Wi16 Attendees, Send in Your Education Questions Now

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Booksellers can still send in their questions for education sessions coming up at the American Booksellers Association’s 2021 Winter Institute (Wi16), which will be held virtually from Thursday, February 18, through Saturday, February 20. Registration for the event is underway and costs $35 per person.

While the chat function in event platform Hopin will be open during each educational session for additional interaction, this form will help Wi16 panelists focus session content by collecting some bookseller questions in advance. The link to submit questions can be found here; submit questions by this coming Friday, January 29.

These are the Wi16 education sessions that ABA is seeking advance questions for:

Customer Experience and Hand-selling/Upselling in a Hybrid World:

Switching to a remote customer experience — curbside pickup, FaceTime hand-selling, online orders, etc. — can create a challenge to providing a successful and cohesive customer experience. This session will showcase creative ways that booksellers and other retailers have succeeded and even improved the customer experience in this new hybrid retail world.

Creating a Work Environment That Embraces Access, Equity, and Justice:

Led by Amber Cabral, author of Allies and Advocates: Creating an Inclusive and Equitable Culture (Wiley Press), in conversation with Dr. Stephanie Pinder-Amaker and Dr. Lauren Wadsworth, authors of Did That Just Happen?!: Beyond DiversityCreating Sustainable and Inclusive Organizations (Beacon Press), this session will guide booksellers in recognizing harmful practices and creating necessary steps around dismantling a culture of white supremacy in the workplace.

Financial Series Part 1: Q1 Check-In: Planning Today for a Successful 2021:

For many stores, 2020 was the most difficult business year in decades, and 2021 will present many ongoing challenges. This interactive session will help you plan for success by focusing on a few key topics: monitoring or creating your budget, responding to changing business conditions, managing your cash flow, and monitoring important benchmarking data to track your progress and meet your yearly goals. This session will have a workshop portion where you will create the template for building your annual budget.

Managing Online Sales Growth:

Independent bookstores have seen massive online sales growth since March 2020. How are stores managing order fulfillment, customer support, shipping, returns, and all the other complexities of running a busy e-commerce website — while running a bookstore? This session will explore how bookstores are successfully fulfilling their online sales. The panel will consist of booksellers from small and large stores who are managing high-volume online sales on a variety of ecommerce-enabled platforms. Topics will include what they learned over the past year as well as shortcuts and tips that are making their lives easier. The panel will be moderated by Senior Manager of IndieCommerce Geetha Nathan. There will also be time allotted for Q&A. If you are struggling with managing your store's online orders or looking for tips to make things easier, this session is definitely for you.

All You Need Is Love: LGBTQ+ Romance:

The romance genre has been a longtime reader favorite and can often turn a romance reader into a repeat customer for bookstores that invest in curating a romance selection for their stores. This session will celebrate LGBTQ+ romance with some of today’s essential young adult and adult LGBTQ+ authors, who will discuss the importance and value of creating stories about love, talk about the importance of representation, and look at how everyone can work to expand readership of these titles outside of the LGBTQ+ community to drive sales.

Neurodiversity at Work:

Neurodiversity is a broad concept and one that covers a multitude of neurological variations. This conversation with neurodiverse individuals and advocates will provide context for Wi16 attendees who are not aware of neurodiversity and the challenges and concerns neurodiverse employees experience in the workplace and customers experience in the store. If you identify as neurodiverse, need direction around communicating with neurodiverse staff or customers, or are simply interested in learning more about neurodiversity, this session is for you.

New Labor Laws and Best Practices in the Time of COVID:

Join John Kelly, senior HR consultant for Pinnacle Human Resources, as he highlights best practices for managing staff in the age of COVID. Kelly will cover subjects such as: safety policies, contingency plans, COVID-related hiring practices, work from home best practices, remote employees, COVID vaccination requirements, and new labor law requirements. In addition, he’ll speak to the importance of your employee manual and how to incorporate these changes into it, and offer an employee manual template for those just getting started. 

The full Wi16 schedule can be found here. Questions about the event can be sent to [email protected].