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
1:15 - 2:15pm

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
1:15 - 2:15pm

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.


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

Speaker: Spencer Smith
3:30 - 4:30pm

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.

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

Tuesday, March 16

Effective Leadership through Difficult Times

Speaker: Joe Rotella, Create & Craft
When: 1:15 - 2:15pm

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
When: 1:15 - 2:15pm

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


How to Create Community Around Your Brand

Speaker: Kathy Cano-Murillo, The Crafty Chica
When: 3:30 - 4:30pm

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.
When: 3:30 - 4:30pm

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

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
When: 1:15 - 2:15pm

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!


PHOTOEDITING in your PHONE: Make Your Images Shine

Speaker: Gale Zucker, Gale Zucker Photography
When: 1:15 - 2:15pm

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.


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

Speaker: Anna Ebert, FunnelCake Social Media
When: 3:30 - 4:30pm

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.


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

Speaker: Jennifer Rizzo, Jennifer Rizzo Design Company
When: 3:30 - 4:30pm

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

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

Speaker: Traci Reuter, Divine Social
When: 1:15 - 2:15pm

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
When: 1:15 - 2:15pm

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.


How to Re-Energize Your Team

Speaker: Georganne Bender and Rich Kizer, KIZER & BENDER Speaking!
When: 3:30 - 4:30pm

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!

Friday, March 19

Macro Craft Trends for 2021 & Beyond

Speaker: Eliza Kapitan, Love Eliza, LLC
When: 12:15 - 1:15pm

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.