There’s a new energy and positive feeling to 2018! And nowhere is this more apparent than at the offices of Hobby-X, the well respected and highly anticipated expo for the hobbies and creative crafts industries, where I am chatting to Elizabeth Morley and Gloria Bastos, organisers of the show. The phones ring with enquiries from potential exhibitors and visitors. The bell rings announcing another contract has just been received. Preparations are in full swing, and the enthusiasm and energy are palpable.
The tagline of this year’s show is “because you love it”, and fittingly the exhibition encompasses a whole lot of fun activities that people pursue purely for pleasure. There is a complete car restoration and customisation area including Monster Trucks, Jet Dragsters and a unique car collection. Paintball and wall-climbing for those who never want to grow up. A food marketplace with exotic and interesting offerings will tempt the aspiring MasterChef.
A Kunsvlyt Theatre, with celebrity appearances by previous winners of the kykNET TV program of the same name, will run “best project” competitions throughout the show. At the nearby Kunsvlyt Café the less bold can try out the materials and projects – without the audience, and with a cup of coffee and a slice of cake to fortify them.
The workshops at Hobby-X have always been firm favourites both with retailers, who want to gain as much product knowledge as possible to be able to impart it to their customers, as well as the consumers who love to try out new projects and learn tips and techniques. This year there will be 10 workshop areas dotted around the show, with continuous hands-on craft workshops. Catering for smaller groups than the previous classroom style workshops, the new format will allow for much greater interaction with the teacher, and greater individual attention. And the choice of topics and projects is broad and on trend.
The core of Hobby-X has always been the materials, equipment, supplies and ideas for hobbies and crafts – and this sector is still fundamental to the exhibition. Paper products, adhesives, silicones and resins, mosaic, art supplies, craft materials, scrapbooking, pewter, power tools, paints, gadgets, gizmos and machinery are well represented. The exhibitors in these categories are all manufacturers, importers, distributors or agents, and a number of overseas principals will be at Hobby-X to support the local distributors of their products.
For Trade Buyers, the benefits of visiting an exhibition such as this are many. It’s a convenient way of staying up-to-date with your industry and current trends, finding new products to stock, building relationships with suppliers and networking with leading companies in your field. Part of the appeal of visiting trade shows is about getting fresh ideas for your own retail space, and finding innovative ways to update your store to give your customers a great shopping experience. But it’s also a unique opportunity to observe consumer behaviour and reaction, and analyse buying patterns at the show, enabling you to make informed buying decisions.
According to the Organisers, the take-up pattern by exhibitors was markedly different for the 2018 exhibition than it has been for the past many years, with a significant number of companies taking a wait-and-see approach before committing to the exhibition. This was directly attributable to the negative sentiment and lack of confidence felt by many throughout most of last year. But the sentiment this year is positively buoyant, and many companies are investing in their future with renewed vigour and optimism. This positive sentiment should also be reflected in the spending patterns of consumers, and so the time is ripe for Trade Buyers to take advantage of the platform presented by Hobby-X to re-stock their shelves.
As I am leaving, I overhear a phone call to a client. “I noticed that you haven’t yet confirmed your stand for the March show, and I wanted to let you know some of the exciting things that are lined up for this year which will make it an event not to be missed”. Whoever that potential exhibitor is, I think, I hope they sign up quickly. This could well be the best Hobby-X ever!
The shelf-life of a hobby is one year and two months, according to Brits.
Researchers who polled 5 001 UK adults found almost half have taken up a hobby only to give it up.
Twenty-eight per cent level the blame at work commitments, while 27 per cent said a busy family life prevented them from carrying on.
But this hasn’t stopped them pursuing something new – eight in ten currently have a hobby and dedicate a total of nine days over the course a year to it.
Commissioned by Barclaycard, the research also found 57 per cent believe they are happier and a quarter have acquired new friends – all thanks to their hobby.
Andrew Hogan, Head of Brand Strategy at Barclaycard, said: “Our research shows that in today’s often frantic world, having a hobby can have a huge, positive impact on both our personal and professional lives, as well as our overall health and wellbeing.
“That’s why it’s so important that we overcome obstacles to getting going, whatever that may be.
“We encourage everyone to prioritise their passions and start today.”
The biggest obstacles to spending more free-time doing pursuing hobbies and interests include work commitments, family commitments and not having enough disposable cash.
Although 13 per cent admit they are too lazy to spend additional time doing their hobbies and 22 per cent revealed they tend to procrastinate in their spare time instead.
Regardless of this, 54 per cent are more relaxed thanks to their passion, around a third believe they are healthier and 23 per have seen their confidence levels increase.
And two in five believe their outside interests have given them a more positive outlook on life.
On average, those who have made new friends as a result of their hobby have made 16 new pals.
With one fifth of those who made friends have even meeting a partner.
A third have a hobby they would like to try one day, with ten per cent hoping to give it a go some point in the next 12 months.
And a quarter would like to turn their interest into a career someday.
Over half agree everyone should have a hobby or passion.
Andrew Hogan added: “It’s fascinating to see that so many people daydream of turning their passion into a career – and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t.
“Taking that first step could be as simple as signing up to ukulele lessons or buying a bike.”
https://www.thesun.co.uk By James Cox
Say goodbye to unnecessary cords and create more space to work on your projects with the ultimate DIY machine from Cricut. The machine is hailed as all you need for craft hobbies like scrapbooking. The machine retails at approximately $300 (R3 800).
There are so many ways you can create with Cricut Explore Air. Design with the 50 000 images, projects, and fonts in the Cricut Image Library, or upload your own images and fonts for free.
Make party invitations, decorations and favours. Create seasonal home décor or personalise wedding gifts. Add embellishments to your favorite photo memories.
Cut what you want
Upload and cut your own images and fonts free; works with .svg, .jpg, .png, .bmp, .gif, and .dxf files
Cut or write fonts already installed on your computer
Buy images starting at $0.99
Design and cut with the iPad app
Design here, there, and everywhere! Cricut Design Space app for iPad works seamlessly with the Cricut Explore Air machine. Design on your iPad and send the project to cut, wirelessly. The free, easy-to-use Cricut Design Space software system gives you access to all of your images and projects from any compatible computer or iPad. It’s cloud-based, so your projects are always synced across all your devices.
What can I make?
Make all your birthday and party invitations, banners, decorations, and favors. Create distinctive seasonal home décor or personalise DIY wedding gifts with a quick monogram for that perfect touch. Add embellishments to your favorite photo memories. And give Family Game Night the ultimate make-over with fresh and fun games month after month. Don’t forget those last-minute school science fair projects, book reports, or the ‘All About Me’ poster. Satisfy all your DIY crafting needs, whether you use the Cricut Explore Air as a vinyl cutter, die cut machine, or fabric cutting machine.
What can I cut?
The Cricut Explore Air cuts a wide variety of materials, including paper, cardstock, vinyl, iron-on, poster board and fabric for DIY projects. Upload your own images or choose from the Cricut Image Library – the only limit is your imagination.
No settings required
Forget the complicated materials settings. Now you can get the perfect cut on nearly any material, just turn the Smart Set dial. You can even create custom settings for different materials.
Clean cuts, big or small
The Cricut Explore Air features patent-pending Cut Smart technology. Cut all sorts of shapes with exceptional precision in sizes ranging from ¼ to 11½ inch wide x 23½ inches tall.
Cut and write in just one step
The Cricut Explore Air machine can cut a card and then write a personalised message exactly where you want. It can also cut a box and score the fold lines in one step.