On Monday May 14th, I attended the first ever Shop/07 put on by CraveParty. The purpose of the day was to bring together boutique owners and learn what others in the industry were doing. The day was set up with several panel discussions. It was insightful and at the same time could reassure you of what you were doing right or wrong.
The first panel of the day was "How does your market grow". The panelist included Luly Yang, Fran Bigelow, and Allison Olsen. The three discussed what it is they do, how they got to where they are today and strategies for success. One theme became very clear, Stay true to your vision and yourself. Logically, duh but really thinking about it becomes something harder to apply. It is easy to see what others are doing and try to emulate them however to be successful you must remember why you are in the market you are in and what strategies you decided to employ.
The second panel was "Promotions". The panelist included Victoria Roberts, Lisa Myers, and Karen Lorene. The main concept was to use promotions and events strategically. You do not want to be held in the same regard as Macy's and the One Day Sale. (Honestly, when aren't they having a one day sale). Promotions can differentiate you from others and draw customers in for different reasons such as rewarding the loyal customers or even clearing out inventory.
I skipped the next panel and took a long lunch since the tourist industry just doesn't do it for me.
In the afternoon session, there were breakout sessions. I chose to attend sessions related to the internet. The first was regarding what type of website do you have whether it be informational or e-commerce. It was an interesting discussion on which way to go. The second was related to e-newsletters and emailing customers. The theme that resonated here was similar to promotions, don't overdo it. When sending out a e-newsletter make sure that you have something to say to your customers that they will find of value specifically latest offerings, sales, specials, events, etc.
The final panel was Press Release Straight from the horses mouth. The panel was interesting related to getting PR with Daily Candy (Jasmine Moir), Seattle Magazine (Shannon Borg), and the Seattle Times (Monica Soto Ouchi). Each have their own style as far as contacting them, what they are looking for, lead times, etc. A person from the industry who handles PR would have been nice to learn what styles they use that are successful and what has been complete flops.
Overall it was a great day. Melody Biringer put on a great conference with some very informative speakers. Not bad for coming up with the idea 4 months ago.