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Super Seminars at Interbike

NBDA Super Seminars - Interbike 2014

Mandalay Bay Convention Center,

Tradewinds C-F
Las Vegas, Nevada

The 2014 NBDA Super Seminar series is designed to bring powerful and relevant information to help bicycle retailers become stronger and more dynamic businesses. Many retailers are responding to severe marketplace challenges by improving internal operations, reaching out to new customers, using events to engage with the local cycling community, and putting systems in place to track and improve results.

The NBDA Super Seminars provide a mixture of basic and more advanced retail topics to help dealers succeed regardless of their size, region or experience level.

The NBDA will present sessions for the first two days of the Interbike expo (September 10-11) as well as the day before the show opens (September 9). All seminars will be held in the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.

All Interbike attendees are invited to attend and all sessions are offered free of charge.

Pre-Show Seminars: Tuesday, September 9

10 am - 11:30am 5 Things Your Customers Can Do Better Than You When It Comes To Social Media: Learn What They Know – and Improve Your Business NOW
Lynn Switanowski, President, Creative Business Consulting Group

Your job as a retailer is to provide products and services that your customers want and need. When it comes to telling the marketing message for your business, it’s the same story. You must deliver the messages where your customers want to hear them - and how they want to see them.

In this seminar, we’ll explore how your customers are researching brands before they purchase and what tools they are using to do so. Even if you’re not involved or using these tools, your customers are, which makes it critical for your business to “catch up” and understand them better.

This seminar will help retailers understand how they can use these tools to effectively connect with brands and how you can start using these same tools to provide marketing messages your customers will find.

Lynn Switanowski is president of Creative Business Consulting Group, a Boston, MA, based retail consulting firm. CBCG partners with retailers, e-tailers and manufacturers to create and implement profit improving sales, marketing and inventory management strategies. Lynn speaks frequently at retail trade shows across North America and teaches retail marketing and branding at several colleges in the Boston area.

On the web:

12 noon to 1:30 p.m. Five Key Performance Indicators All Retailers Should Understand
Dan Mann, President, The Mann Group

There are many factors that lead to retail success. Being able to measure key performance indicators is one powerful way to establish a solid foundation for focusing on improvement. This seminar will discuss the five key performance indicators (KPIs) that have proven to be the most useful from the NBDA’s Profitability Project program. They are: gross profit, labor cost, inventory turn on fresh product, payroll and transaction analysis. Each indicator will be defined, and then strategies for improvement will be discussed based on real-world feedback from successful bicycle dealers.

Dan Mann is president of The Mann Group and is a consultant to numerous retailers in the bicycle, running and outdoor industries. He has been a top-rated and popular speaker for the NBDA Super Seminars for several years.

On the web:

2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wowing Customers and Winning Dollars: Differentiating Your Shop from the Big Box Down the Street
Lynn Switanowski, President, Creative Business Consulting Group

The stakes of doing business get higher every day as retailers vie to win the eyes, ears and wallets of customers for their stores. The Internet has made price almost completely transparent and independent retailers are constantly challenged to find new and unique merchandise that the big box stores down the street don’t carry.

This seminar explores how independent retailers can find merchandise to meet their customers’ needs while differentiating themselves from other stores – no matter what size they are. Attendees will learn how successful retailers compete more effectively with the big box store down the street by incorporating key tools including:

• How to follow market trends in order to adapt to the changing market conditions

• Understanding how to create a “market-of-one” shopper experience in your store with your marketing programs that will connect more effectively with your customers

• And much more.

4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Think Out of the Safety Zone and Increase Sales
Mercedes Ross, Merchandising Werx

Merchandising expert Mercedes Ross is going to help you get out of your box in this seminar, and show you how to adapt to a changing market. The consumer is changing, the products are changing, how people buy is changing. “If you don’t change and adapt, you may be taped into your own box and shipped away,” Mercedes says.

She will cover:

1)    Let’s look at your pie. Who is talking into your store and who is not? Who is your customer and how are they changing? What can you do to adapt to the changes?

2)    Buy the right buy. What are you offering to your customers and do they speak to who is walking into your door now? Are your price points speaking to the public? Are there missed opportunities?

3)    Place product with purpose. How are you placing product? Merchandising is more now than ever experiential in this smartphone-dominated world.

4)    Human training. More than ever it’s the people in your store who are going to make the difference. How are you teaching them to deliver an experience customers will value?

