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Get ready for the NRHSA Table Top Expo

By Nick Bullock
Published: March 29, 2013
With the National Retail Hobby Stores Association Table Top Expo just weeks away, President Bruce Throne said the event schedule had begun to take its final form.

As only minor schedule tweaks are anticipated, he said, here is a look at what’s on the docket at the 20th annual hobby convention April 28–May 2 at The Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas:

Sunday, April 28
12–4 p.m. — Registration
1–2:30 p.m. — Pacific Coast Hobbies’ Theo Captanis presents “Social Media Hands-On Workshop”
3–4:30 p.m. — Constant Contact’s Kelly Flint presents “Grow Your Business with Email and Social Media”

Monday, April 29
8 a.m.–5 p.m. — Registration
8:45–9 a.m. — Show Kick-Off
9–10 a.m. — Retail Mavens’ Cathy Donovan, Horizon Hobby’s sponsored keynote speaker, presents “Open to Buy Dollars. Retail Turn. Where’s the Cash?”
10:15–11 a.m. — Hobby Force’s Noel Bays presents, “Turning Mud into Money — How Selling Used Items Can Bring 100% Profit or Greater!”
10:15–11 a.m. — Bob Smith Industries’ Charlee Smith presents “Adhesives: Attracting Customers from Outside the Hobby”
11:15 a.m.–12 p.m. — R/C Excitement’s Todd Anderson presents “Setting Up and Profiting from R/C Race Tracks”
11:15 a.m.–12 p.m. — Excel Hobby Blades’ Alan Iwig presents “Essential and Profitable Hobby Tools”
12–1 p.m. — Lunch break
12–5 p.m. — Exhibitor set-up time
1–2 p.m. — Great Planes’ Mike Zaborowski presents “Making Waves in R/C Boating”
2:15–3:30 p.m. — Roundtable sessions
3:45–4:15 p.m. — AMA Update
4:15–5:45 p.m. — R/C car demo
6–7 p.m. — Traxxas Seminar
8:30 p.m.–12 a.m. — Bowling tournament

Tuesday, April 30
7 a.m.–5 p.m. — Registration
8 a.m.–12 p.m. — Additional exhibitor set-up time
8:15–8:30 a.m. — Bus leaves for boat pond
9–11 a.m. — Boat pond demo
12–1:15 p.m. — Industry Luncheon for retailers and exhibitors
1:30–6:30 p.m. — Table Top Expo
7–7:30 p.m. —20th Anniversary Reception
7:30–9 p.m. — 20th Anniversary Gala Bash

Wednesday, May 1
7 a.m.–3 p.m. — Registration
7:30–8 a.m. — Buses leave for flying field and garden railway tour
8–10 a.m. — Outdoor flying demo
8–10:30 a.m. — Garden railway tour
11 a.m.–4 p.m. — Table Top Expo
4–5 p.m. — Best of the Best Roundtables and prize giveaways

Thursday, May 2
8 a.m.–12 p.m. — Golf outing

There are a few scheduled items of note, Throne said.

Those attending Theo Captanis’ “Social Media Hands-On Workshop” should bring a laptop, iPad or other device so that they may participate in the hands-on demonstrations. Attendees without store social media accounts will receive help setting those up as well as tips on how to best use those media.

As a tie-in to Captanis’ workshop, NRHSA has scheduled Constant Contact’s Kelly Flint to teach retailers how to set up email newsletters and use email marketing. Throne said this event has already shown to be highly anticipated.

Charlee Smith’s “Adhesives: Attracting Customers from Outside the Hobby” workshop and Alan Iwig’s “Essential and Profitable Hobby Tools” workshop are both intended to show dealers how to best sell hobby staples such as glues and tools. Throne said these workshops should appeal to every dealer because every dealer sells these products.

The topics for the roundtable sessions are not finalized, Throne said, but he expects there to be five or six different topics and for the sessions to be standing room only.

Other expected highlights, he said, include the R/C car, boat pond and flying demos, where retailers can get a chance to test the new products they will eventually sell to their customers. Throne said it is also a great time for both seasoned and new R/C dealers to ask questions of the R/C manufacturers.
 
Finally, Throne expects the 20th Anniversary Gala Bash to be a major hit. He said there is always some sort of party for attendees during the convention, but this year NRHSA wanted to “up the ante,” so it decided to throw a more formal gala. There is still no formal dress code, he said.

Attendees must sign up ahead of time for the Gala and the Industry Luncheon, Throne said. Attendees may also sign up ahead of time for the seminars, but it is not required.
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