Road Trip Recap: A return to SNAP, the creative bloggers’ conference

Last month, I traveled to Salt Lake City to attend SNAP, the conference for craft, DIY and other creative bloggers. This year was as exciting, invigorating and exhausting as my first trip to SNAP. Have you read other bloggers’ recaps of SNAP? Well, mine will be a little different because I attend SNAP as a worker bee, working in the booth of SNAP sponsor FloraCraft. (FloraCraft also happens to be the world’s largest fabricator of STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam, and I shared a tour of FloraCraft last year). So, consider this a behind-the-scenes peek at SNAP. (And FloraCraft is going to share some of the bloggers’ favorite swag with you!)

snap-button1This year, Jamie, marketing manager at FloraCraft, went to SNAP with me. After we each left our homes on 6 a.m. flights, we met up in the Minneapolis airport last Wednesday morning, and then travelled on to Salt Lake City. The conference was in the Little American Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City.

Little America Hotel, site of the 2014 SNAP conference. CraftsnCoffee.com

The lobby of the Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City. (Photo courtesy of Little America Hotel)

The first order of business was to set up our booth. I wish I had taken a photo of when we first walked into the exhibit area. We had two pallets of boxes waiting for us, piled almost to the ceiling. Here’s the booth where we were almost done, with a lot of the boxes and other debris cleared out.

FloraCraft booth set up for 2014 SNAP Conference. CraftsnCoffee.com.

Still unpacking . . .

Setting up the FloraCraft booth at the 2014 SNAP Conference. CraftsnCoffee.com

Now we’re almost finished . . .

Once the booth was almost finished, we took a break and drove out to the nearby IKEA store to pick up a few items that we needed. This is a photo of the IKEA store from last year’s recap. The setting is just beautiful!

The IKEA store came in handy when setting up the SNAP! booth.

How pretty is this setting?

We weren’t the only ones getting ready. All of the sponsors were busy setting up their booths, and SNAP had a team of volunteers assembling what looked like miles of swag bags, one for each of the 500+ bloggers who would be attending.

Stuffed, lined up & ready to go -- the SNAP Conference swag bags. CraftsnCoffee.com.

Stuffed, lined up & ready to go! There’s a lot of swag in those 500+ bags.

By 9 a.m. Thursday morning, set up was finished and we were ready to go. We themed our display around DIY wedding décor, with easy and do-able ideas made with FloraCraft’s products. One of the most popular products was the Diamond Wrap, which had the bloggers’ wheels turning. Many of the ladies made plans to incorporate the sparkly trim into Frozen parties, or to decorate their daughters’ bedrooms in a Frozen theme. The new colored burlap and chevron burlap ribbon were also big hits.

2014 FloraCraft booth at SNAP. CraftsnCoffee.com

It’s showtime and we’re ready to go!

Pretty wedding crafts from FloraCraft at SNAP.  CraftsnCoffee.com

Many of the projects were easy, DIY ideas for a wedding.

Pretty (and easy) DIY wedding decor from FloraCraft. CraftsnCoffee.com.

You can see a few more details in this photo, including strands of sparkling Diamond Wrap wrapped around the cones.

SNAP booth display, packed with FloraCraft products. So fun! CraftsnCoffee.com.

We displayed STYROFOAM Brand Foam, of course, along with Deco Mesh, burlap and organza ribbon.

The show stopper, however, was our faux pallet art map. FloraCraft designer Dondi Richardson created the map, modeling it after one we saw in a Pottery Barn catalog. The PB original was $349, plus shipping (and it weighs 57 pounds). Dondi’s version, created from STYROFOAM Brand Foam and Smooth Finish™, weighs in at 12 pounds and costs around $145.

Beautiful, faux pallet art from FloraCraft and displayed at the SNAP conference. Yes, this is made from Styrofoam brand foam and weighs only 12 pounds! CraftsnCoffee.com

The SNAP bloggers flagged their home state, and you can see that Utah drew a big crowd!

Throughout the show, we invited the bloggers to put a pin in their home state, and by the end of the show, we had bloggers from Florida to Maine to British Columbia. And as you can see, Utah was the hot spot.

Dondi also sent along this handy story board showing the step-by-step process for making the pallet art. In this instance, this sample board was worth 1,000 words!

Amazing faux pallet art made with Styrofoam brand foam. You have to see the finished piece to believe it! CraftsnCoffee.com.

This sample told the story about creating the pallet art, from the bare STYROFOAM Brand Foam on the left, to the coating of Smooth Finish, and then the final “wood” plank on the right.

Dondi also made the marquee letters spelling out FLORACRAFT. (Maybe you saw the Marquee Heart earlier this year?) This is another knock off project, saving HUGE dollars. Restoration Hardware sells these letters for $199 each! You can DIY it and spell out the entire word “FloraCraft” for less than that.

