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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

CBA National Conference

Today is the last day for booksellers to get the "Early Bird" registration fees for the CBA National Conference. This year's theme for the conference is Survive, Revive, Thrive: Reinventing your Bookstore for Today's Marketplace.

Taking place May 28 through 30, 2010 at the Delta Toronto Airport (5444 Dixie Road), here's a quick sampling of the keynote and education session line-up for Saturday.

Keynote Presentation: John Torella - Building Business and Building Your Brand
Join retail expert and author John Torella as he offers a series of ideas, insights, and best practices; reveals what the winners are doing to accelerate growth in a down economy; and demonstrates how retailers are dealing with the perfect storm of increased competition, focus on price, and the growth of e-commerce.

Social Media 201: Taking your online presence to the next level - Mark Lefebvre, Titles Bookstore, McMaster University [Hey, that's me!]
Social media isn’t just a strategy and it isn’t just another way of advertising your business with little upfront cost. And, it’s not enough just to “be” in the social media space by having a Twitter, Facebook or MySpace account or blog; you need to be an active part of it, offering all the value, culture and dynamic interaction your customers experience when physically visiting your store. Follow book-nerd Mark Lefebvre as he outlines various pitfalls store owners can fall into when traversing the social media space, as well as sharing guided examples of businesses and people who are contributing to their online communities, and in turn, benefiting from yet another way to interact with and provide services and information to our valued customers.

Finding The Hidden Money In Your Stores - Bronwyn Addico & Mandy Brouse, Words Worth Books
Bronwyn Addico, Events & Marketing Coordinator from Words Worth Books, together with Mandy Brouse, the store’s social media expert, will explore inventory control, co-op, offsite
events and more to help you find the hidden revenue in your bookstore. In today’s challenging retail environment improving bookseller margins while providing value to your customers is key to surviving, reviving and thriving.

Growing Your Graphic Novel Business - John Shableski, Diamond Book Publishers
The graphic novel format seems to have exploded onto the publishing landscape. As a retailer, how can you capture your share of this explosive market? This session will explore how to select, buy, shelve and promote graphic novels including developing staff expertise and community partnerships.

Of course, the three day conference will also have the popular Sales Rep Speed Dating Luncheon that was quite a blast at last year's event, an Exhibitor showcase, the CBA Libris Awards Reception, Presentation and Dinner (Saturday night), an Author/Bookseller Reception (Friday night), a seminar on loss prevention by Theresa Roswell of Retail Council of Canada, an Authors Luncheon (Sunday), a Sunday Keynote presentation by Kevin Graff called Avoiding the Errors...and Making the Winning Decisions Needed to Thrive as well as the CBA Annual General Meeting and Members Forum.

For full details, check out the conference program here (pdf link)

It's the perfect, tightly-packed, informative, interactive and educational weekend for this particular book-nerd.

Of course, like all great gatherings, only half of the value is in the great line-up of talks, presentations and scheduled items. A great deal of the value happens in those "hallway" or between scheduled moments conversations and interactions that happen with other booksellers, with publishers and with authors. As excited as I am about the scheduled line-up, I'm twice as excited for an opportunity to spend that kind of quality time with so many great people from across the bookselling industry.

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