Children's Institute 2020 Program

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Sessions marked with this symbol require pre-registration.
Monday, June 22, 2020  

9:00 am to 7:00 pm

Pick up your badge, the official Ci8 welcome bag, and your printed schedule of institute events. Mentor/mentee table assignments and Publisher Focus Group details are printed on the back of bookseller badges.

9:15 am to 12:15 pm

Details coming soon! This workshop will be repeated at 12:45 pm for booksellers who are unable to attend the morning session. Registration will open 2/26 and can accommodate up to 45 booksellers.

12:45 pm to 3:45 pm

Details coming soon! This workshop is a repeat of the 9:15 am session. Registration will open 2/26 and can accommodate up to 45 booksellers.

1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Sign up for the first-ever Bookseller Olympics, where booksellers get to flex their muscles with relays designed by their peers. From dump building to speed jacket-flapping, the Bookseller Olympics will test your bookish skills in the best way possible. Who’s going to bring home the gold? Could be you!

4:00 pm to 5:10 pm

First time at Children’s Institute? Don’t panic! Join us before the Opening Reception and Costume Party to get the scoop on Children’s Institute and meet other attendees new to the event. Together, we will assist you in making the perfect game plan that ensures you get the most out of your Ci8 experience. If you requested a mentor, now is also the time to meet them so that you can connect throughout the conference.

5:40 pm to 7:10 pm

Celebrate the opening of the 8th annual Children’s Institute in the company of your colleagues from around the country with a costume party! Come dressed as your favorite book character or collaborate with fellow booksellers on a group costume. All attendees are encouraged to put their best sartorial foot forward and join in the fun!

Tuesday, June 23, 2020  

7:00 am to 7:30 am

7:00 am to 7:00 pm

The Quiet Room is intended to provide a quiet, calm space where attendees can spend time away from noise, light, and other stimuli of conference spaces. The Quiet Room is not available for conversations or meetings.

7:45 am to 8:45 am

9:00 am to 10:00 am

Whether you live in a flyover state, are just beginning to think about in-store events, or want to broaden your repertoire, authorless events can bring customers into your store, create loyalty, and build your brand. In this session, panelists will share their experiences and successes with authorless events and how other bookstores can monetize off of them.

When does curation become censorship and what is a bookstore’s responsibility when it comes to children’s books with content some may disagree with? This is a discussion-based session without prescriptive answers. With the assistance of a moderator, booksellers can share their experiences and listen to others as attendees discuss curating a children’s book space that is appropriate for their store and community.

You’ve landed your dream job of buying children’s books for a bookstore and you want to hit your order out of the park! In this session, tenured buyers will workshop how to research and plan an upcoming order and share tools that will set new buyers up for success. Attending booksellers are encouraged to bring a laptop or device to use to follow along.

Whether you’re a luddite or have websites and apps you’re an evangelist for, this idea exchange is for you! Attendees will have the opportunity to share and learn about digital resources to help them stay in the know about all things happening in the kid lit world!

Book fairs can be a profitable undertaking for a bookstore but for those who have yet to launch a fair, the task can be overwhelming. Booksellers with established relationships with their local school district will learn how to build a realistic timeline and create a checklist to ensure their first book fair goes off without a hitch.

If you’d like to share questions and feedback about your POS system representatives will be present for a discussion. This is a great opportunity to ask questions and gain insight into maximizing the use of your POS system.

9:00 am to 11:45 am

The Consultation Station offers booksellers the opportunity to meet with representatives from ABA’s business solution partners, POS vendors, and other service providers. The full list of Consultation Station participants will be available on BookWeb and in the event app. Be sure to check BookWeb frequently, as new participants are added regularly, and make appointments in the coming months.

9:00 am to 7:00 pm

The always-popular Galley Room will be filled with ARCs of upcoming titles from Ci8 sponsors. The room will open after the morning breakfast keynote on Tuesday and remain open for the duration of the institute.

Ship your galleys from Ci8 with FedEx instead of lugging them home. Bring pre-printed FedEx shipping labels to ease your way at the PartnerShip shipping desk. FedEx is charging a $5 handling fee per box, so pack carefully! Visit PartnerShip.com/07ABA to enroll. Questions? Contact PartnerShip’s Keith Korhely at 800-599-2902 x2254 or by email .

9:00 am to 5:00 pm

IndieCommerce and IndieLite are ABA’s online platforms for marketing events and author appearances as well as selling books and other merchandise. Both users and non-users of IndieCommerce and IndieLite are invited to schedule a one-on-one time with a program specialist from the IndieCommerce team. Space is limited, but walk-ins are welcome. Hours are offered Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Attendees may schedule their appointments beginning in May.

10:15 am to 11:15 am

11:45 am to 1:45 pm

Developed for author guests in the early stages of their writing careers, this lunch panel features booksellers who have formulated best practices for creating events that benefit both stores and authors. This session will cover a number of issues, from author publicity to dealing with pre-event nerves.

