Take a class at h+h americas 2023

Are you interested in learning new skills to help you run your craft business? Join us this summer in Chicago for h+h americas, the premier trade show for the crafts industry, where you’ll find an incredible lineup of business-focused classes.

Craft Industry Alliance and the h+h americas Conference Committee have an incredible lineup of masterclasses, business classes, panels, and keynotes topics. You’ll learn from the best instructors in the industry. Purchase classes a la carte, or get a class pass and attend as many as you want. Craft Industry Alliance members get a discount on both!

Masterclasses | Tuesday, June 20

Our Masterclasses offer participants a deep dive into a particular subject. Spend 2.5 hours with an expert instructor! Hands-on learning with a class capped at 10 people means you’ll come away with new skills to help propel your business forward.

Charmaine Jennings – Strategic Charm

Crafting the Perfect
Content Strategy | 12:00 pm – 2:30 pm | Room 14

It’s one thing to have an online presence, but it’s another thing to be strategic with your efforts. While throwing content to your channels and seeing what sticks can sometimes lead to a pleasant surprise, it’s more effective to have a content strategy you can use as a guide.

During this masterclass, you’ll determine exactly what type of content is best for your target audience and your online platforms and you’ll actually write out a content strategy for your business. Take the guesswork out of figuring out your next Instagram story or blog post! A content strategy is beneficial for businesses of all sizes, ensures everyone involved in the marketing process is on the same page, and holds you accountable for creating consistent, quality content that resonates with your ideal clients and customers.

Arianne Foulks – Aeolidia

Take Your Shopify Site to the
Next Level | 12:00 pm – 2:30 pm | Room 13

Do you have a nagging feeling that your website could be serving you better, but you’re not sure what to prioritize? In this class we’ll focus on specific steps you can take to get more sales from your online shop. At Aeolidia, my web design studio, we aim to increase conversion rate, average order value, and customer retention for each of our clients. Now I’m sharing our top tips from 18 years of ecommerce strategy! We will cover:

  • Conversion rate benchmarks to evaluate your site
  • Purposeful website content
  • User experience and website performance
  • Optimizing your shop navigation menu
  • Strategies for shipping, payment options, and checkout
  • Special customizations for craft-related sites
  • Improving marketing strategy and traffic sources
  • Analyzing your data to make informed changes

Come away with specific concrete changes you can make to improve your online presence right now.

Stephanie Smith – Social By Steph

Learn to Advertise on Facebook and Instagram Like You Have a Million Dollar Budget | 3:00 pm – 5:30 pm | Room 14

Advertising on social media is a highly targeted way to reach your intended audience. Show your ads to people who are already primed to become your customers and get direct results. But, if you’ve ever tried to set up an ad campaign, you know that it can also be confusing and overwhelming, and a waste of money.

In this workshop, you’ll learn how to run ads the right way.

We’ll cover:

  • Back-end account setup including pixel installation
  • Defining campaign objectives and choosing the correct objective based on your specific business goals
  • Creating customer personas and building audiences specific to your target customer
  • Learning different ad types, creative best practices, and which apply the most to your campaign
  • Analyzing data to make decisions and learning which metrics are relevant to your goals

Bring your laptop, notebook, iPad, etc. We will get hands-on with your specific business needs. You should walk away ready to start running ads!

Gale Zucker – Gale Zucker Photography

Leveling Up Your Photography:
A Hands-On Workshop | 3:00 pm – 5:30 pm | Room 13

In this action-packed 2.5-hour hands-on masterclass, acclaimed photographer Gale Zucker will guide you through creating eye-catching images for your craft business. Topics will include photographing products, lighting, composition, and all the elements you need to create signature marketing photos. Learn to easily edit your images on your phone! Students will use their phones to create and edit images during class, ending with a group review. Come away with new confidence in your photography and ability to make strong social media content with photos that get noticed. This class is appropriate for all levels. *The class will be taught assuming students will be photographing with their iPhone/smartphone however the content is applicable to any kind of digital camera. 

Business classes are an opportunity to learn best practices from incredible instructors. In these 60-minute lectures, participants will learn concepts that are directly applicable to building and growing a craft business.

Business Classes | Wednesday, June 21

Helen Hulskamp – Aeolidia

Email Marketing: Sending Targeted Messages Using Segments and Flows | 10:00 am – 11:00 am | Room 12

Email is almost always the most important marketing channel for ecommerce, and should account for 25-40% of your revenue. List growth is important because you control your email and SMS lists, unlike social media and search engines where you are subject to changing algorithms.

In this class, we will focus on the most essential advanced techniques such as using automated flows to target different stages of the customer journey, using segmentation to have more personalized conversations at scale, and the importance of getting started with SMS.

Aeolidia is certified as a Klaviyo Gold Master Partner. We use Klaviyo as an example, but the concepts we teach can be used on other providers that have ecommerce integrations.

Charmaine Jennings – Strategic Charm

Building a Social Media Strategy
for Crafters | 10:00 am – 11:00 am | Room 14

The craft industry is highly visual so it’s no secret that photos and videos posted to social media can be effective marketing tools for reaching your target audience. But knowing where your audience spends their time online is not enough. In order to truly be effective, you need to dive deep into how your ideal client or customer thinks, how they engage with information, and how you can relate to them on a personal level. It’s also important to recognize the unique qualities of different platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest and how best to use their features to deliver timely and relevant content. 

