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!)
This 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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?)
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.
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.
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!