ICRS to feature new events, ‘provide real help’ to retailers Print
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Monday, 06 April 2009 09:05 AM America/New_York
CBA’s 60th anniversary show ‘not about breaking attendance records,’ but ‘practical solutions’

CBA’s annual summer show has been shortened, but the trade association is seeking to “provide real help” to retailers by adding several new events and attractions for its International Christian Retail Show (ICRS).

Marking its 60th anniversary in Denver, ICRS is set for July 12-15. The new Heart of the Author Luncheon, to be hosted by Karen Kingsbury, is scheduled for July 14. Besides Kingsbury, several other authors will reveal the stories behind their books, the retailers trade association said.

Additionally, a new general session July 12 will feature B&H Publishing Group author and missiologist Ed Stetzer and R.R. Bowker General Manager Kelly Gallagher, who will provide information on industry trends, research and best practices.

CBA also has plans for an extended ribbon-cutting ceremony July 13, while the new Town Center will feature a new product gallery, merchandising demonstrations, personality booths and food concessions.

Also July 12, Josh McDowell, author of Evidence for the Resurrection (Regal Books) and NFL Hall of Fame member Joe Gibbs, author of Game Plan for Life (Tyndale House Publishers), will speak during the Pacesetter event, which is not a new event. However, it will be followed by the presentation of CBA’s new Spirit of Excellence Awards, which will honor stores for their innovation.

altThe theme of ICRS is “Real Help for Your Business”—an indirect reference to the economic slowdown. CBA President Bill Anderson told Christian Retailing that the anniversary show “is not about breaking attendance records.”

“It is about helping real people with real issues and helping them find practical solutions,” he said. “And it will not be a meeting of the defeated, but of a group of people ... called to the ministry of Christian retail who are experiencing some of the toughest years in the history of our industry.”

Anderson added that ICRS will “provide real help for dealing with real issues in these real hard times.”

“We want to help retailers understand and deal with the realities of our current economic climate, but recognize that they are not going it alone,” he said. “The road may be rough, but it is not a dead-end street. … There are plenty of Christian retail stores who are actually seeing business growth and are more than willing to share what is working for them as well as offer encouragement.”

CBA will also debut “Product Intelligence Tours,” distinguished by product category, which will be showcased on the exhibit floor and exhibitor booths. The tours will enable retailers to learn about various categories of product, while sponsoring suppliers can demonstrate their specific products for buyers.

CBA previously announced plans to shorten its annual summer show from five to four days. Total exhibit time will be reduced by just three hours, while shaving off a day of travel costs, meals and time investment.