During this session you’ll discover key tips and tricks for narrowing down your target audiences (yes, you can have multiple!), choosing the right platforms, creating on-brand and engaging content, using unique social media features to increase your reach, make your content stand out, and more! 

Lisa Ryan – Grategy

Keep Your Best People from Becoming
Someone Else’s | 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm | Room 12

Managing employees can be one of the most challenging responsibilities for leaders. This is especially true in today’s labor market where finding great people is just as difficult as keeping them (“great resignation” anyone?!?!).

Retaining employees directly rides on your ability to motivate and inspire your staff. The old saying “employees join companies but leave managers” underscores the importance of effective people leadership.  Fortunately, great managers are made not born. In this session, you’ll learn how to be the leader your employees (and business!) need now and in the future.

Gale Zucker – Gale Zucker Photography

Ten Tips and Techniques
for Fabulous Photos | 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm | Room 14

In this 1-hour class, acclaimed photographer Gale Zucker will present a fun, fast, photo-filled talk with image making ideas and tricks you can put to use immediately for your craft business. Learn the secret sauce that makes photos really shine! This class is great for all levels. Come away with increased confidence and tons of inspiration for taking attention-grabbing photos that show off your business. The focus will be on making images with your iPhone/smartphone although the concepts apply to any kind of digital camera.

Business Classes | Thursday,  June 22

Gwen Bortner – Everyday Effectiveness

Creating an Open to Buy: How Much to Spend and When to Spend It | 10:00 am – 11:00 am | Room 12

If you own a retail shop (online and/or brick-and-mortar) you need this class if any of the following statements are true: 1) You don’t know what an Open-to-Buy is. 2) You consistently have too much inventory that just sits. 3) You feel like you sell most of your product at a discount and that is NOT your business model. An Open-to-Buy is a key tool that has been utilized by retail businesses large and small for decades to manage inventory investment. If you think it will be too complicated, it doesn’t have to be. If this tool is not in your business success toolbox, it’s time you add it.

Trisha Malcolm – DMC

Craft Trends | 10:00 am – 11:00 am | Room 14

Whether we know it or not, trends drive so many of our decisions in making, buying, and living. This lecture will look at the key trends influencing our society right now. For many of us, some of these trends pose challenges for our businesses and we need to understand the possible ramifications if we want to be future-proof. We’ll delve into fashion and color trends for the upcoming season and look at maker trends, particularly relating to knitting, crochet, macrame, sewing, quilting, needlework, and embroidery, taking a closer look at design trends within each category, as well as innovations in yarns, threads, fabrics, and tools.

Stephanie Smith – Social By Steph


Pro Tips and Tricks for Running Facebook and Instagram Ads that Actually Work | 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm | Room 12

We all know that social media ad campaigns can be incredibly effective at bringing your business new leads and new customers. All too often, though, these campaigns fail and end up wasting your time and money. In this class, you’ll learn best practices that are used in million-dollar ad campaigns so you can make the most of your ad dollars. 

We’ll focus on:

  • Defining campaign objectives and choosing the correct one based on your business goals
  • Segmenting audiences to reach your target customer
  • Creative dos and don’ts

Learn how to set up your next campaign like a pro!

Wendy Batten – Wendy Batten Consulting

Run Profitable Special Events
and Workshops | 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm | Room 14

From trunk shows to craft nights, special events can be a powerful tool to bring customers into your shop and build community. How do you plan and host a successful event in your retail store? In this session, you’ll learn how to ensure your event is well attended, drives revenue, and is based on a repeatable model you can use again and again.

Business Classes | Friday, June 23

Gwen Bortner – Everyday Effectiveness

Cash Flow Systems Simplified: The Key to Surviving a Tough Economy | 10:00 am – 11:00 am | Room 12

In times of economic uncertainty, positive cash flow is the key to sustainability and long-term success. But cash flow reports can be complicated and confusing. It doesn’t have to be that way. Join Gwen as she shares a relatively simple method for maintaining a positive cash flow that usually increases bottom-line profit in the process. Cash is king and positive cash flow is the key, now is the time to take control.

Wendy Batten – Wendy Batten Consulting

From Hobby To Business Mindset | 10:00 am – 11:00 am | Room 14

Many of us got into this industry because we had a passion for our craft, but now we’ve found ourselves running a business. Although that passion is still a vital part of our success, it’s also important to make a mental shift from hobby to business. In this session, we’ll cover three strategies to help busy creative business owners step into their role as a CEO.

Gwen Bortner – Everyday Effectiveness

The Big Secret to Successfully Accomplishing Your Goals | 11:30 am – 12:30 pm | Room 12

Not all goals are created equal. The secret to setting and successfully achieving goals is often overlooked and rarely discussed. In this class discover the one key secret to consistent results, how to customize it for your unique context, while learning several hints, tips, and tricks to assist you along the way. If goals have frustrated you in the past, it is time to let them move you in the right direction.

Leanne Pressly – Stitchcraft Marketing

Level Up Your Social Media with
Short Form Video | 11:30 am – 12:30 pm | Room 14

No matter what social platform you’re on (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Pinterest, etc.), these days the algorithms are all about video! In this session, we’ll overcome barriers and set you up for success in creating short-form videos perfect for whichever platform you chose. We’ll cover the basics of some simple video editing tools like Canva and Kapwing, and give you ideas for how to quickly generate short videos, or how to capture snippets of longer videos you’re already creating to repurpose them. We’ll also provide our best tips, tricks, and the top “dos” and “don’ts” when it comes to short-form video.