Beth Kingston
Time: 3:30 - 4:30pm
Sponsored by the AFCI Digital Content Section


Building partnerships in this industry is one of the most valuable benefits of AFCI, but how do you find the right fit? How do you avoid the pitfalls? Join this panel of brand representatives and industry influencers for an open and honest discussion about how to create long lasting authentic relationships.

 

The Financially Diversified Creative for Creators, Artists, and Independent Retailers

Speaker: Jennifer Rizzo*, Jennifer Rizzo Design Company
Time: 3:30 - 4:30pm
Category: Creative Innovation
Difficulty Level: All Levels Welcome
Audiences: Designers, Independent Retailers, Professional Makers/DIYers
*New Voice


Presenter will cover how to diversify income as a working creative. Attendees will learn possibilities of how to diversify and increase their income through their natural talents and skills including blogging, branding, marketing, art, wholesaling, retail, private labeling, licensing, and more. An artist or creative, does not have to fit into the starving artist role, and by using social media, marketing, and the skills they have can use to help grow their business and brand.

This is something any creative can do, whether they are dreaming of a creative endeavor, have a small and handmade one person business, or a brick and mortar retail store using what they have with the gifts they are given. In the seminar attendees will explore possibilities of diversifying with her own talents, and receive guidance and steps to reach each achievable goal, and how to show up daily for themselves.

Thursday, March 18

Digital Tool Roundtable

Speaker: Jessica Hill
Time: 1:00 - 2:00pm
Sponsored by the AFCI Digital Content Section


Improve your efficiency, amplify your brand, and increase your income by making use of digital tools. This class will focus on tools and software that AFCI members have found the most helpful for their online business. Come prepared to share.

 

Keys to a Successful eCommerce Store: Drive Traffic, Build & Engage an Audience, Maximize Profit

Speaker: Traci Reuter, Divine Social
Time: 1:15 - 2:15pm
Category: Business Insights; Social Savvy
Difficulty Level: All Levels Welcome
Audiences: Open to All Audience Types


You’ve got an eCommerce store, but that doesn’t mean you have consistent sales coming in. Learn the keys that all major brands are using to grow and scale their stores:
 
  • Understand who you want to come into your "store"
  • How to decide what products to draw customers in with when you have so many to choose from
  • What/where should your "front door" or introduction to your store be? (HINT: it's not your home page)
  • What type of content is perfect to attract your ideal customer
  • How to keep potential customers engaged when they are ready to buy
  • What type of budget/investment should you be prepared to make
  • Critical dos and don'ts to ensure you're maximizing every bit of your investment
  • What is TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU and why does that matter
  • What things to measure to ensure you're setting yourself up to maximize profit long term
  • When to start thinking about scaling

 

Social Media Features to Leverage When It's Not Business as Usual

Speaker: Anna Ebert, FunnelCake Social Media
Time: 1:15 - 2:15pm
Category: Social Savvy
Difficulty Level: All Levels Welcome
Audiences: Open to All Audience Types


Life can throw unexpected twists and turns, ranging from personal or business emergencies to global events. While each might have their own unique aspects, there are strategic social media features available to leverage during those times to ask for business support, to convey support for other businesses or causes, and to effectively communicate key updates. Is there an Instagram Stories sticker that will amplify a message better than a regular post? What about an auto-responder message? Attendees in this session will learn about implementing existing and new Facebook and Instagram features to help stay connected to their audience and customers when business may not be as usual.

 

Expand Your Blog with eCommerce

Speaker: Charynn Olsheski
Time: 3:30 - 4:30pm
Sponsored by the AFCI Digital Content Section


Adding a shop to your blog is a way to showcase your work in a different way as well as increase your income! This class will cover the key factors in establishing an online shop to your existing blog, including potential challenges and opportunities. Attendees will learn about digital storefront options that are available and discuss products that you could sell to expand your brand.

 

How to Re-Energize Your Team

Speaker: Georganne Bender and Rich Kizer, KIZER & BENDER Speaking!
Time: 3:30 - 4:30pm
Category: Business Insights
Difficulty Level: All Levels Welcome
Audiences: Chain Retailers, Independent Retailers


Once your store reopens it might feel as if you are starting all over again; it may feel that way for your store associates as well. You worked hard to build your business, and harder still to make sure it continues to grow, but you can't do it alone. The right people can help you take your business to the top; the wrong people can break your momentum. The question is: How well does your team handle your business? To customers your associates and your store are one and the same; they are walking, talking billboards that represent your brand. This makes hiring, training, and motivating employees a TOP PRIORITY. You'll learn: How to recruit and hire top performers, A better way to do employee evaluations, How to motivate our team, Training that works, No-cost, low-cost ways to recognize, reinforce, and reward a job well done, and more! You'll come away with retailer-tested, tried and true strategies, tactics, tips, and training ideas to thrill customers, and keep your team happy, motivated, and productive!

 

Working with Influencers 2.0: Best Practices for Manufacturers & Retailers

Speaker: Lynn Lilly, Craft Box Girls
Time: 3:30 - 4:30pm
Category: Business Insights; Social Savvy
Difficulty Level: All Levels Welcome
Audiences: Open to All Audience Types


This last year we have all seen a shift in buying habits, patterns, and the way consumers interact with brands and retailers. In this ever-changing landscape, it is important to be at the forefront of marketing and engaging with consumers to ensure the long-term success of your brand with current and future consumers.

During Lynn Lilly's Working with Influencers 2:0: Best Practices for Manufacturers & Retailers workshop she will touch on the basics from her popular 2020 Creativation workshop but will take a deeper dive into how to build long-lasting, profitable relationships with influencers. During the workshop Lynn will touch on the following points and have an open Q&A session.
 
  • When is the right time to work with influencers
  • What are all the different ways you can work with influencers to grow your business?
  • What is the benefit of working with influencers over traditional marketing/advertising campaigns?
  • How to measure the success of influencer campaigns?
  • How to transform buyers into brand advocates through influencers?
  • Do's & Don't's for working with influencers
  • How to find the right influencers to promote your business?
  • Actionable steps to take after the workshop

Friday, March 19

Building an Inclusive Brand

Speaker: Lindsay Ponta
Time: 12:15 - 1:00pm
Sponsored by the AFCI Digital Content Section


Is your brand welcoming to everyone, or are you excluding some of your community members without even realizing it? Maybe you dipped your toes into the diversity, equity, and inclusion waters in 2020 but have lost momentum, or maybe you're starting from scratch. Panelists will empower attendees with resources and action steps to make everyone feel seen and connected to you and your work.

 

Macro Craft Trends for 2021 & Beyond

Speaker: Eliza Kapitan*, Love Eliza, LLC
Time: 12:15 - 1:15pm
Category: Trend Watch
Difficulty Level: All Levels Welcome
Audiences: Open to All Audience Types
*New Voice


What are the big-picture trends for 2021 and beyond? We'll dive into the 6 key macro trends for the crafts category and zero in on some of the supporting micro trends. Whether you're a big-box business or an indie crafter, you can gain a competitive advantage and give your product an edge by understanding and applying these trends to your product.
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