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by Carol Wilkins, Senior Conference Manager for The International Surface Event

Being a sharp retailer requires commitment and taking on various roles in order to remain effective and relevant in business today. A business professional must possess skills such as: effective leadership, excellent communication, outstanding customer service, superb sales acumen, astute social media engagement, expert branding, and the list goes on.  Are you willing to adapt, take on multiple roles to meet the requirements for business today, or are you content with business as usual?

As a retailer, in order to stay on top of trends and advance your business, you must be keen to review and participate in education that is targeted and tailored. While there are many industry resources for training, we have curated some key topics and resources for Retailers in this article to assist you along the way.

Begin your learning journey with the full Retailer Experience, or if your time is limited, perhaps the Retailer Day program. The Retailer Experience offers a selection of 55 sessions to choose from, in addition to, the Speed Trending Tour: An Eye on 2017 Trends breakfast, the Retailer Culture Tour @ Zappos, and an exhibits registration pass to learn face-to-face with manufacturers and suppliers. The Retailer Day program offers an edited version of the Retailer Experience, including one full day of self-select sessions and the Retailer Culture Tour @ Zappos.

What is affecting your retail business in 2016? Have you forecasted issues and needs for 2017? Have you considered legal or political concerns, a design philosophy for your retail space, competitive branding, developing your business culture or even trends forecasting to capture the perfect products for your 2017 line? If so, there are industry resources we have captured below for you to consider.

Confronted with radical changes from outside their walls, businesses find themselves unable to adapt. If they hope to thrive, leaders need a “strategy for continuous mental rejuvenation and new learning,” entrepreneur Michael Merzenich.

Turn on any news source and you hear it every day, there is economic growth but the recovery is not growing fast enough. How will 2017 shape up in terms of residential and commercial demand and supply? Stay up to date, with critical insights and actionable intelligence during this economic forecast session, The 2017 Residential & Commercial Forecast – Has The Cycle Peaked?, and hear the latest research on whether or not the cycle has peaked.

Boost your customer service credentials with your engagement from an online retailer renowned for their customer service, Zappos. This Retailer Culture Tour @ Zappos will provide a unique experience to see and hear first-hand what makes the Zappos Company so successful and accomplished, primarily through word of mouth and repeat customers. Ask yourself, what are they doing that I can implement in my business that may yield similar results?

The Millennials are different than any other group in history, are you changing your marketing and social media strategy to engage with this group or will you sit on the sidelines? They act differently, think differently and most definitely, shop differently. If you are not prepared to deal with their unique needs and approach to retail, you may lose them as a consumer. Don’t wait for a crisis to be your motivator for change or competitors to take the reins and become the resource and place for Millennials to shop, hear on this topic to get a jump on solutions for your business, Millennials – Changing the Game.

Hint: Make certain your store has an active online comment section for customers to post reviews. “Millennials have an affinity for instant access to product information and peer reviews.” Source: Goldman Sachs

To view a complete list of education solutions for flooring, stone and tile retail businesses, visit The International Surface Event resource page for updates, free webinar schedules and speaker information.

About the Author:

Carol Wilkins is the Senior Conference Manager at The International Surface Event.  She is a proponent for learning something new at any age and works diligently to secure industry and professional experts from around the country for the TISE IGNITE Education Program. For questions, you can reach her directly at or 972-536-6320