|CBA concludes ‘upbeat’ winter training event|
|Written by Christine D. Johnson|
|Thursday, 10 January 2013 08:50 PM EST|
CBA's NEXT 2013 event, held in one of AmericasMart's three buildings in Atlanta, concluded today. Held just prior to one of Atlanta's major gift shows, which many Christian retailers also planned to attend, the training event attracted 94 retailers and 35 people from 11 sponsoring companies.
Seeing the show as "very positive" and "upbeat," George Thomsen, chairman of the CBA board and general manager of The Harvest Bookstore in Riverside, Calif., said: "People seem to be able to enjoy being able to engage one-on-one, face-to-face, sit across the table. It's more intimate."
Observing that "there's a lot of encouragement that goes on here," along with idea sharing," Thomsen said: "I think ICRS [International Christian Retail Show] is very, very important, but something like this is, by design, a little more intimate, and there's a great benefit in it even though it's small."
This year's theme for the event was "Be Inspired." Along with being inspired by speakers including author Mike Ashcraft and Blessings retailer Mark Hutchinson, retailers received instruction in workshops on topics ranging from e-books to customer relationship management.
Sandy Cregg of Sacred Melody in Syracuse, N.Y. said the event helped her fill in some gaps in helping her store succeed.
"When you're trying to make your store successful but have missing pieces of the puzzle," she said, "when you come here I get a lot of those missing pieces."
Katrina Skinner, also of Sacred Melody, enjoyed connecting with her fellow retailers.
"I like getting to meet face-to-face with other retailers and connect over ideas," Skinner said. "The nuggets you leave with from other retailers are short but good. They offer little tweaks on what we're doing that mean a lot."