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CBA’s International Christian Retail Show Readies for Orlando Opening July 15-18

“ More” is the theme for the 2012 CBA International Christian Retail Show at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., July 15-18. In a culture that constantly demands more, we, as Christians, have more than we could ever need through the redemptive work of Christ and the Scriptures. But, as an industry, what more can we do to inspire our communities, our culture, and our world? This year’s ICRS highlights ways we can do more with less, have more ministry impact, and cultivate more compassion and love for our brothers and sisters through the store.

The event will emphasize Christian stores as ministry connectors in their local communities, said Curtis Riskey, CBA executive director. He said the annual summer event also gives Christian store retailers previews of new Bible, book, film, and gift-and-specialty product releases that will launch in the second half of the year and next spring. It’s also a time to learn about and solve challenging business issues; connect with leading Christian pastors, authors, musicians, and artists; and interact with fellow retailers, suppliers, and industry leaders.

“The harvest is white and we need more workers in the field,” Riskey said. “This theme will be evident in every aspect of ICRS.”

Christian Stores on Mission:
Christine Caine, founder of anti-sex-trafficking ministry A21 (A21Campaign.org), is the keynote speaker at the General Session Sunday, July 15. She will talk about her global ministry to bring justice to victims of this horrible slavery and degradation of mostly women and children. She will set the stage for ICRS’s special emphasis on fair trade business that can extend Christian stores’ ministry outreach from their local communities to around the world.

The Fair Trade in Action special exhibition on the exhibit floor is a multimedia, experiential walk-through presentation that tells the story about missional outreach and shows how stores are and could be participating in it. Sales of products contribute to economic development in emerging economies – development that often helps people escape human trafficking, prostitution, drugs, and other ills common in impoverished nations. It also connects Christian stores as ministry partners to churches, ministries, and missions both locally and around the world.

Fair trade items are a relatively recent addition to Christian stores. This emphasis will encourage more retailers to get involved, offering insights from those who have done it or who provide special missional products.

ICRS Resonate Film Festival:
ICRS is a key launching pad for new Christian media with preview screenings and interviews with the people behind the productions, including directors, actors, producers, and others. CBA is working in cooperation with Propeller consulting of Nashville to launch the inaugural Resonate Film Festival to highlight new faith and family-friendly films and DVDs that bring positive life messages to a struggling culture. DVDs and related resources are a growing part of Christian stores’ outreach and sales. ICRS makes it easier for retailers to see new works and be prepared to answer customers’ questions or tell a richer story about these projects to increase understanding and sales back at the store.

The festival will compile comprehensive information on all ICRS Christian film events and known film releases for easy planning.

Children’s Trends:
In a time when some parents delay naming newborns until they check domain name availability — the first step toward Internet identity — the family is being reshaped and redefined. Mary Manz Simon, Ph.D. and early childhood education expert, will explore implications of screen-hopping digital natives at the beginning of the digital age in a special session featuring research findings, product-trends examples, and free samples to retailers.

New Consumer Research:
CBA will present findings from new Christian consumer research developed in cooperation with The Barna Group. The research focuses on how consumers view Christian stores and what they are expecting from stores in the future. David Kinnaman of The Barna Group will provide a video report, and a panel will discuss research implications, especially relating to stores as ministry connectors in local communities.

Thomas Nelson also has graciously agreed to share some of its commissioned research on Christian fiction readers. A new event, Christian Fiction: Authors, Retailers, Readers, not only will present the research but also provide free product and opportunities to engage with authors. Suzanne Kuhn of SuzyQ event management will facilitate the event 1-2:30 p.m. Monday, July 15, with research presented by Thomas Nelson’s Eric Mullett, fiction marketing director. The research will reveal surprises regarding reading habits, especially among young readers.

New International General Session
CBA in cooperation with ChristianTrade Association International will present the inaugural International General Session: International Business Vision focusing on international business issues. Keynote speaker Wes Stafford, Compassion Intl. president, will speak on the value of international relations and economic development. A panel will discuss findings from an international business survey conducted by CBA and ChristianTrade. Panelists include Chris Johnsen of Christian Art Distributors, Paul Bootes of Koorong Books, Modupe Ehirim of CBA Nigeria, and Thomas Tang of Christian Communications Ltd.

Retailer RX: Ask the Experts
A new session offers an informal time for retailers to meet with experts or retail veterans to discuss specific business concerns or issues. On Tuesday, July 16, a panel will highlight key retail trends, and then participate in an informal dialog time for questions and answers.

Church Store Summit

Working to better understand the relationship between church bookstores and church administrators to help improve operations and ministry impact, CBA is hosting a Church Store Summit 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 17. A panel will help understand implications of two surveys being prepared to address lingering issues that have been challenging church bookstore managers. One survey aims to identify key issues from a church administrator’s perspective and the other to identify how church congregants view church bookstores.

Author Engagement and Demonstrations
Christian authors are working hard to partner with Christian stores to increase book and e-book sales because they have common mission with retailers.

American Christian Fiction Writers will host a special area near Town Center to talk with retailers and present information on the power of fiction as a ministry and outreach tool. Readers often send authors testimonies of how a novel transformed their lives and impacted their faith. Retailers will get a glimpse of those responses as part of ACFW’s booth presence. ACFW authors also are offering scheduled discussions there about recommending, promoting, and selling fiction to amp up sales.

The Christian Authors Network will demonstrate live, online store events in Town Center, July 16 and 17. Using Skype, authors will show how retailers can bring in guest speakers via the Internet to engage and interact with customers in the store. Each day’s presentation ends with a drawing for a selection of CAN-member books.

Awards
The Christy Awards and The Golden Scroll Awards will be announced at special events during ICRS, and the American Christian Fiction Writers will announce nominations for the Carol Awards in a special press conference.

Special Appearances
In addition, Michael Card (InterVarsity Press) will lead worship at the July 15 Sunday evening Worship Him service that is open to the public. Voddie Baucham (Crossway) will deliver the message.

Among confirmed appearances for the New Voices Showcase following Sunday worship are Rend Collective Experiment (Kingsway Music), Karyn Williams (Inpop, EMI CMG), Phil King (SoulStride, EMI CMG), and City Harbor (EMI CMG).

Rend Collective Experiment also will provide music for Ribbon Cutting Ceremony 8-8:30 a.m. Monday, July 16 prior to the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Matthew West, who is on Casting Crowns’ “Come to the Well Tour” this spring and whose debut album, Happy (EMI CMG) won a Dove Award, will perform at the CBA Member Luncheon on Monday, July 16.

For more information visit www.Christianretailshow.com.

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