ChristianTrade Association International
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Marketsquare International and the Inspirational Value Book Show took place January 11-13 at the Renaissance Concourse Atlanta Airport Hotel. ChristianTrade has organized Marketsquare International as a winter buying opportunity for four years; this year, it partnered with the Inspirational Value Book Show to bring even greater value to Christian resource wholesalers, distributors, and retailers.
The snowstorm that closed Atlanta’s international airport and made roads impassable throughout the South did not shut down the show. Total attendance for Marketsquare International and the Inspirational Value Book Show included 153 international and U.S. buyers and Christian resource suppliers.
In addition to the U.S., a dozen countries were represented at this year’s show. These included Australia, Canada, China, Estonia, France, Germany, Ghana, Ireland, Jamaica, Nigeria, South Africa and the United Kingdom. The largest contingent was from Nigeria.
“This was a good show,” says Edwin Anya, of Evangel Publishers in Nigeria. “I thought with the snow and flight cancelations that it would impact the show, but it went on very well. Thank you!”
This was the first year that Kathy Landrum, international sales and specialty markets manager at Harvest House Publishers, attended Marketsquare International. “Even with the weather situation,” she said, “the contacts we made—the people we met—were really beneficial. It was good to connect faces with emails and get to know their hearts.”
Atlanta-based authors Cindy Trimm (Charisma House) and Cecil Murphey (Kregel) were slated to speak at the Wednesday, January 11 “Author’s Forum” that preceded the opening of the trade show floor, but icy roads prevented their travel. Several Nashville-based exhibitors were also unable to attend.
“We knew this would be a challenge as soon as the storm hit,” says Kim Pettit, chief operating officer of ChristianTrade. “Many people took extraordinary measures to get to Atlanta. We had buyers and exhibitors stuck in New York, in Dallas, in Minneapolis, and in Boston—but eventually most made it in. Brian Zahnd, our featured speaker for the Charisma House Celebration Banquet held on Tuesday, January 11, the opening night of our show, made it in one day late. He gave a stirring message to delegates the next morning. We were so blessed to have him with us!” Charisma House distributed copies of Zahnd’s latest release, Unconditional? The Call of Jesus to Radical Forgiveness.
Jennifer Dibble, Zondervan’s director of international sales, presented on two of the company’s Bible initiatives. Its update of the 1984 NIV text garnered the most attention from international buyers, who carefully noted that new editions will be available in stores starting in February. “This information is extremely important for overseas retailers,” says Alexander Y.C. Lee of Cross Communications in Hong Kong. “We have to manage our Bible inventory.”
Event programming included a panel on the five best ideas for Christian retailers today, led by Jack Scott, ChristianTrade’s Director of Training and Membership Development, as well as a data-rich presentation by Jim and Ellen Elwell, of Tyndale House Publishers, on trends in Christian publishing. A two-day Professional Retail Institute, led by Scott, took place after the Marketsquare International and the Inspirational Value Book Show closed.
“Thank you for a nice show! I always get more out of it than I expect,” says Becky Gorczyka, of the Logos Association of Bookstores, with members in the U.S., Canada, and the Bahamas.
Plans are already underway to hold Marketsquare International and the Inspirational Value book show next year. “We hope to hold the show right after the AmericasMart® Gift Show in 2012,” says Pettit. “This year was exceptional, in many different ways… and we look forward to seeing what God will do next year.”
ChristianTrade Association International is a worldwide association of nations, companies, and individuals committed to fulfilling the Great Commission by distributing Christian resources. It holds international regional conventions in Asia, Europe, Africa and North America; publishes an annual Christian-trade directory; hosts international events at CBA’s International Christian Retail Show; and serves as a catalyst for growing the Christian trade worldwide. For more information, please visit www.ChristianTrade.com or e-mail info@ChristianTrade.com.