On Thursday, June 3, at this year's BookExpo America (BEA) in Chicago, ABA will once again hold its popular All-Day Education Program. This year, there is no additional fee for BEA educational programming, including ABA's Thursday programming, which is open to all ABA member bookstores. To qualify for the new BEA Super Pass, ABA member booksellers must check off "ABA Bookstore Member" and provide their ABA ID number under "Registration Options" on the BEA registration form. BEA registration for ABA members is $65 before May 21; after May 21 the registration fee is $100, so booksellers should register early to save.
After a morning focusing on marketing (to read more about this, click here), the Thursday afternoon sessions offer booksellers a choice of sessions covering a variety of topics. Five different sessions are repeated from 1:45 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. and then again from 3:15 p.m. - 4:30 p.m., enabling booksellers to attend two.
At "Forming Independent Business Alliances in Your Community," to be held in Room 402A, representatives from the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) and several independent booksellers who have been at the forefront of creating such alliances will discuss ways to promote the ever-growing importance of locally owned independent businesses to the economic stability of communities. The session will be moderated by ABA COO Oren Teicher.
ABA CEO Avin Mark Domnitz will moderate the session "Identify Competition & Self-Evaluation: A Method to Conduct the Analysis" in Room 402B. This session will help booksellers identify possible competitors and will suggest a method for determining if they are impacting a store's business. Questions to be explored include: Why does any consumer buy their books at any place and at any time? What are the factors that enter into this basic decision that is at the core of all consumer conduct? How does your store measure up?
Bookstore owners planning to sell their business or bookstore employees hoping to buy a store should plan to attend "Succession Planning: Employee Buyouts" in Room 404A. This session will focus on successful strategies for transfer of ownership and will present examples where this has successfully been achieved.
"Small Store Issues" will be explored by a panel of booksellers, in Room 404B/C. ABA small store members have set the agenda for this seminar, which will cover issues of inventory management, stocking and ordering, time management, choosing a POS system, and more. Booksellers are encouraged to bring their questions.
"Inventory Management," in Room 404D, is expected to be an entertaining, yet informative session, where booksellers will learn to effectively measure and monitor inventory. Bob Steele, a professional speaker and business consultant, will challenge participants to look at how they are currently doing business, compare their methods to proven industry best practices, and determine what practices need to be adopted in order to maximize success and improve the bookstore's bottom line.
In addition to the sessions outlined above, from 1:45 p.m. - 3:00 p.m., on Thursday, ABA, in conjunction with the National Association of College Stores (NACS), will be sponsoring a "College Store Idea Exchange & Roundtable" in Room S106A/B. This session will focus on proven strategies that can help make a college store an even more valuable community resource, on and off the campus. Topics will include success with remainders, campus and community events and initiatives, inventory selection, and marketing and merchandising tips. Booksellers are invited to remain after the session to continue networking with colleagues. Suggestions regarding this session should be sent to Cindy Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org) at NACS.
Thursday afternoon will also feature programming for children's booksellers co-sponsored by the ABA, Association of Booksellers for Children, and Children's Book Council Children's Booksellers and Publishers Committee. Look for details in an upcoming issue of Bookselling This Week.