The Free Surf Expo Seminar Series Lineup – September 2013

At each Surf Expo for the past ten years, Board Retailers Association has brought a variety of speakers to address the pressing issues affecting independent retailers today. This September we focus on the core pieces of your business: staffing tips, payment processing solutions, cash flow, open to buy and financial strategies. We also close the event with a detailed look at ways to combat showrooming, an increasing issue that isn’t going away anytime soon.

Check out the lineup. The seminars run daily at 11:30 and 2:30, and take place at The Stage on the show floor. View a map on


Friday, 11:30

Improve Your Cash Flow and Increase Top Line Sales—Paul Erickson, VP, RMSA Retail Solutions

The old saying that “Cash is King” couldn’t be truer than it is today. Join Paul as he goes through a step by step process on how generate cash right now. The presentation will cover how to use your POS system more effectively, markdown strategies to increase flow and profits, how to increase stock sell-through, better planning and forecasting to prevent overbuying, how to schedule deliveries when they’re needed (and not on the whim of your vendor), and how to save open-to-buy dollars for in-season opportunities. Taught from experience, not theory, this session is a can’t-miss.


Friday, 2:30

Electronic Payments 101—Patrick Wiltsey, Director of Business Development, Eclypse Solutions, LLC.

This presentation will introduce the basics of electronic payment processing and explain the mechanics behind transactions. Topics covered include: anatomy of a transaction, introduction to interchange, recent legislative changes and impact on merchants and mobile payment applications.  You’ll also learn about best practices to minimize fees, increase data security to protect cardholder information and how to comply with recent industry requirements.


Saturday, 11:30

Tax Reduction & Estate Planning Strategies for 2014—G. Kent Mangleson, CFP, American Society for Asset Protection

Is your financial house in order? In this session you will discover the tools you can use to achieve financial peace of mind. By the end of the presentation you will know how to protect your assets from lawsuits. You’ll learn about how to reduce income taxes, picking up easy strategies most people fail to utilize, saving up to 10K a year! You’ll also learn how to avoid probate tax and eliminate estate tax. Leave with a checklist of items important to every estate and business succession plan. It takes a lifetime to accumulate your assets. Take this course to protect them.


Saturday, 2:30

Open to Buy 101—Dan Jablons, President, Retail Smart Guys

This course will offer everyone a simple, easily understandable definition of open to buy and an explanation of why and how both large and small stores use it. You’ll be taken through a comprehensive rundown of open to buy components that will change the way you buy at trade shows and beyond. And you’ll learn three simple adjustments to how you apply your open to buy to your business that will bring significant cash flow. Bring your questions for an extended Q&A session!


Sunday,  11:30

Put your Best Staff Forward—A retail panel moderated Dan Jablons, President, Retail Smart Guys

How do you choose who sits behind your counter and greets your customers? How do you train them? How do you motivate them? We’ll talk to several retailers about how they narrow down the candidate pool, establish a staff culture, and enforce a universal store approach to customer service. This session will also help you identify when to incentivize employees, when to promote them, and when to let them go.


Sunday, 2:30

How to Combat Showrooming:  Keeping Retail Tangible in a Digital World— Speaker TBA

In the ever-increasing digital world, retailers are learning how to define their online presence. But how do you keep your brick and mortar business healthy? You can’t ban cell phones at the door or kick people out for scanning barcodes with them, but you can fight to keep that purchase within your doors. Find out some creative and practical strategies that will gain customer loyalty, improve the sales process and retain the sales your team invests so much time to convert.