Christian Retailing

CBA's Curtis Riskey promises 'new ways of doing business' Print Email
Written by Natalie Gillespie   
Monday, 27 June 2016 12:34 PM America/New_York

ICRS2016-RibbonCutting2About 50 retailers and exhibitors gathered at the 2016 ICRS ribbon-cutting ceremony, waiting to be the first to arrive on the exhibit hall floor of the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati. The show’s move to Cincinnati represents “the start of a smaller, more intimate, more nimble place for us to strengthen relationships with each other and do business well,” said CBA Chairman of the Board Sue Smith, manager of Baker Book House in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

For the first time in the Christian products convention’s history, the sales floor will be closed for two hours in the middle of the buying days Monday and Tuesday. During the lunchtime break, the industry will meet together in general sessions such as Monday’s “Stand and Engage” call to action.

“New ideas and new ways to do business will be introduced this week,” CBA President Curtis Riskey told attendees waiting to enter the floor.

Those in attendance will gather for an industry-wide prayer time on the convention floor Tuesday, followed by the two-hour mid-day general session “Leadership in Disruption” during the floor’s closure.

The mid-day breaks, business-focused breakout sessions and the show’s location in Cincinnati for 2016 and 2017 are intentional moves by CBA to help the industry feel “United,” the theme of this year’s ICRS. Riskey said the strategy seems to be working, as the exhibit booth space was completely sold out for this year’s show.

“We filled every booth,” Riskey said. “I think the location of Cincinnati helps because it’s convenient for our members in terms of travel, and I like how everything is close by, even in walking distance. This convention center, and the hotels and restaurants around us, really fit us. Sometimes discussion and key points happen on elevators and escalators, and I’m just excited to bring everyone together.”

New Integrity Music artist, husband-and-wife team Seth & Nirva performed the new single “You Are in Control” for the waiting crowd. Nirva is known for singing backup for veteran artist TobyMac. Seth & Nirva’s debut album, Never Alone, released May 27.