5)    Sell through. New merchandise is coming in, so what are you doing to move the old stuff? How having anything left over completes the buy cycle and leaves room for more!

Mercedes Ross is a merchandising expert who consults with retailers in several active lifestyle industries, including bicycles.

See Merchandizing Werx on the web at:

Day 1: Wednesday, September 10

9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. 21 Learning Lessons for Bicycle Retailers
Chris Kegel, owner, Wheel and Sprocket

Learn about 21 real-world bicycle retail mistakes and successes as Chris Kegel talks about the most important things he has learned in 40 years of owning and operating bicycle stores. Wheel and Sprocket is a six-store bicycle retail business based in Wisconsin and Illinois. Chris will talk about his experiences, discuss the problems he has faced, the solutions he has tried, both successful and not, the good as well as the bad.

Wheel and Sprocket is one of the largest independent bicycle dealers in the country. Owner Chris Kegel focuses on “continuous improvement” based on measuring Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that help drive the business.

On the web:

11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Cultivating Greatness in Your Employees and Your Business 
Patrick Schwerdtfeger

Are you frustrated with employees? Do you struggle with high turnover? How can you cultivate greatness with your team? Patrick Schwerdtfeger will present case histories from retail businesses in the bicycle industry and beyond. He will discuss the “new science” of management and provide some stunning statistics may change your view of the world. The goal of this session is to send you back to your stores with tools to cultivate greatness among your employees.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger is a leading authority on global business trends including “big data,” self-employment and the social media revolution. He’s the author of the award-winning book, Marketing Shortcuts for the Self-Employed (2011, Wiley) and a regular speaker for Bloomberg TV. Patrick has spoken about global mega trends, big data and the social media revolution at conferences and business events around the world.

On the web:

1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Characteristics of a Successful Business: Best Practices
Tom Shay, Profits Plus Solutions

This presentation was created at the suggestion of a previous seminar attendee who asked Tom Shay what he would consider to be the characteristics of a successful business. In this session Tom will discuss key characteristics from an analysis of retailers in multiple industries. He will discuss the importance of establishing and maintaining a clear image and identity, use of technology, financial understanding, the difference between advertising and promotion, a commitment to improvement, staff management and perhaps most importantly: having a personality for the business to differentiate versus the competition.

Tom Shay is a fourth generation small business owner who is living proof that “a person who has had a cat by the tail knows a lot more than the person who has read about it.” Shay has written over 400 articles on small business management which have appeared in over 70 trade publications.

See Tom Shay on the web:

3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Growing Service Sales Through Creative Practices
Brett Flemming, owner, Efficient Velo Tools

The service department is an important profit center for successful bike stores, and can be a key differentiator for independent bicycle dealers versus the competition. Brett Flemming draws on 33 years of experience in bicycle service management to show how effective service writing, along with good marketing and consistent practices, can lead to improved customer service and stronger profitability. Brett will present proven, easy-to-implement systems, ideas, concepts and perspectives that can transform a business, and help the service department consistently create happy customers. Using Brett’s methods, many shops have doubled service department revenues while improving mechanics’ working conditions and attitudes.

On the web:

5 to 6 p.m. The 2014 Bicycle Market: Trends and Opportunities 
Jay Townley, Gluskin Townley Group

Jay Townley will present a detailed overview of the bicycle market based on the latest research and his own observations based on work in the field with both suppliers and retailers. Jay is an industry consultant with many years of experience in the specialty bicycle industry, and is a partner in the Gluskin Townley Group.

He will describe the forces that are at work in the bicycle industry involving manufacturing, distribution, retail and the cycling consumer including changing customer demographics, an unsettled economic environment and new retail dynamics. He will also provide insight on how the bicycle industry can reach out beyond our traditional customer base to grow the cycling market.

Included will be:

The market overview for 2013 and 2014
What's hot and what's not in terms of product categories
Growing the market by increasing participation
Trends and developments in bicycle retailing, best practices
Strategies for attracting new customers to the cycling market
What will 2014 and beyond look like?

On the web:


Day 2: Thursday, September 11

8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. What Makes a Successful Store Manager?
Dan Mann, President, The Mann Group

What makes a great bicycle store manager? How can they found? How can they be coached to greatness? Every store owner asks these questions. Over 50 top managers from independent retailers have been tested as part of The Mann Group’s manager training courses, and the data collected describes the specific traits of the ideal manager. This information will be revealed in this seminar and will be the basis of a presentation and discussion on store manager recruiting, training and retention.

