2002 UMBA Fall Trade Show Preview

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The 2002 Upper Midwest Booksellers Association (UMBA) Trade Show will be held at the RiverCentre complex in St. Paul, Minnesota, from September 27-29. Susan Walker, executive director for UMBA, told BTW that this year's show is particularly important to UMBA booksellers, as many did not have the opportunity to attend BookExpo America this past May. As a result, she said, UMBA is gearing up for a strong turnout.

"We revamped our schedule of events to give booksellers the chance to focus on our exhibit, our educational programming, and our author events in a more concentrated way," Walker said. "We've also added more seminars and a new Authors Lunch. In addition, our exhibit will include excellent representation from national and regional publishers, commission sales groups, wholesalers, and a variety of other vendors."

Attending the trade show from ABA will be COO Oren Teicher; Barry Sobolewski, database manager; and Kristen Gilligan, manager of communications, industry relations, and trade policy.

The UMBA Trade Show kicks off on Friday, September 27, with the "13th Annual UMBA Booksellers School Seminars and Educational Panels and Presentations," at the Touchstone Energy Place at RiverCentre. Friday's Booksellers School features an orientation, two seminars, and five free educational panels.

From noon - 1:00 p.m., "First-Timer's Orientation" offers those new to bookselling an introduction to the weekend's trade show. Experienced UMBA booksellers and sales reps will discuss the best ways to make effective use of time and contacts during exhibit hours on Saturday.

From 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 pm., "Seminar I. Visual Merchandising That Works!" is intended for, but not limited to, frontline booksellers and store managers who want to gain greater experience or skill with visual merchandising. Participants in the seminar will gain a working knowledge of a number of merchandising elements: basic merchandising principles, terms and objectives; creation of thematic displays; and future merchandising trends affecting retail bookselling, to name a few. All seminars are $35 per person.

Concurrent with Seminar I, "Seminar II. In Sync -- Building & Sustaining Your Dream Team," is intended for storeowners, managers, and supervisors. The session explores the critical elements of a "Dream Team" and the special role of the leader, whose job it is to inspire everyone to do their best. Taught through a combination of individual and small group exercises, participants will gain insights and new skills in a number of areas, including recruiting strategies for various job markets, interviewing techniques to better predict on-the-job performance, problem solving, and leadership.

The five, 45-minute educational panels kick off at noon with "Co-op Advertising -- Making It Work for Your Store." This panel discusses how to handle co-op more productively.

At 1:00 p.m., the panel "Effective Publisher's Rep/Commission Rep & Bookseller Relationships" will discuss the importance to both retailer and rep of being well prepared for sales calls, maximizing time- and cost-efficiency together, and understanding each other's business priorities and profitability needs.

The panel "Off-Site Sales & Book Fairs -- You Can Compete Successfully for Your Community's Business" begins at 2:00 p.m., and will discuss ways to preempt the competition and make maximum use of a store's community connections and bookselling strengths to develop successful competitive alternatives.

At 3:00 p.m., the panel "Reading Groups and Book Clubs -- Tried-and-True Favorites & Fresh Ideas" will cover some of the best ideas and resources for reading groups.

Beginning at 4:00 p.m., the final educational panel of the day, "Successful Author Events -- Perfecting Your Pitch, or the Art of Obtaining the Authors You Want," will provide insights as to how a bookstore can enhance its chances for success when requesting an author for an event.

Capping off a busy Friday is the "UMBA Trade Show Welcome Reception," hosted by Ingram Book Company and the Minnesota Humanities Commission/Minnesota Center for the Book. The reception will be held from 5:30 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. at the Minnesota Humanities Commission Conference Center near the shores of Lake Phalen in St. Paul.