Enjoy lunch with children’s book sales reps and learn about great upcoming titles from the publisher sponsors. Seats are assigned; table numbers are printed on the back of bookseller badges. Booksellers are expected to attend.

1:45 pm to 5:00 pm

The Consultation Station offers booksellers the opportunity to meet with representatives from ABA’s business solution partners, POS vendors, and other service providers. The full list of Consultation Station participants will be available on BookWeb and in the event app. Be sure to check BookWeb frequently, as new participants are added regularly, and make appointments in the coming months.

2:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Have you ever wondered how to establish a not-for-profit arm to your bookstore, or what a B-Corp actually is? Look no further to hear from booksellers who have adopted these kinds of business models in place of traditional for-profit retailing business models.

Conducting a store inventory is a necessary evil to keep your shelves fresh and up to date. In this idea exchange, attendees will share systems they have in place that make taking inventory seamless, including before, during, and after the process.

If you’d like to share questions and feedback about your POS system representatives will be present for a discussion. This is a great opportunity to ask questions and gain insight into maximizing the use of your POS system.

ABACUS is the essential independent bookstore benchmarking tool that helps stores leverage the survey results against their numbers and make plans to ensure a more profitable future. It is critical for children’s book retailers to participate so that their impact is clearly represented in the industry. In this session, bookstores that have never reported before, or consider themselves new to the process, will learn how to prepare their systems, from POS to QuickBooks, so that when it comes time report, they are set up for success.

All you need is love…and representation! A panel of booksellers with a deep passion for YA romance will share their favorite LGBTQ+ YA romance titles, best practices for marketing the stories, and how they work to expand readership outside of the LGBTQ+ and teen community.

Owners and managers, your staff is the best in biz! They love books and they are great with customers. This panel will feature bookstore owners and managers who have found unique ways to help staff grow professionally and personally, all while setting them up for a long-term career in bookselling.

3:15 pm to 3:45 pm

Let the Meet the Presses Ci8 sponsors introduce themselves to you while you refuel for the afternoon. This informal networking event gives you the opportunity to check out the publishers not participating in Speed Dating Lunch or Lunch Presentations. While you’re there, set up appointments for Meet the Presses the following day and explore new titles.

4:00 pm to 5:00 pm

The Town Hall is an opportunity for an open discussion about industry and association issues. Members of the ABA Board will respond to questions and comments from all booksellers. Booksellers are encouraged to submit their comment or question prior to the Town Hall by emailing townhall@bookweb.org.

5:30 pm to 7:00 pm

Thanks to the generosity of ABA’s publisher sponsors, many authors and illustrators will be on hand to chat with booksellers and autograph new and forthcoming titles at the Author Reception. Hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be served.

9:30 pm to 12:00 am

Wednesday, June 24, 2020  

7:00 am to 7:30 am

7:00 am to 7:00 pm

The Quiet Room is intended to provide a quiet, calm space where attendees can spend time away from noise, light, and other stimuli of conference spaces. The Quiet Room is not available for conversations or meetings.

7:30 am to 3:00 pm

Come by the Ask ABA desk to chat with your Member Relationship Manager, who will be available to answer your questions about ABA or Ci8.

7:45 am to 9:15 am

Indies Introduce is all about what independent booksellers do best: Discovering exciting debut authors and sharing the best with readers across the country. You will hear about the title selection process from the bookseller panelists who curated the list and many of the debut authors will be present to read a short passage and answer a question posed by one of the panelists. Afterwards, authors will move to the signing area, where booksellers can meet the authors and get galleys signed.

8:00 am to 7:00 pm

The always-popular Galley Room will be filled with ARCs of upcoming titles from Ci8 sponsors. The room will open after the morning breakfast keynote on Tuesday and remain open for the duration of the institute.

Ship your galleys from Ci8 with FedEx instead of lugging them home. Bring pre-printed FedEx shipping labels to ease your way at the PartnerShip shipping desk. FedEx is charging a $5 handling fee per box, so pack carefully! Visit PartnerShip.com/07ABA to enroll. Questions? Contact PartnerShip’s Keith Korhely at 800-599-2902 x2254 or by email .

9:15 am to 12:45 pm

The Consultation Station offers booksellers the opportunity to meet with representatives from ABA’s business solution partners, POS vendors, and other service providers. The full list of Consultation Station participants will be available on BookWeb and in the event app. Be sure to check BookWeb frequently, as new participants are added regularly, and make appointments in the coming months.

Booksellers have the opportunity to meet with small and mid-size publishers for more formal conversations. These publishers, many of which are first-time ABA event sponsors, will have sample copies of their books, as well as additional copies for giveaway at their discretion.

9:15 am to 5:00 pm

IndieCommerce and IndieLite are ABA’s online platforms for marketing events and author appearances as well as selling books and other merchandise. Both users and non-users of IndieCommerce and IndieLite are invited to schedule a one-on-one time with a program specialist from the IndieCommerce team. Space is limited, but walk-ins are welcome. Hours are offered Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Attendees may schedule their appointments beginning in May.

