Registration for the American Booksellers Association’s 11th annual Winter Institute (Wi11) opened on Wednesday afternoon, September 9, to all ABA bookstore and provisional members, and, despite the fact that ABA increased bookseller registration by 15 percent, the institute reached full capacity on Friday morning, September 11.
Booksellers who are interested in attending can now add their names to a waitlist; booksellers on the waitlist will be notified on a first-come, first-served basis if space becomes available.
The 2016 Winter Institute will be held at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel in Denver, Colorado, from Saturday evening, January 23, through Tuesday, January 26. The event is made possible by support from lead sponsor Ingram Content Group and from publishers large and small.
Registration is limited to three booksellers per ABA member-company; however, new this year, stores that would like to send more than three booksellers were able to place additional names on a waitlist as part of the registration process. This is in addition to the standard waitlist, which launched once registration reached capacity. If space is available after ABA gives as many member stores a chance to send three booksellers to Wi11, additional booksellers will be notified on a first-come, first-served basis. The Wi11 conference fee is $99 per registrant.
The Winter Institute host hotel, the Sheraton Denver Downtown, offers a special room rate of $119 per night, plus taxes and other charges, for reservations from January 20 through January 29, 2016. The hotel is situated on Denver’s 16th Street pedestrian mall, a mile-long stretch of outdoor bistros, microbreweries, shopping, and entertainment. The group rate is available until January 6, 2016; however, reservations are subject to capacity restrictions and the Winter Institute room block may sell out before that date.
As booksellers begin to make their travel plans, they should keep in mind that on Saturday, January 23, before the institute’s opening evening reception, ABA is offering full- or half-day tours to area bookstores, at $25 and $15, respectively, and a post-Winter Institute ski trip has been planned for Wednesday, January 27. Reservations for the ski trip, which costs $130 per person, are now open. Reservations for the bookstore tours will open on October 29.
Also opening on October 29 will be registration for the Winter Institute’s advanced learning sessions for bookstore owners and managers. Advanced learning session topics include human resources, the open-book management method, and developing effective leadership skills.
As booksellers have come to expect from past events, the 2016 Winter Institute will feature a packed education schedule, author receptions, bookseller-publisher networking opportunities, an ABA Town Hall meeting, the Consultation Station, the Galley Room, and more. The event’s keynote speakers will be Martin Lindstrom, author of Small Data: Adventures in Cracking the Code of Consumer Desire (St. Martin’s, February 2016); Amy Cuddy, author of Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges (Little, Brown, December 2015); and 2015 Newbery Medal winner Kwame Alexander, a poet and children’s fiction author, whose newest title, Surf’s Up, will be published by NorthSouth Books in February 2016.
For new and prospective booksellers, the Bookstore Training Group of Paz & Associates will present the one-day seminar “Introduction to Retail Bookselling” on Saturday, January 23. The workshop is open to ABA provisional members and employees of regular member stores. The workshop fee is $100 per person. Attendance at the Winter Institute is not required to register for the workshop, although workshop students who would like to attend the institute are guaranteed a place. The Wi11 conference fee will apply.
ABA is currently accepting applications for publisher-sponsored Wi11 scholarships, as well as ABA scholarships in memory of former ABA CEO Avin Mark Domnitz and to foster diversity. Booksellers at ABA member stores that did not have a Winter Institute scholarship winner in 2014 or 2015 are eligible to apply. Scholarships will cover the conference fee, up to four nights’ accommodations at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, and transportation expenses up to $400. Applications will be accepted until October 26, 2015. 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 2015.