2017 Winter Institute Registration Open & Filling Fast

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Registration for the American Booksellers Association’s 12th annual Winter Institute (Wi12) opened on Tuesday afternoon, September 13, and is filling fast. Booksellers who are interested in attending are encouraged to register and then book a room at the host hotel, the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis, as soon as possible.

Registration is open to all ABA bookstore and provisional members and is limited to three booksellers per ABA member-company. The conference fee is $119 per registrant.

The 2017 Winter Institute will be held from Friday, January 27, through Monday, January 30, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is made possible by support from lead sponsor Ingram Content Group and from publishers large and small.

Wi12 will feature a packed education schedule, author receptions, bookseller-publisher networking opportunities, an ABA Town Hall meeting, the Consultation Station, the Galley Room, the return of the Book Swap, and more. The event’s keynote breakfast speakers include Roxane Gay (Difficult Women, Grove Press); Kim Malone Scott (Radical Candor: How to Be a Kickass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity, St. Martin’s Press); and a conversation between Ann Patchett (Commonwealth, Harper) and Lesley Stahl (Becoming Grandma: The Joys and Science of the New Grandparenting, Blue Rider Press).

The institute will also offer several featured talks, including discussions by Paul Currie, CEO of Foyles in the U.K. on the future of retail; by Minneapolis arts and business leaders on partnering to create a dynamic city; and conversations between booksellers and authors whose titles have been chosen for the Indie Next Lists and Indies Introduce program.

The Hyatt Regency Minneapolis offers an ABA-member room rate of $97 per night plus tax for stays from January 24 through February 1, 2017. The group rate is available until the block sells out or until December 23, whichever comes first.

Booksellers making their travel plans should consider the special programming scheduled for Friday, January 27, prior to the Wi12 Opening Reception. Registration for these events, which require separate fees, opens November 1:

  • Minneapolis Bookstore and Publisher Tours: Full- and half-day tours of Twin City bookstores and publishers will depart from the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis and end at Open Book for the Wi12 Opening Reception. The full-day tour is $35; half-day is $25.
  • Leadership Workshop for Owners and Managers: This full-day workshop will introduce owners and managers to principles and competencies for developing leadership skills and will help them better understand and address the challenges facing their businesses. The workshop will be presented by the Kansas Leadership Council team, which led a shorter session at Wi11 and facilitated the event’s first-time debrief. The fee for the Leadership Workshop is $125 per registrant.
  • IndieCommerce Institute: This one-day, interactive learning experience in a classroom-style setting will go beyond basic training to provide actionable information for new and experienced IndieCommerce users. (See this week’s preview of the institute’s session topics.)

Also on Friday, Donna Paz Kaufman and Mark Kaufman of the Paz & Associates Bookstore Training Group will present Introduction to Retail Bookselling, a one-day seminar for prospective booksellers. Students will get an overview of the business of bookselling and the essentials of opening a new bookstore or buying an existing store. Registration for the workshop is currently open to ABA Provisional members and employees of Regular member stores. The fee for the Paz workshop is $119 per person. Attendance at the Winter Institute is not required to register for the workshop, although workshop students are guaranteed a place at the Winter Institute if they wish to attend; the Wi12 conference fee will apply.

Preregistration is also required for Winter Institute 12’s Advanced Education Sessions and Bookstore Finance Seminar; however, there are no additional fees for these events. Preregistration will open on November 1:

  • Advanced Education Sessions are open to store owners and managers and are designed for in-depth explorations of management and operational concerns. Space is limited and registration is first-come, first-served. ABA will attempt to accommodate all interested stores with at least one AES placement; assignments will be e-mailed prior to the start of Winter Institute. Advanced education session topics include “Understanding and Fostering Your Store Culture,” “Managing Managers,” and “Owning and Managing a Multi-Store Business.” 
  • The Bookstore Finance Seminar will be held on Saturday, January 28, and is open to all bookseller attendees. This 101-level seminar will cover the fundamentals of budgeting, cash flow and forecasting, business financing, bookkeeping, and financial statement analysis, as well as strategies for achieving higher profits and improving cash flow.

ABA is currently accepting applications for publisher-sponsored Wi12 scholarships. Booksellers at ABA member stores that did not have a Winter Institute scholarship winner in 2015 or 2016 are eligible to apply. Scholarships will cover the conference fee, up to four nights’ accommodations at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis, and transportation expenses up to $400. Applications will be accepted until October 28, 2016. Booksellers can also submit their names for an extra chance at winning a scholarship by dropping off their business cards at the ABA booth at one of the fall regional trade shows. Scholarship winners will be announced in November 2016.

For up-to-the-minute program details and to register, visit the Winter Institute pages on BookWeb.org. Questions should be addressed to winterinstitute@bookweb.org.