See the Mann Group on the web:

10:30 to noon The State of the IBD and The U.S. Active Consumer
Leisure Trends Group

Leisure Trends, an NPD Group Company, collects weekly point of sales data from hundreds of independent bicycle dealers across the country and has been continuously reporting monthly industry sales for over 5 years. Leisure Trends provides data for the BPSA (Bicycle Products Suppliers Association) and is a go-to resource for retailers and manufacturers alike. Greg Shoenfeld, Leisure Trends’ Senior Retail Relations Manager, will examine market trends from recent history and will incorporate custom consumer research from Leisure Trends panel of Most Active Americans Panel to provide a holistic view of the U.S. cycling market. More than just looking at the trends, this presentation will investigate challenges and opportunities for the cycling industry and independent bicycle dealers.

On the web:

12:30 to 2 The Seven Deadly Sins of Selling to Women
Bridget Brennan, CEO, Female Factor

Join Bridget Brennan, avid bicyclist, author of Why She Buys, and the world's leading authority on marketing and selling to women, to find out the most common behaviors that alienate women in a retail environment. She will reveal simple ways to course-correct and kick-start growth in your business. Women are the world's most coveted consumers because they drive 70-80% of all purchasing decisions and buy for everyone in their lives. This makes for powerful math when building your customer base. Avoid the classic mistakes and come to Bridget's session to learn how to do it right. She'll cover the biggest trends driving female spending, best practices on how to sell to women and Monday morning strategies to implement immediately.

Bridget Brennan is a pioneer in marketing and selling to women. She is the author of the acclaimed book Why She Buys: The New Strategy for Reaching the World’s Most Powerful Consumers. She is a contributing writer to Forbes, and is one of the world’s most popular speakers on marketing to women. She is founder and CEO of Female Factor, is a member of the Forbes Executive Women’s Advisory Board, a founder of the Marketing to Moms Coalition, and a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and the Network of Executive Women.

On the web:

2:30 to 4 p.m. Entitlement Marketing Is Dead: Engagement Retailing Lives On
Mike Cosentino, owner, Big Peach Running Co.

Mike Cosentino has seen too many retailers who feel and behave as if they are entitled to a customer’s business and that business should come to them. Cosentino believes that is a losing mindset in today’s marketplace with Internet competition versus brick-and-mortar stores. He believes retailers with physical locations need to start a “relevance revolution” that can be won by engaging the marketplace and interacting with customers directly. Learn how Cosentino built Big Peach Running Co. to a seven store chain in the running industry, with 100+ employees and $10 million in annual revenues. Mike will share what he has learned about engagement retailing in the last 10 years from a unique perspective.

Big Peach Running Co. is national recognized as a Top 50 retailer by Sporting Goods Intelligence. Cosentino is author of the Atlanta Running Guide, and has written for Competitor Magazine, Runner’s World and Atlanta Sports & Fitness. He has also worked with the Atlanta Braves and Coca Cola, and appeared on panels for Nike, New Balance, Centers for Disease Control and Asics.

On the web:

4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. The “I Know How to Sell Bikes” Workshop
Jeff Koenig, Big Poppi Bikes, Manhattan, Kansas

Dare to come to this interactive seminar and blow the room away with your knowledge and skill, or just come to lurk and learn with others while perhaps finding out that you could still be closing a lot more sales than you are. 

Midwestern shop owner Jeff Koenig will lead this session on bike selling strategies. He has sold thousands of new bikes in five years with no previous bike industry experience. He has helped lead Big Poppi Bicycles to sales success that exceeds industry norms, achieving an annual bike turn rate of 4.2, just about double that of the average. Jeff promises that attendees will be challenged to re-think their approach to sales, consider new ways to serve customers, and as a result be able to dramatically increase their close rate without any complex processes or canned phrases. Jeff will offer a simple understanding of consumer psychology that will serve retailers well on the sales floor, and in sales management, as well as seeking out some of the best ideas from the audience. Principles apply to motivating employees, advocacy asks, and engaging vendors as well.

Jeff Koenig is an entrepreneurial consultant who co-owns and operates Big Poppi Bicycle Co in Manhattan, Kansas. He currently serves on the board of the NBDA and KanBikeWalk, and is a regular contributor to the NBDA newsletter Outspokin’.

On the web:

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