Christian Retailing

NEWSLETTERS Current Issue ICRS: Atlanta show reflected on reaching millennials
ICRS: Atlanta show reflected on reaching millennials PDF Print E-mail
Written by Christine D. Johnson   
Thursday, 26 June 2014 03:05 PM EDT

DobsonFamily-ICRS-webThe 2014 International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) convened for four days in Atlanta, June 22-25. Attendees this year—numbering slightly higher than last year (buyers rose by 2.4%)—praised ICRS for important discussions and networking opportunities.

The industry is seeing significant cultural shifts in consumer shopping habits and fluctuations in church attendance, especially among millennials, ages 18 to 33—a focus of this year’s show for Christian retailers and ministry leaders.

“Group Publishing’s Jeff Michaels said it in an ICRS training session: The market has shifted from boomers driven by price, to millennials driven by branding, local loyalty and relationship,” said Curtis Riskey, president of CBA. “And small Christian stores are in that sweet spot.”

In her role as manager of Baker Book House in Grand Rapids, Michigan, CBA Chair Sue Smith found the overall show to be helpful.

“To connect with people that think like me, have the same business issues I do and the strength that comes from being with fellow Christian retailers is priceless,” Smith said.

She was not alone. God’s Song author Sandy Betgur said it was valuable to meet her fellow exhibitors.

“[It’s] not just meeting the booksellers, but other exhibitors stopping by and sharing ideas about how our products could fit in,” Betgur said.

Riskey believes there is “no substitute for in-person meetings” at ICRS.

“You’ve got dynamic people all driving toward the same goal and mission,” he said.

This year’s new Change A Life Festival—free and open to the public Sunday—featured a daylong lineup of top Christian musicians, comedians and personalities, headlined by Duck Dynasty stars Phil and Alan Robertson. The festival benefited Buckhead Christian Ministry, reaching out to poor and needy in the Atlanta area.

“We leverage the trade show to do good in the community—just as the stores, increasingly, are part of, and giving back to, their communities,” Riskey said.

Monday launched with a general session panel with authors Ravi Zacharias, Philip Yancey and Ryan Dobson addressing the question: “Where is Christianity going?”

“That was a once-in-a-lifetime moment,” Riskey said. “Titans in Christian thinking at time when Christianity is in upheaval, and we have a flood of requests for the audio. Each person, from a rare and unique perspective, says God’s in charge—and sent the audience out with hope.”

CBA presented Family Talk’s Dr. James Dobson, about to release his “Building a Family Legacy” series of videos and books, with the ICRS Lifetime Achievement Award. 

“His impact on the Christian retail world can’t be understated,” Riskey said. “His radio interviews alone drove tens of thousands of people to Christian bookstores.”

Training sessions at the show ranged from selling Christian rap to the Hispanic community to new media. Workshops ran from trends in Christian fiction to children’s literature to Christian films and related products.

ICRS 2015 will be held June 28-July 1 in Orlando, Florida. Next year marks the end of legacy contracts for CBA and the beginning of new show concepts. Arrowhead Conferences and Events, a ministry of Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ), is assisting the Christian retail association with completing contractual obligations and moving into the future. CBA is revamping its convention strategy to lower costs and add more value for exhibitors and attendees.

 

In this current issue:

Enter soon for Christian Retailing’s Best Early Bird discount

News image

Christian Retailing is now accepting nominations for the 2015 Christian...

READ MORE

Latest album gives Casting Crowns fifth RIAA Platinum status

News image

Reunion/Beach Street Records artist Casting Crowns added another Recording Industry...

READ MORE

ECPA president earns distinguished credential

News image

Mark Kuyper, president/CEO of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA),...

READ MORE

K-Love announces 2015 Fan Awards nominees

News image

For KING AND COUNTRY and the Newsboys topped the list...

READ MORE

NRF survey: Valentine’s spending to reach record heights

News image

Cupid has some tricks up his sleeve this year with...

READ MORE

Rosenberg hits best-seller list again with ‘Third Target’

News image

Author Joel C. Rosenberg has done it again. His newest...

READ MORE

Biblica and Zondervan celebrate 50 years of the NIV

News image

January 2015 marks the beginning of a yearlong campaign to...

READ MORE

RBC Ministries rebrands to become Our Daily Bread

News image

Worldwide, Our Daily Bread is recognized as a household phrase....

READ MORE

Rainer title lauded with 2014 award

News image

B&H Publishing Group has announced that Autopsy of a Deceased...

READ MORE

2015 Absolutely Gospel Music Award nominees announced

News image

Joseph Habedank and hit songwriter Kenna West each garnered eight...

READ MORE

Carpentree awarded licensing for 'Old Fashioned'

News image

Carpentree, Inc. is releasing four new canvases that support the...

READ MORE

Carta Jerusalem to partner with Hendrickson Publishers

News image

Carta Jerusalem, the long-established cartographic firm that holds the world’s...

READ MORE
100%
-
+
0
Show options

a