|Dunn's conference features 'greater synergy'|
|Monday, 28 March 2011 02:13 PM EDT|
Gift company P. Graham Dunn 11th annual Dealer Conference was held at a convention center for the first time, "which brought a greater deal of synergy," company officials said.
Representatives from approximately 125 stores attended the March 22-23 event at the Buckeye Event Center, located near the company's Dalton, Ohio, headquarters—which had previously been the location of the event.
"We really couldn't be more pleased," Joe Knutson, P. Graham Dunn's (PGD) co-president, told Christian Retailing. "There was a sense of optimism permeating the event, with a number of successful retailers sharing ways in which they've been able to survive and even thrive during the last few years. A rising tide floats all ships."
Mark Hutchinson—co-owner of Blessings Christian Marketplace, a chain of four stores based in Chilliwack, British Columbia—attended the Dealer Conference for the first time after installing Dunn's laser-engraving machine in one of his stores in September 2010.
"We have been very successful with that, as we are rolling it out to two more stores in the summer, with a fourth this fall," he told Christian Retailing. "We were delighted with the show. The atmosphere was positive and upbeat. The highlight of the show for us was the continuous new product being released by PGD. It is so refreshing to see an organization be creative and innovative with its product offering."
Lorraine Valk, co-owner of Banner Books Parable Christian Store of St. Joseph in St. Joseph, Mich., attended the event for the second year. "It was one of the best uses of time this year regarding my business," she told Christian Retailing. "If you are looking for a hard sell, pushy sales technique, this is not it. The emphasis was on building your business and marketing to potential consumers. While they allowed us to place orders, it was not the focus."
New Day Christian Distributors, one of six suppliers who exhibited at the event for the second year in a row, was "pleased with the show business-wise," said Michael Turner, sales representative. "It is a very friendly and laid-back conference," he told Christian Retailing. P. Graham Dunn "does an excellent job putting this together."
The Dealer Conference's featured speaker was Alistair Begg, author and senior pastor of Parkside Church near Cleveland. The Bridge Christian Bookstore in Van Wert, Ohio, won a $5,000 grand prize in P. Graham Dunn products.