Frequently Asked Questions
I'll be attending Conference for the 1st time and don't know anyone. What if no one talks to me?
No one is a wallflower at a NARTS meeting. Trust me, you'll make friends before leaving the first function. It's amazing how fast your circle of friends will grow. All of a sudden you are not alone at Conference and as an added benefit you'll have a group of peers you can contact after Conference when you need some advice or a little support. NARTS members and meeting attendees are the friendliest, most sharing group of people I've ever encountered! If you are still concerned, we will have a very friendly group of Meeting Ambassadors available to make sure you are comfortable. We want your first Conference experience to be nothing but wonderful! Here is My First Meeting story that I'd like to share with you.
Will I be able to network with attendees before Conference?
Yes, join us on our Facebook Members Only group where there will be a lot of pre-conference discussions taking place. You will be able to network with attendees and speakers. If this is your first meeting, and you don't know any of your peers, our Facebook group gives you the opportunity to get acquainted so you can arrive at Conference already having friends! If you are not already in our FB group, Click Here and submit a Request to Join. Our Mobile App will be activated a couple weeks prior to Conference, another opportunity to connect with other attendees.
What is a Meeting Ambassador?
A Meeting Ambassador has previously attended Conference and volunteered to get a first time attendee off to a good start. Our Ambassadors will make sure your first NARTS meeting is a positive experience. They will be outside the first two opening events to welcome you, answer questions and introduce you to other attendees. Before you know it you'll be off on your own with your new found friends.
How do I volunteer for the hospitality committee?
The hospitality committee needs volunteers to perform small tasks at Conference such as; checking name badges at doors, helping with Info Share or being a Meeting Ambassador. There will be a check-in desk at the Thursday evening reception where you can volunteer and select a task.
Where will Conference be held?
Conference will be held at The Westin Charlotte.
What is included in the registration fee? Are there any additional registration fees?
All Conference events listed on the Agenda, except optional events, are included in the registration fee for attendees. Full Guest Packages include all events listed on the Agenda except the workshops. The Resale Shop Bus Tour is an optional event for both registrants and guests. Registrants can select to register for Conference with or without the bus tour included.
Do I have to register for Getting To Know You?
You do not have to register for this event and there are no additional fees.
What is Conference Orientation?
Want to get the most out of your Conference experience? Join us on Friday at 9 AM and discover how to take advantage of the many education and networking opportunities available during the weekend. The NARTS Board of Directors will introduce themselves and "walk" you through the daily agendas. They will give you details of each event and answer all your questions.
Should I attend Conference if I haven't opened my store yet?
Attending Conference is the best investment you can make in your future business! You will gain an invaluable education, build a network of peers and save yourself from making many mistakes. Read testimonials from future owners, beginners and seasoned resale professionals. If that doesn't convince you, here is what Industry Icon, Kate Holmes said to one of her readers... "Lots of prospective shop owners attend Conference and are very grateful they did! It's flabbergasting how much you can 'leap ahead' of beginner status just by attending, listening, talking, networking. Everyone's VERY kind and giving, and you will be comfortable AND excited!"
Do most people go on the resale shop bus tour? Is it JUST another shopping trip?
Yes, over 90% of attendees go on the tour. And No... it isn't all about shopping, although you will probably pick up some fine buys for yourself and/or your store. The tour is intended to be an educational and networking event. It's an opportunity to brainstorm with your peers, make new friends and glean ideas to adapt and implement in your own shop. Stores will vary in size, design, and type & quality of merchandise... allowing you to learn from different perspectives. Regardless of the differences, all stores have signage, lighting, layout plans and displays—any of which could give you that one dynamite idea to take back home. Read Don't Miss the Tour... Bus, that is!
Why should I stay at The Westin Charlotte?
Networking, learning, sharing and friendship with your peers doesn't end at the workshop doors. Staying at the meeting hotel is the best part of the Conference experience. It's also very convenient... you'll be able to run to your room between sessions to change your shoes or drop off some of your papers. You'll have more time to relax and change before evening events when staying at the Hilton Columbus at Easton. The hotel not only offers great amenities, discounted rates and the best networking opportunities, but staying within NARTS room block will help us meet our obligation to the hotel and avoid penalties. Booking outside the block hurts the Association and ultimately raises future Conference rates. Lastly, you won't find a less expensive hotel that is as nice and in such a great location as The Westin Charlotte... believe me, we looked!!! Click Here for reservation information and our special group room rates.
What is Info Share?
Info Share is a collection of printed materials from resale shops across the country. Handouts, flyers, contracts, ads, business cards, store newsletters, consignment and employment policies, promotions and regional brochures that attendees bring will be arranged on tables so you can gather all the materials you find useful. When you are back at your store you can sort and file the information for future reference. It will become a valuable resource when you begin a new project and need fresh ideas or just a new perspective.
Info Share only works if everyone participates, so make sure you add Info Share contributions to your 'to pack' list. Please bring approximately 200 copies—or whatever you can spare. Drop-off your materials on Sunday.
Is there anything else I should pack?
Remember to bring plenty of business cards to exchange with your peers. Also, business checks and lots of plastic for your shopping trip through SourceMart and for all the bargains at Auction! You may also want to bring an extra tote bag so you can pack all the papers and goodies you accumulated during Conference.
Do many stores bring employees and is it beneficial?
The number of store managers and employees attending Conference increases yearly. Bringing staff members with you shows that they are a valuable part of your business. It also helps you bond and build a stronger relationship which makes for happier employees. With more people, you can attend more workshops. Share what you learned and go back with even more ideas to implement so your store can grow and flourish. One store owner said she got her investment back ten-fold! Here is what an attendee said on the evaluations, "This year I brought two different employees to let them 'experience the magic' of conference and they really did. They have been changed by being part of that four day event. They benefited so my shops are benefiting. They have tried several ideas they learned and feel empowered to make improvements. If you can bring employees, do! You will truly reap the benefits."
I'd like to bring my manager. Do I have to pay the higher non member price?
No, you can join your manager, business partner or employees as Associate members of NARTS for only $36 a year per person, then register them for Conference at the discounted Member Registration Fees - a substantial savings from the Non Member Fees. 2nd and Additional Member Registrants MUST be from the same store as the 1st Member Registrant. Use our convenient online membership applications to join your manager and employees.
Can I tape the workshop sessions?
We are not taping workshop sessions and welcome audio recording with discretion after obtaining express permission from the speaker. Video taping of events will only be allowed on a very limited basis with prior approval of the meeting planner. No video taping of workshop sessions will be allowed.
How can I get the most out of Conference?
Network, network, network! Don't hide... attend all events, introducing yourself to as many people as possible. If you are attending Conference with others from your shop or your local resale peers, don't get in the habit of always sitting together. Be open to meeting new people. Hang out in the lobby, sit with someone you don't know on the buses . . . you'll meet some really great colleagues.