Christian Retailing

CBA planning changes for its events next year Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Monday, 10 November 2008 03:58 PM America/New_York

Retailers trade association recasts winter conference, ‘working on adjustments’ for summer show

CBA has been planning changes for its events next year.

In response to feedback from retailers and suppliers, and to ease the cost of travel and lodging to attendees, next year’s CBA Industry Conference will be offered in two locations on opposite sides of the country.

The conference will also be condensed to one day, so attendees do not have to be away from their stores or offices for an extended period, the booksellers association said.

The eastern CBA Industry Conference .09 will take place Jan. 14, 2009, in Atlanta, following AmericasMart’s Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market and just before the Christian Trade Association International’s Marketsquare International, to be held Jan. 15-17 in Atlanta.

The western location for CBA Industry Conference .09 will be in the Southern California area, although the specific site and date has not been finalized.

“We’re all wondering what we’ll need to do as Christian retailers to survive and thrive in the coming digital age,” said Curtis Riskey, CBA strategic solutions executive. “This conference will be a key to uncovering and experiencing what that future will look like and how we can embrace these new realities together.”

Held in Indianapolis last January, the first CBA Industry Conference—a slimmed-down winter event that replaced Advance, cancelled because of dwindling attendance—drew around 190 participants, identifying key issues of concern in the industry and emphasizing the importance of creating good consumer experiences, while promising follow-up resources.

The cost of the 2009 conference has been reduced to $35, which includes lunch—down from $600 for this year’s three-day event.

CBA is also preparing changes to its annual summer show, which will mark its 60th anniversary in Denver, July 12-16, 2009. The retailers trade association was  “working on some pretty exciting adjustments and new elements” for the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS), Meetings and Expositions Director Scott Graham recently wrote at the organization’s online Industry Blog.

Meanwhile, Thomas Nelson has announced the dates for its second “Open House” for Christian retailers. The all-expenses-paid event will be held April 13-15, 2009, in Nashville.

Invitations describe the program as “three days of encouragement and discussion,” with “industry experts, top authors and Nelson executives.” The event is intended “to provide a forum for honest feedback from Christian retailers and media, develop deeper, more beneficial relationships and affirm our commitment to the Christian retail channel.”

Nelson will cover airfare, hotel and meals for invitees. The company invited its top 100 accounts to its first Open House this spring—after deciding not to participate in CBA Advance, which was subsequently cancelled in favor of the smaller Industry Conference, which took place in February.

Nelson also skipped ICRS in July, but the company plans to attend the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association’s Christian Book Expo, debuting in Dallas, March 20-22, 2009.