This weekend is the 2011 CBA National Conference. It will be held at the Radisson Admiral Hotel Toronto Harbourfront May 13th to 15th.
When Reed Exhibitions shut down Book Expo Canada, CBA took the opportunity to re-create the "annual gathering," turning the focus back on the booksellers and ensuring the event was more intimate and included opportunities for workshops and learning, alongside opportunities to preview forthcoming titles from publishers as well as celebrating industry achievements (ie, the CBA Libris Awards)
Yes, part of me misses the splash and "big deal" that Book Expo Canada used to be, but I find that, ever since the annual gathering become more intimate and focused on community, learning and networking, I simply walk away from the weekend much richer than I ever did back when BEC was more about a few extra ARCs handed out in giant over-priced booths where you waited in lines as long as the ones for rides at Canada's Wonderland.
This year, the usual great keynote presentations will occur (this year featuring Bob Phibbs, The Retail Doctor and Barbara Crowhurst, Retail Makeover), the fun events, such as the speed dating luncheon with publisher sales reps, the learning/information events like the exhibitor showcase and the education/workshop sessions, and, of course, the celebratory events such as the CBA Libris Awards reception, presentation and dinner on Saturday evening.
A bus tour will be taking place on the Friday, which will include visits not only to several Toronto area bookstores, but also to a few publisher and distributor stops, giving booksellers an opportunity not just to visiti their colleages' locations, but also to visit some of their publisher/distributor business partner operations. And CBA will also be announcing two rather exciting new opportunities for booksellers (particularly independents, who have mostly been shut out from the game) to become part of the ebook revolution.
I'm certainly looking forward to another great weekend of learning, sharing and networking opportunities.