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TK's MORNING BUZZ: There's No National Convention in Sight, But Retailers Are Networking on the Local Level as Never Before

30 Jul, 2001 By: Thomas K. Arnold

In two days, I'm leaving for Sunsplash 2001, the 13th annual "retailer retreat" staged by the Carolinas Chapter of the VSDA. It's one of the biggest regional shows on the VSDA calendar, equal parts fun and education, and is expected to attract upwards of 500 retailers, mostly from the South and Southeast.

I've got a message on my voice mail from Rod Eglash, who heads the VSDA chapter in Wisconsin, about a regional show he's producing in mid-August to promote adult entertainment as a way to compete. The MidWest Adult Conference and Showcase will be held Aug. 14 and 15 in Kenosha, Wis., and is targeting independent video retailers.

I've also got an e-mail from Dave Stevenson from Upstate New York about a "DVD Summit" he's helping to organize, designed to give independent retailers an update on this hot format and tips on how to better capitalize on it.

The ranks of independent retailers have been decimated to the point where there are questions as to whether there are enough of them left to support a national convention.

But on the local level, retailers are meeting, networking and swapping ideas and strategies as never before, it seems.

They're returning to their (grass) roots.

The studios, too, appear to be on a mission to meet with their retail customers in small, easily manageable parcels.

Artisan is scheduling a two-day confab in Las Vegas to tout its upcoming release schedule.

Warner Home Video has a sales meeting in Florida in late August, while Universal Studios Home Video sales executives are putting on a road show for customers all over the country, with recent stops in Philadelphia and New York.

Members of the home video industry clearly see the value in keeping in touch with each other. And with our national show in doubt, activity on the local level appears to be stepping up.

Either way, the show must go on.

Comments? Contact TK directly at:TKArnold@aol.com

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