Redefining the show floor experience


Every year, Association For Creative Industries (formerly Craft & Hobby Association) produces a trade show to bring together the community to conduct business. This event is a key revenue generator for the Association. But, with the shifting creative products climate and declining tradeshow trends, AFCI has seen a decrease in attendees, exhibitors and sponsorships. The tradeshow was not offering attendees the excitement or business opportunities that they were looking for.

Association For Creative Industries approached Verse Group to help reframe the perceptions of the annual trade show to make it more relevant, more exciting and increase both participation and revenue.


To bring AFCI’s core tenets of Learn, Connect and Discover to life through the member experience at the annual trade show, –and revive the dynamism that attendees were looking for – we sought to reframe the trade show experience as more than the tradeshow of the past, but as a new member experience – a thought leadership conference, a celebration of the creative industry, a source for inspiration, and a meeting place of likeminded creative professionals.

We activated these ideas through eye-catching, dynamic and streamlined marketing communications, as well as programing to bring Learn, Connect and Discover to the tradeshow floor. The tradeshow floor of itself was transformed into a bustling city, complete with an innovation center, spaces to congregate and network as well as exciting new programming like the ultimate pitch contest. Together with AFCI, we created “the creative destination,” and renamed it Creativation to highlight the celebration, inspiration and destination of creativity.


-Tradeshow strategy
-Marketing communications plan and materials
-Environmental branding
-Collateral materials

At Creativation 2017, members were introduced to new thought leadership content – the Innovation Center and the Ultimate Pitch Competition – which were the highest attended programs. They also saw an increase in event sponsorship.

“It was a great experience” [Attendee]

“Thanks for trying to bring energy and ideas into the show” [Exhibitor]

“The show was a success and we took a record number of orders! We do a lot of pre-show marketing and invited our customers, so we know that, combined with the efforts of AFCI, helped us shine.” [Exhibitor]

37% increase in event sponsorship


Client: Creativation (by AFCI)