Monday, March 15

10:00 - 11:30 am CST (10:00 - 11:30)
Opening General Session Including AFCI Awards: Agile Organizations Thrive During Turbulent Times
AFCI Awards: Hear from your Creativation+, featuring Art Materials World emcees, and help us recognize the Brick and Mortar Retailer of the Year and Industry Achievement Award winners before we kick off today’s keynote presentation.  Joe Rotella, Create & Craft LLC
Award Winners

Opening General Session featuring Joe Rotella, Create & Craft LLC: Turbulent times have shown that successful organizations quickly adjust to change and adapt to find new ways of working. Agile organizations have a clear unifying purpose, a culture of learning and collaboration, and engaged teams led by effective leaders. Learn how you can build an organization that embraces change, survives, and thrives in an ever-changing world.  
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11:30 am - 12:15 pm CST (11: 30 - 12:15)
International Networking Opportunity - Global Connection+
International and domestic US attendees are invited to join this informal discussion of operational challenges including tariffs, exchange rates, shipping and banking issues.  Whether imposed by COVID-19, political or online commerce shifts, what are the current market challenges that Retailers, Buyers and Suppliers face.  Case studies and solutions will be shared. 

12:00 - 5:00 pm CST (12:00 - 17:00)
Exhibit Hall Open
The Creativation+ Exhibit Hall is open throughout the day for attendees to explore; however, a dedicated hour from 12:00 - 1:00 pm will allow attendees to connect with the hundreds of exhibitors at their booths. Exhibitors and attendees are encouraged to use the 1:00 - 5:00 pm time slot for appointments and meetings.

1:15 - 2:15 pm CST (13:15 - 14:15)
Education Sessions
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2:30 - 3:15 pm CST (14:30 - 15:15)
Vendor Sessions
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3:30  - 4:30 pm CST (15:30 - 16:30)
Education Sessions
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Tuesday, March 16

8:30 - 9:30 am CST (8:30 - 9:30)
Sponsored Education - colart
Details to come!

9:45 - 10:45 am CST (9:45 - 10:45)
Networking Opportunity - Birds of a Feather
2021 is here and the future of the crafting industry is yours to shape! Participate in informal discussions, with like-minded crafters, on topics that will underscore the craft and art industry in 2021. Throughout the hour, you will be able to visit more than one topic area. However, please view the topics below to decide which topic you wish start in:

  • Back to the Future - Going Beyond 'Back to Normal'
    • 2020 is over but the lessons learned cannot be forgotten and one thing is for sure...the "new normal" won't be the same as the "old normal!" One of the best ways to look forward is to remember what we did right as an industry last year. Share your experiences from 2020 that you think will help build strong business for fellow retailers, designers, digital content creators, and manufacturers. The pandemic isn’t over just yet, but what you’ve learned during the hardest of times can help us make sure to be better prepared for the future!
  • Social Media and Craft
    • As YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram continue to dominate the social media world, other platforms are emerging that are allowing for new types of engagement, beyond a like or subscribe. Platforms like Tik Tok, Clubhouse, and others have cropped up and are forming communities within them, including craft! These platforms may lend themselves to new avenues for affiliate marketing and brand recognition, open doors to new ideas and conversations, and adds a new outlet for crafters, quilters, DIY-ers, suppliers, and makers from all walks of like to share their story, visually or aurally. Prepare to network and share your experiences with our co-moderators and discuss how these new platforms are disrupting social media and what that means for the future of the craft industry. Be prepared to drop your social media handles in the chat!
  • How Art and Education are Picking Up STEAM
    • Stemming from…STEM – a curriculum approach focusing on teaching children concepts related to science, technology, engineering and math – comes a modified educational approach that integrates art and humanities into the mix. STEAM, or concepts related to science, technology, engineering, ART, and math, investigates the harder science concepts, through the creative process and art. As measuring the quality of our children’s education continues to take center stage, STEAM opens up new avenues for students who critically think better through creative means. Share your experiences with STEAM, how it is bettering education and overall creativity, and how you can join in on the movement.
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion & Leadership: Making Those Around Us Feel Visible, Valuable, and Valued. 
    • After 2020, the ripple effect and impact we have on our communities, and our internal teams, has expanded. How do you know when it’s time to zoom out, and check up on your brand and company? Does it still align with your values and vision for the company? How can you, as a leader, help guide your company through times and conversations that are difficult.  How can we ultimately make sure that the business decisions we make, make others around us feel visible, valuable, and valued. Share your stories, challenges, and success of times when you have taken that extra, reflective step, to see how you can make your brand even more welcoming and inclusive. Or talk about times when your leadership skills helped to make sure your employees were aligned on the company’s mission and values. Whether you are a leader in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts or are starting out, please come into this topic with an open mind and share ideas about how crafters can continue to make the industry more all-encompassing.

