The trends, the issues, and productive business
Learning from Another Market for Scrapbooking
Gaining a broader
perspective on your business.
by Sandra Joseph, Reminders of Faith (Sept. 20, 2004)
Stepping onto the show floor at the Christian
Booksellers Convention in July was very similar to my first trade
show in the craft industry. In July, 2000, I walked into the ACCI
show not knowing a soul, but aware that I had a mission to fulfill
as well as a passion for learning everything I could about this
industry. Over the course of time, doors were opened and contacts
were made, allowing me to work in the field I loved.
The Christian Booksellers Convention is a specialized association
that caters to the Evangelical Christian market. The bulk of their
business entails book sales, though they also have a strong focus on
music and specialized gift products. Their demographics are very
similar to those of the traditional scrapbook audience.
I have benefitted greatly from the experience of observing
another industry’s trade show process and gaining yet another
perspective on how different industries "do" business.
Below are some of the key areas I believe to be different from that
of our own industry’s trade shows:
CBA’s show floor was equipped with an interactive member center
that proved to be very user-friendly. At this center, I could find
industry statistics and marketing tools, as well as trained
association staff members waiting to help me. In addition, this
booth provided shipping information, merchant account information,
and computers to check email during the show. Another bonus was that
the CBA president had a scheduled meeting time every day at this
center, so that if attendants wanted to meet with him or the CBA
staff, it was simple to know when and where to be. This center
proved to be invaluable to me as I strived to learn more about this
A very effective part of the CBA show was the newspaper that is
published daily. Because there were so many different events taking
place at this show, such as book signings, concerts, and
seminars/workshops, this daily show publication promoted
participating companies and events. The first thing I did each day
when I entered the show was pick up a newspaper to learn what was
happening that day on the show floor, what had happened the day
before in terms of show traffic and sales, and initiated interviews
with key people. Having this newspaper accessible really helped me
feel as though I could manage the show.
One of the biggest parts of the CBA show was the Personality
Booths that were arranged around the perimeter of the show floor.
Each day, the different popular authors, musicians, and speakers
signed their new releases or bestsellers at scheduled times.
Announcements of the personality booth’s schedule were published
in the daily newspaper as well as at each booth. This was a
wonderful opportunity for the retailers who sell these authors’
works to meet and greet the each other. Attendees actually planned
their days around the different personalities’ schedules. In
addition, there were many personality events scheduled in booths on
the show floor, which were also publicized in the daily newspaper
and at the booth itself. I really enjoyed meeting the personalities,
as it made me feel as though I was a part of their industry.
Just as we give away paper and stickers, this industry gives away
books – and lots of them! So many that they maintained a special
shipping area off the show floor so that the retailers could ship
the books home without having to take them off the show floor. What
This year, my second at CBA, was an exciting one for me as our
company, Reminders Of Faith, had the privilege of displaying our
products on the CBA show floor. I was privileged to conduct a book
signing in our distributor’s booth, and was very pleased when
guests began lining up for the signing 20 minutes before the event
actually began. I signed over 150 books, exceeding our allotted time
by more than 20 minutes, until we ran out of books. It was
encouraging to see how the CBA welcomed our books and products.
By looking outside our industry and learning about another target
market, Reminders of Faith has been able to introduce more people to
scrapbooking. It has been a pleasure to combine my two passions,
scrapbooking and my faith, in both industries. I encourage others to
continue to look outside our immediate industry and venture where no
one knows you so you, too, will have the opportunity to introduce
them to our creative industry.
If you are interested in details on ways to target new markets,
in the September Craftrends issue, look for my article
entitled, "Crossing Markets: Finding new customers outside of
the craft market."
(Note: Sandra Joseph is the President of Reminders Of
Faith, Inc and the former National Director of Memories Community.
She is the author of Scrapbooking Your Spiritual Journey,
editor of "The Crop Corner" column for Scrapbook
Premier magazine, has hosted hundreds of scrapbookers in crop
events and taught various marketing trade classes. Reminders Of
specializes in books and paper craft products that will remind
future generations of their ancestors' religious faith. Email Sandra
Note: For more information about the Christian Booksellers Association,
To read previous Memory columns, click on the titles in the