9:30 am to 11:00 am

Enjoy a short coffee break before or after Publisher and Bookseller Focus Groups. It's a great opportunity network with peers, visit the consultation station, take a quick meeting, or simply recharge with another cup of joe.

The Publisher and Bookseller Focus Groups are intended to be an opportunity for publishers and distributors to discuss with booksellers issues of mutual concern and importance, leading to productive and practical ways to improve sales. Each publisher will have their own agenda and booksellers will be advised of a range of topics likely to be covered. This 90-minute event will be split into two 45-minute shifts with booksellers assigned to only one 45-minute shift, leaving all booksellers with 45 minutes of free time. Shift assignments will be printed on bookseller badges.

11:15 am to 12:15 pm

Who hasn’t heard the phrase “My child is a very advanced reader”? Let’s be honest: in most cases, it’s not true. But there are times when it is, and a pre-tween or early tween desperately needs a book that will challenge them and deliver content that is appropriate. This session will explore how to research, market, and display books that deliver a challenging read but are parent-approved.

Can’t book Carnegie Hall but are still expecting to pack the house for your event? This session is designed to inspire booksellers to reimagine their small spaces for a crowd. Booksellers who plan events in stores 1,500 square feet or smaller will discuss how they get inventive when space is restricted.

This idea exchange is a designed for booksellers to share event ideas that have worked for them in their stores. Attendees will leave with seeds for future events and are encouraged to bring business cards so that they may continue to network and share ideas after Children’s Institute.

If you’d like to share questions and feedback about your POS system representatives will be present for a discussion. This is a great opportunity to ask questions and gain insight into maximizing the use of your POS system.

A Librarian is an integral partner for the amplification of events, authors, and sales for your children’s bookstore and department. Booksellers who wear both librarian and bookseller hats will discuss how collaborating with librarians benefits your business and the best ways to cultivate that partnership.

12:45 pm to 2:15 pm

Enjoy lunch while hearing about great upcoming titles from more Children’s Institute publisher sponsors. Seating is unassigned for this lunch.

2:15 pm to 5:00 pm

The Consultation Station offers booksellers the opportunity to meet with representatives from ABA’s business solution partners, POS vendors, and other service providers. The full list of Consultation Station participants will be available on BookWeb and in the event app. Be sure to check BookWeb frequently, as new participants are added regularly, and make appointments in the coming months.

Booksellers have the opportunity to meet with small and mid-size publishers for more formal conversations. These publishers, many of which are first-time ABA event sponsors, will have sample copies of their books, as well as additional copies for giveaway at their discretion.

2:30 pm to 3:30 pm

An independent bookstore’s backlist exemplifies the independence of the store as an institution, as well as the creators of the book space and its customers. Through this curation, experiences and learning opportunities are created that reflect a bookstore’s community and propel the business and its community forward. This session will provide insight into how to serve a community by going beyond the classics as well as the methods and challenges faced in curating a backlist representative of the bookstore’s culture and community.

Graphic novels are essential for the developmental growth of a reader as well as for entertainment and experiencing the breadth of what reading has to offer. Still, booksellers are met with resistance toward the format. In this session, attendees will learn a brief history of the evolution of the graphic novel, market research on the genre, and how to talk to customers and schools in need of convincing that reading a graphic novel is, indeed, reading.

In 2019, the global temperature averaged 1.71 degrees higher than the prior year. In this idea exchange, booksellers will share actionable items they have implemented to reduce their carbon footprint as well as children’s events they have organized to inspire young people to take action.

If you’d like to share questions and feedback about your POS system representatives will be present for a discussion. This is a great opportunity to ask questions and gain insight into maximizing the use of your POS system.

For neurodivergent children, a story time experience can be extremely overwhelming. In this session, booksellers who host sensory story times will share the value of sensory story times, how to accommodate neurodivergent families, and best practices for outreach to customers seeking an adjusted story time experience.

Selling gently used books in a kids’ book space can be a challenge when books are often purchased as gifts, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. A panel of booksellers with curated gently used children’s book sections will share their best practices on how to acquire, market, and sell previously owned books.

3:45 pm to 4:45 pm

5:15 pm to 6:30 pm

We get it. It’s hot. So why not stay an extra night and hang poolside (or inside!) with your crew while sipping on your favorite beverage, playing games, and catching up with your bookish friends about the event, books you’re excited for, or whatever floats….your pool float?

About ABA

The American Booksellers Association, a national not-for-profit trade organization, works with booksellers and industry partners to ensure the success and profitability of independently owned book retailers, and to assist in expanding the community of the book.

Independent bookstores act as community anchors; they serve a unique role in promoting the open exchange of ideas, enriching the cultural life of communities, and creating economically vibrant neighborhoods.

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