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Create Your Own Conference

a humble suggestion from KateHow to make your consignment, resale, or thrift shop be all you dream it can be: Advice from TGtbT.com

NARTS Conference: Experience being with hundreds of like-minded resalers. Casual get-togethers, bus tour, workshops, and SourceMart for resale, consignment, and thrift shop owners and operators. Some of my fondest industry memories are of the Conferences I helped plan, participated in, and attended.

If you can afford to, GO! And be sure to read How to Have a Great Meeting to get the most out of it. If you hesitate to go, check out my thoughts on "excuses" here.

Problem is, not every resaler can go. With that in mind, let's look at how you can DIY "your own conference". Let's make it less intrusive on family and business life, less time-consuming, and most of all, less expensive. Can we do it? Sure we can: after all, we're entrepreneurs, right?

Kate's Plan for Tailoring your Own Conference:

Here's the costs of going to Conference.

  1. Registration, member: $439 

  2. Optional Bus Tour Friday: $60

  3. NARTS membership, Year 1: $145 (after Year One, membership is $120)

  4. Airfare (varies obviously) say $350

  5. Hotel room: Thurs-Sun, 4 nights, at $170ish: $680

  6. Incidentals: Let's be really frugal and say $100

  7. Other: New duds? Taxi? Parking? A drink in the bar? Extra help in the shop (or loss of profit if you close)? Let's be downright cheap: $400.

Total: A tad over $2000. 

Now, let's see if we can tailor our own "conference" and learn as much on our own using TGtbT Products for the Professional Resaler, following the agenda of Conference: 

Thursday: Before Conference, we gather informally at 6pm in the  hotel's lobby bar to put faces to names and make new friends.
To do instead at home: Explore the "Ask Auntie Kate" page on our blog, and "eavesdrop" on Q&As from a wide variety of shopkeepers.

Thursday: Meet-n-Mingle. The NARTS 8 pm get-together. Some attendees bring shop scrapbooks to share what they're doing.
What to do instead
? Explore the sites of  Sponsoring Shops on the Resale Shop Directory at
HowToConsign.com. Read the consumer articles there to gather marketing ideas. (Tip: Having your live link on our Directory is free with reciprocity. Having your link at NARTS costs $30 a year if you're a member, is not allowed if you're not.)
TGtbT Resource: Get 100's of ideas to sharpen up your store with Shop Sizzle.

Friday: Bus Tour. You're invited to a variety of local member shops' sales floor, back rooms, ask questions, shop, and nibble refreshments. 
Do instead Take a trip to see resale shops near you and gather ideas.
TGtbT Resource:
Use Visiting Other Resalers as your "field notebook" that helps you gather all the ideas you can! 

Friday Evening: Cocktail Party and Auction. I won't even attempt to duplicate this. The party is festive, the nibbles scrumptious.
Instead, stay home and play with the kids. Or go vacuum the store. Boring, I know. But it's cheap. Oh no, I know... Read The Picker Who Perished and make some Green Ballsy Things to nibble in the comfort of your jammies. 

Saturday: Keynote. Workshops and lunch. Inspiring. Every speaker has valuable lessons to impart in their 45 minutes.
Do instead Schedule that time for a serious session with your choice of our Products for the Professional Resaler. Take notes and concentrate. Inspire yourself! Then take yourself to lunch as a break, before hitting Auntie Kate the Blog for more inspiration on how to make your shop be all you dream it can be.

Saturday evening: Conference free time. Join fellow resalers for dinner and more.
Do instead Try a nice glass of your favorite beverage and an Internet cruise through the free articles on Too Good to be Threw, being sure not to miss a tip or hint. Net cost $0, since TGtbT is a free resource put up on the web for you by Kate Holmes, author of TGtbT The Complete Operations Manual for Resale & Consignment Shops.

Sunday: Networking, a workshop, brunch buffet, Sourcemart. More learning opportunities and a chance to see vendors. 
Do instead Time for exploring Kate's Links Page. Then check out the HowToConsign blog, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest Boards, where Kate inspires your future customers to explore the wonderful world of resale. Then become a Sponsor yourself to find new customers!

Sunday night: Party with your newfound best buds. A fun night for all.
Do instead And once again, no substitute at home, unless you invite best buds over to dance and sing. After all, Sunday night's for letting your hair down, not talking shop...even at Conference!

Monday morning: Up early to pack, and if your schedule allows, a stop for one last NARTS event. 
Do instead At home, spend the morning (since you don't have to pack or catch a plane) going over all the notes you've taken from your own personal "Conference" this past weekend. Plan your attack. Create a do-able to-do list. Cost? Time and concentration.

Remember: If you CAN go to Conference, I strongly suggest you DO. But if you can't, you can learn on your own. Pop on over to the TGtbT.com Facebook Page and let me know how it's going, won't you?

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TGtbT.com is the premier web site for professional resalers. Start a consignment, resale or thrift store with free articles and Products for the Professional Resaler here on Too Good to be Threw. Want to know how to open a consignment shop, do a business plan, operate your shop, consignment software and selling secondhand clothes, upscale designer fashions, children's gear or used furniture? Consignment shops, resale stores, thrift stores & consignment sales use Too Good to be Threw. As a consignment consultant and two-award winner and lifelong member of NARTS, Kate Holmes creates all information and Products 
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