Love this faux marquee lights! OMG -- Restoration Hardware sells these for $199 each, but you can DIY them from Styrofoam for less than $20 for a letter. CraftsnCoffee.com

Here’s a photo Dondi shared of the FloraCraft marquee lights in process.

Here’s another project Dondi created for the event (she was one busy lady!). These letters stood six feet tall, and were displayed up on the stage in the main ballroom.

These letters are made from Styrofoam brand foam, and stand almost six feet tall! They were on the stage at the SNAP blogger's conference.

Another “in process” shot from Dondi. Here are the letters in her workroom, ready to pack up and ship to Utah.

A fun dinner at SNAP, and check out the six-foot SNAP letters made from Styrofoam brand foam. CraftsnCoffee.com

Here are the SNAP letters up on stage.

We had some help in the booth, too, thanks to these lovely ladies: Jessica from Mad in Crafts; Kristi and Kelly from Lolly Jane; Bev from Flamingo Toes; and Amy from Positively Splendid.

A great group of bloggers demo-ing in the FloraCraft booth at the 2014 SNAP conference. CraftsnCoffee.com

Thanks for your help, ladies.

Bev from Flamingo Toes demonstrates the StyroCutter Plus in the FloraCraft booth at SNAP.  CraftsnCoffee.com

Bev shows off the power of the StyroCutter Plus.

The wonderful Lolly Jane team -- Kelli and Kristi, in the SNAP FloraCraft booth. CraftsnCoffee.com.

Here we are with the Lolly Jane team. That’s me on the left, and then Kelli, Kristi and Jamie.

While Jamie and I worked the booth for three days, the bloggers attended numerous classes and hands-on sessions. And I have to say that 500 bloggers are a whirlwind of energy, enthusiasm and creativity.

It wasn’t all work and no play. Each night’s dinner included a wonderful speaker with an inspiring story. The first night, singer Alex Boyé and his band performed for us and had the chandeliers rocking (literally). After years of working a 9 – 5 job, he’s finally seeing his dream of a musical career come true, all thanks to a group of bloggers who shared his YouTube videos. (I confess that I’d never heard of him, but my daughter knew exactly who he was. Perhaps you’ve seen his famous Frozen video on YouTube?)

Noelle Pikus-Pace and her silver medal at SNAP 2014. CraftsnCoffee.com

Noelle Pikus-Pace and her silver medal.

The second night, Olympian Noelle Pikus-Pace shared with us her amazing story about overcoming devastating injuries and years of relentless, disciplined practice to earn a silver medal at this year’s Sochi Olympics. The hard work and dedication shown by Noelle and her family is incredible.

Rachael Herrscher, founder of Today’s Mama®, shared how she built her company into a countrywide network, and the perils and successes she met along the way.

An 80s prom with a neon theme at SNAP. CraftsnCoffee.com

Getting down during the ’80s neon prom.

What else do 500 creative bloggers do when they get together? They have a lot of fun! There was a door decorating contest, a pajama party, and an 80s prom.

Fun! Decorated hotel room doors at SNAP 2014. CraftsnCoffee.com

Just two of the dozens of decorated hotel room doors at SNAP.

We packed up Saturday night and headed out to the airport at 4:15 a.m. Sunday morning. Jamie and I were exhausted all last week! But it was all worth it and we look forward to doing it again next year. And in the meantime, we’ll keep in touch with many of the bloggers we met.

Thanks for letting me share my long recap today, and I apologize for the photos. Hotel lighting is not conducive to glamor shots. I hope to share several of the tutorials for the booth projects in the near future, too.

And here are the details for today’s giveaway: FloraCraft is offering to one lucky, Crafts ‘n Coffee reader three of the most popular products from SNAP — a roll of Diamond Wrap, a roll of colored burlap, and a roll of chevron burlap ribbon. If you’d like a chance to win, tell us which booth project is your favorite. You have till Thursday, May 15 to post your answer, and I’ll announce the winner on Friday, May 16.

Thank you, and happy crafting!

Sharon

This entry was posted in Giveaways, Home Decor, Road Trip Recap, Weddings and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to Road Trip Recap: A return to SNAP, the creative bloggers’ conference

  1. Lynn Jackson says:

    Wow what a wonderful post. What I would give to be there. I am going with the diamond wrap. All if it was so nice though.

    • Sharon says:

      Thanks for stopping in, Lynn. The Diamond Wrap was definitely a favorite! Sharon (P.S. — I sent you an e-mail about an earlier giveaway, Lynn. Be sure to look for it!)

  2. Lisa Cook says:

    Wow, is all I can say! So happy that I came across your wonderful blog! It is so hard to choose just one as I really LOVE them all but I adore the wedding flower topiary! I look forward to seeing more on your blog! Thanks so much for this chance to win and good luck everyone!

  3. Christine says:

    Wow, so many wonderful things to look over and learn about! Love the pallet art and the map is too cool for words! It looks like it was a blast to attend this event.

