26970 Fri, 01/04/2013 - 3:03pm
Bob Negen of Whizbang! Training will speak at the 10th annual Gourmet Catalog Member Conference and Vendor Showcase Jan. 9 and 10. The event will take place in Building 1, 8th floor of the AmericasMart in Atlanta during the International Gift & Home Furnishings Market.
“Excitement builds each year as we prepare for this important event,” said Janis Johnson, founder and president of Gourmet Catalog. “Getting together as a group to kick off a new year starts both store and vendor members on a progressive path. We are fortunate to have Bob Negen speak to the group and train GC store members on key industry-relevant topics. Negen will focus on understanding strategies, tips, and tricks to increase in-store sales while providing exceptional service.”
Negen’s address at the member meeting is the “perfect precursor” to Gourmet Catalog’s vendor showcase on Jan. 10, Johnson added.
The members-only conference focuses on networking, new product introductions, sales demonstrations and learning opportunities for members. Highlights include a full-day vendor showcase, networking lunch, buffet supper and cocktail party at the Capital City Club. The vendor showcase includes more than 150 vendors, principals and industry leaders.
Held within AmericasMart complex, the vendor showcase is a private trade show for Gourmet Catalog members. More than 200 store member buyers attend the two-day event, according to Gourmet Catalog. “The Vendor Showcase is an incredible opportunity to show new product to our best independents across the country,” said Heather Swerk of Chef’n, in a statement released by Gourmet Catalog. “We also gain valuable product feedback on how we can improve our assortment.”
Members-only interaction provides store owners a unique opportunity to connect with prime industry players “in an intimate, face-to-face environment,” Gourmet Catalog said. “The vendors want to work with us,” said Suzanne Hoffman of The Kitchen Shoppe in Carlisle, Penn. “They don’t care if we have one store or 13.”
“We look forward to bringing back our most important event for 2013,” Johnson said. “This is our chance to support the independent retailer, say thank you to the entire GC membership and express our admiration for these incredibly strong entrepreneurs and the vendors who serve them.”