Nampa, Idaho (March 5, 2003) Adventist Book Center managers from the U.S., Canada, and several other countries recently gathered in Tucson, Arizona for the annual ABC Marketing Seminar. This event, sponsored by Pacific Press and Review and Herald, showcases our newest books and music, giving the stores a glimpse of what’s to come for their camp meetings, bookmobile runs, and other spring and summer sales.
The seminar began with a Friday night Chapel® concert featuring Del Delker, Phil Draper, and The Wedgwood Trio, all old favorites on the Chapel® Music label. DEL, who recently celebrated 50 years with The Voice of Prophecy, especially charmed the audience with her beautiful contralto voice and delightful wit.
Pacific Press author, Dr. Jere Patzer, president of the North Pacific Union Conference, spoke on Christian leadership during a Sabbath morning presentation—including ideas and anecdotes from his new book, The Road Ahead.
Kate Gotsch, Branch Manager of Upper Columbia’s Walla Walla store, gave her personal testimony during the vesper service on Sabbath evening. Kate’s Christ-centered talk took us from an abusive childhood through the many miracles that led to her conversion. As she told us how she came to Jesus by reading the Bible through, our Pacific Press team was reminded of our theme for this year—Planted in the Word, Growing in the Son.
Sunday was Pacific Press day, beginning with a devotional by Patricia Garey, a first-time PPPA author, whose new book, A Time to Grow, outlines an 18-week program for bringing spiritual balance into a busy woman’s life.
Then we began the presentation of new products from Pacific Press, with the entire group seated at large round tables. Each table was given a new book to present, along with some props to help spark their imaginations. These enthusiastic and creative groups of ABC managers quickly invented effective, unforgettable presentations. From a Conestoga wagon (a sheet and four plastic wheels) for the Adventist Girl Series—to waiters balancing food-filled trays for Meatless Easy-Oven Cookbook—to a mock sword fight for The Battle Is the Lord’s—the presentations were fun, fast-paced, and guaranteed to make an indelible impression. Following the presentation, ABCs were invited to place orders for new books—and excellent first orders came in.
Planted in the Word, Growing in the Son was also the theme of PPPA’s display—set up in a large corner of the meeting room. Arranged like a garden with comfortable chairs and benches, the display was usually filled with people—many of whom stayed long enough to sample a new book or two.
Sunday night PPPA conducted a well-attended seminar on how to use the computer to create advertising—designed to encourage more and better ads, fliers, and other promotional aids—using PPPA’s CD-Rom and the AdventistBookCenter.com Web site as resources. A live online demonstration of the Web site’s new automated “back-end” followed, with ABC managers who are presently testing it enthusiastically leading out.
Monday was Review and Herald’s day—and they chose a western theme, bussing the group to a nearby theme park for a day of fun-filled promotional activities.
Tuesday morning we opened the floor for a “Q & A” period. ABCs were invited to express concerns and share suggestions for ways the publishing houses can improve their products and services. PPPA’s shipping and customer service departments received several good comments for the competent, customer-friendly way we handle orders and shipments.
We wrapped up the meetings with a final challenge presented by NAD vice president Elder Jim Gilley—whose new Pacific Press book The Battle Is the Lord’s urges its readers to fight the good fight. Elder Gilley challenged the ABCs to “keep on keeping on,” and sent them back to their stores with a renewed sense of the importance of their mission and ministry. – Susan Harvey, VP Marketing/Sales