Canadian Music Trade - April / May 2018 - Page 20

PROSPERITY FOR YOUR PRINT DEPARTMENT & BEYOND! Fresh Ideas & Insights from the 2018 RPMDA Convention BY ANDREW KING Radisson Blu Mall of America Minneapolis, MN April 25-28, 2018 20 • CANADIAN MUSIC TRADE 42 nd Annual RPMDA Convention Members of the Retail Print Mu- sic Dealers Association (RPMDA) are uniting in Minneapolis, MN from April 25-28 for their 42 nd annual convention. Notably, this year will mark a shift in the exhibition format to encourage more communi- cation and networking; howev- er, what’s not changing is the educational programming that brings retailers and suppliers together to share proven ideas and spur prosperity in print departments and throughout the entire store. As in recent years, this year’s education schedule is divided into three tracks: track one being for print music specialists with less than three years of experience; track two for print music managers and buyers; and track three for business owners and man- agers. There are also general sessions taking up timely and wide-reaching issues like advo- cacy for music education, what comprises a 21 st century print department, and a “Best Ideas” session that will revisit some of the most valuable information shared throughout the event. “For me, the RPMDA Con- vention has always been about the quality of the program, and dare I say we have an awesome program in place for 2018,” comments Don Langlie of Poppler’s Music Store in West Grand Forks, ND and current RPMDA president. “Copyright, social media, and music advocacy remain prominent and consistent topics for the RPMDA. Due to the required depth of understanding as well as the continuous change associated with these topics, it’s important that they be revisited each year.” The goal of the new exhibit format is to sharpen the event’s already keen focus on open dialogue and the sharing of ideas. “We no longer have a cavernous space set aside for large displays of music material,” Langlie explains about the shift. “Instead, we’ll have small groups of retailers rotating through exhibitor stations where discussions regarding products, promotions, new issues, and so on can be held and other ideas shared.” The benefit is that exhib- itors will be able to put in face time with most, if not all, of the retailers in attendance instead of standing at a booth and hoping for traffic. “We’re excited to see the increased communi- cation this format will provide,” Langlie tacks on. After all, that open flow of communication and market- place of ideas is arguably the event’s biggest draw, and it’s the product of the strong sense of community for which the