2015 Industry Summit Recap – Well another Industry Summit has just wrapped up, and the GTS Team is very thankful for all of our partners that helped make this year a successful event.
The Summit, for us, is an opportunity to not only be able to interact face-to-face with all of our partners in this business, but also, and more importantly allows us to say a big THANK YOU!
When retailers first arrived and registered this year, they received a GTS backpack containing some of our Overtime hockey packs, Panini Father’s Day packs and others goodies from Topps, Upper Deck, Tristar, Ultra Pro, Cryptozoic and Onyx – a nice bit of swag to start off the event.
That was a good way to kick things off with a thank you, but we also wanted to make sure retailers had a space to relax, so this year, we set up a Retailer Lounge. This area was open throughout the show and gave everyone a place to hang out, talk, grab a drink or snack, and take a load off.
We were fortunate that Tristar, Cryptozoic and Onyx joined us to setup and display their products in the lounge area. This provided a great space for retailer interaction.
The room was busy from the outset on Sunday, all the way through Tuesday evening when things started winding down. Most of Sunday was spent catching up with old friends and hanging out in the lounge. GTS ran a few show specials that enabled customers to get some great deals on select releases.
We also included some bonus items to help entice and reward those dealers at the show. We gave away Bowman Baseball jerseys, a Magic Johnson signed 16×20 print and Manny Pacquiao signed boxing gloves.
On both Sunday and Monday nights we made our lounge available late for any breakers that needed space to run a few breaks. It was a nice, relaxed atmosphere that went into the AM hours.
Monday rolled around and we started the morning with the Meet The Industry sessions. It was a great opportunity for GTS to share with those retailers, who don’t know us, a little information about who we are. This includes the benefits of our 10 locations, and more importantly, how we can help shops through product selection and category expansion.
Following those meetings, GTS staffers David Reel, Karvin Cheung and I (Joe Fallon) joined with Beckett staff to help facilitate sport-by-sport solution sessions. It was a good opportunity to discuss what’s been good in each sport, what could be better and brainstorm some ideas to benefit everyone going forward.
After a short break following the solutions sessions, GTS joined forces with Panini to bring one of the highlights of The Summit to life –The Ultimate Case Break. We have partnered with Panini for this event the past four years. It’s a fun, exciting couple of hours that helps generate some money that’s used for scholarships for future shows.
This year we were able to break 75th Anniversary Baseball, Gold Standard Basketball, and everyone was pumped to preview 2014 Black Gold Football.
Monday night rolled around, and after a long, productive day GTS played host for our annual retailer reception at TAO Nightclub. We were excited to again partner with Panini for this highly anticipated evening, and we can’t say thank you enough to the entire Panini team for working together on the case break, and the TAO evening. It was top notch all the way. Needless to say it was a great event, and retailers were able to have a few beverages, open some product and hang out with good friends.
You would have thought Tuesday would have slowed down, but instead, it was packed with meetings and follow-up from the first two days, (and maybe a story or two from TAO the previous night). Needless to say, it was another good day.
Wednesday morning brought perhaps the highlight panel of recent years with sales and product development tandems from Panini, Topps and Upper Deck taking questions from retailers. It made for some great interaction, with no shortage of questions from attendees.
Well that was the 2015 Industry Summit in a nutshell. A big shout out to Kevin Isaacson and Beckett. Kevin works tirelessly to put this event together, and there are no shortages of challenges throughout the process. Again, THANK YOU to all of our partners, retailers, manufacturers, retailers’ spouses, et al. It’s easy to sometimes lose perspective, but we work in a fun industry with good people, and The Summit is a good chance to come together, do a little work, and remember how fortunate we are.
See you next year in Hawaii!