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New at PMA 08: PMA 08 to feature SMART Store, combining digital scrapbooking with rest of imaging industry.

PMA 08 in Las Vegas, Nev., Jan. 31-Feb. 2, 2008, is just around the corner; and with it comes a new addition, the PMA SMART Store. A product of The SMART Group, Carlsbad, Calif., and PMA, Jackson, Mich., the store is a working model aimed at retailers that want to improve their stores and engage customers with up-to-date, intelligent retail design.

"This 'hybrid store' is much more than a physical store--it is a business philosophy or a way of doing business," says Dennis Conforto, chairman and CEO of A-Z Media Group, parent company of The SMART Group.

"The SMART Store is designed to show how a partnership between retailers, manufacturers, service providers, publishers, and others can create businesses that are beneficial to all parties," he says. "It's meant to produce profits throughout the industry by effectively changing the way manufacturers, distributors, and independent retailers work together."

Staying SMART

The PMA SMART Store offers attendees a look into the digital scrapbooking world and how it relates to the imaging industry. The store will be built on the PMA Trade Show floor, in the MemoryTrends area, and feature numerous sections appealing to different types of retailers--not just scrapbookers. Framing, digital, and portrait areas are among those featured in the store.

"The purpose of the PMA SMART Store is to show retailers and manufacturers what a retail store would look like with the latest and greatest technology," says Conforto. "The store will be packed full of products covering lighting, display, signage, pricing, packaging, flooring, and each retail segment."

Retail education

The store will also feature training centers in different design areas. "We're showing retailers what works; how to pay attention to detail," says Conforto. Retailers have the opportunity to be trained in lighting, signage, display, and more.

There will also be a theater area located next to the PMA SMART Store. This area will host eight seminars taught by Conforto, covering topics such as merchandising, partnerships, branding, and displays.

The seminars are designed to educate attendees beyond the visual example of the store.

"In one of my classes, I'll provide information to take your marketing and advertising plan above and beyond, while working with other retailers in your marketplace at the same time," he says.

Conforto will also explain how to increase sales without having to buy more inventory, and how to find new, untapped markets and capture new business.

Winning in Vegas

In addition to learning about the latest in retail design, products, and techniques, trade show attendees have the opportunity to take home a section of the PMA SMART Store.

"Attendees will come into the store, fill out an entry form, and register to win a section of the store and everything that comes with it," says Conforto. "Tickets will be color coded according to the field of the retail entrant, and winners must be present to win."

Each section of the store will be given away, which includes nearly $200,000 in materials and products in lighting, signage, and merchandise in that respective area. For example, the digital area will include a point-of-sale system to be given away. The winners will be drawn at 3:00 p.m. on Feb. 2.

Winners are responsible for shipping their section of the store from the show to their locations, and for taxes on winnings as well. If any winner is internationally based, taxes on the prize will be due at time of winning.

Teaming up for success

The SMART Group (www.thesmartgroup.biz), Carlsbad, Calif., sold its membership and education to PMA in June. The alliance between PMA, the Professional Scrapbook Retailers Organization (PSRO)--a PMA member association, and The SMART Group promotes a three-fold goal: to educate the industry; integrate retailers and manufacturers into working, profitable relationships based on best practices; and to grow the industry.

"PMA 08 will be an exciting event for the entire imaging industry," says Elaine Truman, executive of PSRO and the Professional Picture Framers Association (PPFA). "Combining the retail experience of the PMA SMART Store and the education seminars led by Dennis [Conforto] will provide incredible business insights and ideas to take home and apply, inspiring retailers from all segments of the imaging industry to take their businesses to new heights."
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Title Annotation:Connections; Trade show display exibition: to feature smart store, Combining digital scrapbooking with rest of imaging industry.
Comment:New at PMA 08: PMA 08 to feature SMART Store, combining digital scrapbooking with rest of imaging industry.(Connections)(Trade show display exibition: to feature smart store, Combining digital scrapbooking with rest of imaging industry.)
Author:Yeager, Amanda
Publication:PMA Magazine - Connecting the Imaging Communities
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2007
Words:705
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