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Help Me Choose A Workshop

At many conferences we have breakout sessions – three or four different topics and speakers from which you can choose.

I struggle with these because I usually want to attend more than one, and cloning has not reached the level to allow me that luxury. And trying to decide between one session and another is tough.

I need your feedback here…

I’m going to give you four options for sessions you could attend. For the sake of argument, let’s assume all the speakers are well-qualified to talk on their respective subjects and you can only attend one of those sessions.

Which session will you attend and why?

Session #1 – Marketing & Advertising on a Shoestring Budget
Learn the smartest ways to get the most out of your limited advertising resources. This class will show you how to use Social Media the right way, teach you new ways to market your business without spending a dime, how to get a guaranteed return on the money you do spend on advertising, and why you’re not getting the word-of-mouth you think you deserve (and how to change that). Every attendee will leave with at least four inexpensive ways to increase traffic and sales that they can implement right away.

Session #2 – Everyone has Customer Service, You Need Customer Delight
This session will show you how to train your staff to consistently give your customers far more than they expect. Topics covered include how to meet and greet your customers the right way, understanding the different customer temperaments, how to solve their problems, and how to finish each sale leaving the customer happier than when they came in. Each attendee will get a blueprint for training their staff including role-play examples and key phrases to avoid.

Session #3 – Knowing the Numbers, It’s Your Money After All
You can just hand over your financials to your accountant and hope for the best, or you can learn the numbers yourself and make them work for you. This class is for the financials novices who wish to learn simple ways to understand the financials behind their business. You will learn how to calculate important numbers like Cost of Goods Sold, Gross & Net Profit, and the many different ratios that banks use to determine if your business is growing or dying. When you finish this class, you’ll know exactly where your money is, what it is (or isn’t) doing for you and how to make it better.

Session #4 – Cash Flow Basics – How Smart Buyers Make More Money
When is a deal from your vendor too good to pass up? When is a discount not worth the loss of cash flow? How do you know when you have too much inventory? Too little? These and other questions will be answered in this buyer’s workshop including tools you can use to increase your cash flow and make you more money. You don’t need a point-of-sale system to be a better buyer. You just need to know these simple principles of buying that dramatically change your financial picture.

Which will you choose and why?



  1. Kate Thomas says:

    I would attend Session #1 – Marketing & Advertising on a Shoestring Budget. This seminar is relevant to my business needs at the moment and I am always looking for ways to cut costs. I have limited experience in marketing.

    My business background is in customer service and accounting. That would lessen the need for the second and third options. Option 4 would be my second choice.

  2. Brekke says:

    Could classes of similar topics be presented at the same time and member can choose the level or specifics they're looking to improve on? There were 3 or 4 different classes on advertising (including the closing speech) and each one covered some similar topics, what if each of these classes was able to covere a narrower, more in depth info and each retailer can pick the level of information they are most in need of now.

    It seems like most of us could use refreshing or inspiration on all of these topics yearly and it's torture to decide.

  3. Janet says:

    I can use training in all these subjects, that's for sure. I would choose Session #1 because it is my favorite subject and because I need more traffic & customers first. Also it seems like the area where I could see some quick results. Session #3 is second choice, with #4 next and #2 last – in order of importance to my business weaknesses.

  4. Melissa V says:

    Very tough, Phil. I would opt for 3, but closely followed by 4. I find that its the numbers I could get a better handle on, so tips on accounting and cash flow would be appreciated.

  5. Joanna says:

    I find my choice on the session to attend is largely based on what situations I'm dealing with at the time. It's defenitely hard as (at the conference) there were quite a few sessions I wanted to attend but couldn't so I based my decision on which session I felt I was going to get the most out of. In this scenario, I would want to attend #4 with #3 as a second pick. Having come from a media background, #1 is a no-brainer for me and #2 is a session I would send my staff to. I chose #3 as it's one of those things that I try to keep a close eye on but always wonder if there's something I'm missing and areas I should be paying closer attention to.

  6. Margaret says:

    I would pick Workshop #2….because customer service is what most interests me. I think its the biggest challenge in retail….and I love hearing new ideas…and creating lots of excitement around the concept of customer service……I want my stores to be the "Rock Star" of customer service….because its the one area where independents can really succeed.

  7. Becky says:

    I would have to go with #3 as my first choice, as that is basically the most important. #2 is a close second, as that would be fun and a means of growing my business.

  8. Great answers all! As I see it, it kinda breaks down into three reasons why you all have chosen your session…

    A) It is the class that you deemed most important to your business success (regardless of your own skill level)
    B) It is the class in which you felt your skills are least competent
    C) It is the class that sounds the most fun (of highest interest to you)

    @Brekke, I love your idea of a novice/intermediate/advanced level of classes on the same subject. The trick would be figuring out how advanced. For instance, I could teach a class on writing advanced marketing copy, but it differs in different media (and each medium could be its own class). Interesting idea to explore.

    @Joanna, I think I find myself in the same boat as you, looking to see what is most relevant to what's happening in my business right now and what I would get the most out of. That's what I did at ASTRA Marketplace (and chose well once, poorly the next time:-)

    How much does the presenter play into your decision? Do you like to see the same person time and again or do you prefer new people each time?

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