On Saturday, September 28, the UMBA Trade Show starts at 7:30 a.m. with the "11th Annual UMBA Book & Author Breakfast -- Celebrating Midwest Authors." The breakfast features Jerry Apps (Stormy, Humor from the Country, and When Chores Were Done, The Guest Cottage/Amherst Press); Larry Millett (The Disappearance of Sherlock Holmes and Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Alliance, Viking and Penguin); Michael Perry (Population 485, HarperCollins); and Susan Power (Roofwalker, Milkweed). The breakfast runs until 9:00 a.m. and is held at the Touchstone Energy Place at RiverCentre. Tickets are $16 and must be purchased in advance.

Following the breakfast is UMBA's 2002 General Membership Meeting, from 9:15 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. The meeting is open to all UMBA members and will include an introduction to UMBA directors, an overview of 2001 - 2002 activities, projects and issues, and a look ahead at UMBA's plans for 2002 - 2003.

The Trade Show Exhibit floor is open from 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. There will be 250 exhibits, and 400-plus publishers and vendors will be represented, including commission reps, wholesalers and distributors, computer systems firms, and sidelines companies. Those booksellers placing orders at the show will have a chance to win prizes in UMBA's seventh annual "Place Those Orders!" raffle.

After the exhibit floor closes, Partners Book Distributing, Inc. will host a cocktail reception from 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium at RiverCentre. The reception is for all trade show attendees.

The "UMBA Trade Show Book & Author Dinner," will be held at the Radisson Riverfront Hotel in St. Paul from 7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Tickets to the dinner are $35 and must be purchased in advance. The dinner is a five-course meal and features Terry Brooks (The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara: Morgawr, Ballantine); Bruce Feiler (Abraham: A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths, William Morrow); Von Hardesty (Lindbergh: Flight's Enigmatic Hero, Harcourt); Christina Schwarz (All Is Vanity, Doubleday); and John Taliaferro (Great White Fathers, PublicAffairs).

On Sunday, September 29, from 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. it's UMBA's "16th Annual Children's Book and Author Breakfast" at the Roy Wilkins Ballroom at RiverCentre. This year's breakfast features Hilary Knight (Eloise Takes a Bawth, S&S); Reeve Lindbergh (On Morning Wings, Candlewick); Linda Sue Park (When My Name Was Keoko and A Single Shard, Clarion); David Shannon (David Gets in Trouble and No! David, Scholastic); and Paul Zelinsky (Knick-Knack Paddywack and The Wheels on the Bus, Dutton). Tickets are $16.

Following Sunday's breakfast, there will be two free, ABA educational sessions. From 10:00 a.m. - noon, "Succession Planning" will be moderated by ABA's Teicher, who will be joined by panelists Donna Henrich of The Bookseller in Cherokee, Iowa, and Harriet Christie of Northwards Bookstore in Ashland, Wisconsin. The session will address a number of key issues regarding valuing and selling businesses, including insights from booksellers and industry professionals who have been involved in the process of exiting various-sized businesses.

From noon - 1:00 p.m., Teicher will also moderate "What's New with Book Sense." This program will offer attendees the latest major news about Book Sense developments, from news of book promotions to new 76 plans, regional bestseller list updates, and the extended free trial for BookSense.com.

Also on Sunday, from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., "Seminar III. What a Great Bookstore! Setting the Pace Through Creativity & Innovation" is intended for storeowners, managers, and supervisors. This workshop will teach attendees ways to identify and sharpen their competitive edge using store design, displays, signs and promotional materials, and store selection as tools.

From 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m., the panel "Selling Sidelines -- Creating the Mix That Makes Your Store Special" is designed to help booksellers choose which types of sidelines will enhance their store's image and will sell well and the best ways of finding and working with vendors in the gift market.

From noon - 1:30 p.m., UMBA's new "Authors Lunch: A 'Moveable Feast'" will feature keynote speaker Leif Enger, author of Peace Like a River (Grove Atlantic) and winner of this year's Book Sense Book of the Year Award for Fiction. The lunch will feature more than 20 guest authors. Tickets are $19 and must be purchased in advance.

For more information about the UMBA trade show, visit www.abookaday.com/tswebpage.htm; e-mail KTatUMBA@aol.com; or call (800) 784-7522. Please note that details in the UMBA Trade Show schedule are still subject to change.