Forum Program Heads to New Hampshire

The last of this spring's nine American Booksellers Association Forum programs will be held on Thursday, May 1, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in conjunction with the New England Independent Booksellers Association (NEIBA). The owners and staff of all ABA and NEIBA member stores are encouraged to attend the event at the Hilton Garden Inn (100 High Street).

The program will feature an education component and an opportunity to discuss concerns and hear the latest news about the association's services and initiatives from COO Oren Teicher and Dan Cullen, senior director of editorial content and editor-in-chief of the Picks lists.

Here's a look at the schedule:

  • 10:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.: Coffee, juice, muffins
  • 10:30 a.m. - Noon: ABA's "Booksellers at the Tipping Point: Leveraging Localism and Independence to Promote Your Store" The concepts of localism, independence, and sustainability are gaining traction with consumers. In this session, booksellers will learn how the retail marketplace has evolved to allow these phenomena to take root and grow. They'll also find out how to leverage and exploit these powerful tools to more effectively market and promote their stores.
  • Noon - 12:15 p.m.: Break
  • 12:15 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.: ABA Booksellers Forum Over Lunch Participants will get updates on ABA programs and initiatives, as well as have an opportunity to voice concerns and offer input on the future direction of the association. Owners and store staff are encouraged to attend to gain a broader perspective on how their stores fit into the larger industry, as well as to exchange ideas with their fellow booksellers.
  • 2:15 p.m. - 2:20 p.m.: Break
  • 2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.: NEIBA's Peer Review Program: What It Is, What We've Done to Date, What We're Doing in 2008 The Peer Review Program continues NEIBA's goal to increase the competitiveness and profitability of member stores by building on their collective strengths. This new initiative is designed to bring fellow-bookseller assistance and expertise directly into individual stores. Whether your store needs help with layout and merchandising, marketing and promotion, or operations, NEIBA will organize an in-store visit and evaluation by your colleagues. This innovative NEIBA program was launched this winter with five peer reviews. In this session, you will learn what the program is; what has been done to date; what happens during a store review, using examples from actual store visits; and how you can become involved.
  • 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.: Reception at RiverRun Bookstore (20 Congress Street -- just a few blocks from the hotel)

For planning purpose, booksellers who will be attending are asked to RSVP to ABA's Sarah Rettger at Questions about the program should also be directed to the same e-mail address.