  4. Darlys B says:

    So many great projects to choose from! My favorite: the crates. My friends & I decorate 8 or 9 scenes for a walk-through play every year. We read your blog for creative, lightweight props ideas every week. Your ideas have helped us save money and time but create quality products. Thank you!

  5. Jane says:

    Sharon, Loved all of your pictures from SNAP. Looked like LOTS of hard work and loads of fun too!!! It was difficult to pick my favorite booth, they are all spectacular–I guess my fav would have to be the one with the map of the US! Love the green/white poka-dot letters. I am ordering ASAP some of the clear plastic containers for my craft space. In the process of weeding out and sorting,
    Jane

    • Sharon says:

      Let me know how you like the jars, Jane. I hope you find them as handy as I do. I just love them! And yes, Dondi did an amazing job on the pallet art map, and the lights. Such a fun time! And I’m sharing a really cool update about a few of the bloggers later today, so stay tuned . . . Sharon

  6. Debbie Kaste says:

    Oh does this look like FUN! Wish I could have been there. Even working…it still looks like fun! I think the Diamond Wrap would be right up my alley as I love anything that sparkles:)

    • Sharon says:

      You’re right, even working, SNAP is a lot of fun. Here’s what’s cool about the Diamond Wrap — there are no jewels on it. The trim is made to look like sparkling rhinestones, but really, the little “gems” are concave nooks. It makes the trim really lightweight and easy to cut, glue, etc. I know you’d love it — and maybe you’ll win! Thanks, Debbie. Sharon

  7. Oh my goodness!! That flower topiary (?) in the wedding display is gorgeous!! The jewels hanging down are the bomb diggity dog!! I would have felt like I had died and gone to heaven if I had been at that booth!! I LOVELOVELOVE my FloraCraft products and would love to have been there taking in all of the beautiful projects and seeing all the wonderful products. Those goodie bags have me drooling Would love to win these goodies also! I am in the process of making a hanging mesh ball with their mesh and a styro ball. Thank you for the chance to!

    • Sharon says:

      Thanks, Barb. You can add a little bling to your life with those acrylic crystals — they’re sold at WalMart. How many places could you hang those around the house? You could even hang a strand from your Deco Mesh ball! Be sure to share a photo. Happy crafting. Sharon

  8. Peggy says:

    I love the pallet art. So many possibilities.

    • Sharon says:

      Thanks, Peggy. Imagine it — DIY pallet art without power tools, and so lightweight one person can lift it and hang it. Woot! Happy crafting! Sharon

  9. Katiria says:

    OMG what a blast that must have been. It sounds awesome. Thanks for sharing with us a sneak peak behind the scenes of what goes on. I love the marquee sign

    • Sharon says:

      I know, the marquee lights are so much fun, and there are so many ways to use them. How cool would they be for a summer barbecue? Christmas? A wedding? And you can’t beat the DIY price! Thanks for stopping by. Sharon

  10. CraftyB says:

    What fun! I love the photos!

  11. studiorose says:

    The giant letters were amazing! I’m thinking about doing a monogram for our bedroom. Naturally they would need a lot of bling!

    • Sharon says:

      Great idea! Monograms are so hot right now. I hope you DIY them — with lots of bling, and share a photo. Thanks so much. Sharon

  12. wilma says:

    wow… looks like a lot of fun and a lot of work. I am sure it was well worth the effort.

    • Sharon says:

      Hey, you should come with us, Wilma. You’d have a blast! And we could always use a little more help in the booth. Thanks for stopping in today, Wilma. Sharon

  13. I think your booth was my favorite! I met you and Jamie several times, and I look forward to hopefully working with FloraCraft in the future. I already ordered my cutter from Amazon and can’t wait to get started!!

    • Sharon says:

      Aww, thank you! So glad we met, and that you were inspired, too. Be sure to share your pallet art with us — we’d love to see it. Happy crafting. Sharon

  14. eileenhull says:

    Sharon- thanks for the great recap! So sad to miss this year’s SNAP but hopefully will be there at the next one. Looks like you all had a great time and glad Jamie made it!

    • Sharon says:

      Phew, I was glad Jamie could go, too. And sorry you weren’t there this year. And even more sorry for your ankle, especially the day before your daughter’s wedding, yikes! Here’s to a happy ending to that story! I hope the wedding was beautiful and you heal fast. Sharon

  15. Jessica Weyrowske says:

    The pallet art is AMAZING, I can’t wait to try it!

    • Sharon says:

      Dondi did an incredible job with the pallet art, and everyone who saw it had to touch it just to be sure it really wasn’t wood. It really created a buzz! Thanks for stopping in today, Jessica. Sharon

  16. LisaM6 says:

    WOW~ Now that looked like fun. What a way to spend time with cool people, crafting, food and music. Way to COOL. How do you pick just one?

    • Sharon says:

      Wow, glad you liked the projects, Lisa. I’m not sure when the tutorials are coming, but I’ll be sure to share. I know you’d love SNAP and really have a blast! It’s going to be back in the same hotel next year — think about it . . . Sharon

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