11:00 am - 12:00 pm CST (11:00 - 12:00)
Industry Panel Including AFCI Awards: Moving Forward Together - The Creative Industries in 2021
AFCI Awards: Hear from your Creativation+, featuring Art Materials World emcees, and help us recognize the Meritorious Award of Honor and Special Recognition Award winners before we kick off today’s panel discussion.  
Award Winners


General Session: Almost a full year since COVID-19 changed the retail and manufacturing business as we know it, this panel will reflect on the long-lasting impacts, how folks are getting back to business and continuing to adapt, and where we are headed. This discussion will include the growth of eCommerce, contact-less connection points with your customers, changing customer trends, and more!
John Bishop, Doodlebug Design, Inc.; Dawn Johnson & Kellie Gould, Owners, Memory Bound Paper Craft Store; A.V. Perkins, AV Does What; Shawn Szirbik, Hull’s Art Supply & Framing
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12:00 - 5:00 pm CST (12:00 - 17:00)
Exhibit Hall Open
The Creativation+ Exhibit Hall is open throughout the day for attendees to explore; however, a dedicated hour from 12:00 - 1:00 pm will allow attendees to connect with the hundreds of exhibitors at their booths. Exhibitors and attendees are encouraged to use the 1:00 - 5:00 pm time slot for appointments and meetings.

1:15 - 2:15 pm CST (13:15 - 14:15)
Education Sessions
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2:30 - 3:15 pm CST (14:30 - 15:15)
Vendor Sessions
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3:30  - 4:30 pm CST (15:30 - 16:30)
Education Sessions
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Wednesday, March 17

8:30 - 9:30 am CST (8:30 - 9:30)
Vendor Sessions
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9:45 - 10:45 am CST (9:45 - 10:45)
Networking Opportunity - Game Show!
Details to come!

11:00 am - 12:00 pm CST (11:00 - 12:00)
General Session Including AFCI Awards: Innovation Hour
AFCI Awards: Hear from your Creativation+, featuring Art Materials World emcees, and help us recognize the Emerging Leader Award winners and Product Hall of Fame inductees before we kick off today’s Innovation Hour.
Award Winners

General Session: Learn about some of the most innovative new products to be hitting the shelves in 2021, followed by a conversation with an industry trailblazer around the future of creative, trends to be aware of, and the risks of not embracing innovation in your business.
Ursula Morgan, Crafts Group, Premier Needle Arts​.; Kimberly Coffin, Sweet Red Poppy; Antonis Tzanidakis, Mixed Media Artist 
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12:00 - 5:00 pm CST (12:00 - 17:00)
Exhibit Hall Open
The Creativation+ Exhibit Hall is open throughout the day for attendees to explore; however, a dedicated hour from 12:00 - 1:00 pm will allow attendees to connect with the hundreds of exhibitors at their booths. Exhibitors and attendees are encouraged to use the 1:00 - 5:00 pm time slot for appointments and meetings.

1:15 - 2:15 pm CST (13:15 - 14:15)
Education Sessions
Click here to view.

2:30 - 3:15 pm CST (14:30 - 15:15)
Vendor Sessions
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3:30  - 4:30 pm CST (15:30 - 16:30)
Education Sessions
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Thursday, March 18

9:45 - 10:45 am CST (9:45 - 10:45)
Sponsored Education
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11:00 am - 12:00 pm CST (11:00 - 12:00)
Industry PanelIncluding AFCI Awards: Leading with Confidence
AFCI Awards: Hear from your Creativation+, featuring Art Materials World emcees, and help us recognize the 2021 Hall of Fame inductees before we kick off today’s Changemakers Panel.  
Award Winners

General Session: Our future is reliant on diverse talent bringing new ideas and unique experiences to the creative career. This panel discussion will focus on diversity and inclusion initiatives to propel us forward, how to lead with confidence, and how partnerships between industry leaders can enable innovation.
Lisa Kiser (Moderator), Beacon Adhesives; Sara Davies, Crafter’s Companion; Monica Tetteh, Black Makers Matter; Tricia Waddell, Golden Peak Media
Learn More

12:00 - 5:00 pm CST (12:00 - 17:00)
Exhibit Hall Open
The Creativation+ Exhibit Hall is open throughout the day for attendees to explore; however, a dedicated hour from 12:00 - 1:00 pm will allow attendees to connect with the hundreds of exhibitors at their booths. Exhibitors and attendees are encouraged to use the 1:00 - 5:00 pm time slot for appointments and meetings.

1:15 - 2:15 pm CST (13:15 - 14:15)
Education Sessions
Click here to view.

2:30 - 3:15 pm CST (14:30 - 15:15)
Vendor Sessions
Click here to view.

3:30  - 4:30 pm CST (15:30 - 16:30)
Education Sessions
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4:30  - 5:30 pm CST (16:30 - 17:30)
Emerging Leaders Discussion
Join this informal social hour with Namta and AFCI Next Generation peers to discuss trends from a perspective of innovation and agility, and in response to the changing business climate.

Friday, March 19

10:00 - 11:00 am CST (10:00 - 11:00)
Education Sessions
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11:00 am - 1:00 pm CST (11:00 - 13:00)
Exhibit Hall Open

1:15 - 2:00 pm CST (13:15 - 14:00)
Closing General Session: Creativation plus Art Materials World 2022
On the final day of Creativation+, featuring Art Materials World, join us to look forward to Namta and AFCI’s joint LIVE conference.  See what Orlando has to offer and how this venue is a great destination for US and International attendees.

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