The key element of our Energion Publications business strategy at this point is to begin to get our books into local Christian bookstores. As a starting point in this project, we took our materials to the Charisma Book Expo in Atlanta, GA from September 27-30. I’m going to give you a short report of what happened at the show, and this will be followed by several “impressions” written by my wife Jody, author of Daily Devotions of Ordinary People – Extraordinary God.
Our main purpose at the show was to contact Christian book store owners and others who would be involved in buying Christian materials, such as churches and ministry schools. Secondarily we were, as always, interested in selling materials. We were very successful in the first goal, and not so successful in the second. The show was not extremely well attended, which is not surprising for a new show, and so most of those there were in some way involved in the industry. This was a disappointment to some of the exhibitors, and I heard some unfavorable comparisons to similar CBA events.
But I must disagree with that assessment. Had I gone to the expo expecting CBA style results (Elgin Hushbeck, Jr., one of our authors, attended the CBA event in Denver in July) I would also have been extremely disappointed. But this expo is designed to be different, and I think it shows promise as what it is intended to be–a spiritual experience where exhibitors, book buyers, and the general public can be blessed and can also find excellent materials and look for new things that the Lord is doing in the Christian book industry.
As highlights, I would include appearances by Tommy Tenney, R. T. Kendall, and John Bevere, all of whom made excellent presentations. Though I mention those three, all of the morning and evening programs were good and constructive. I think that by the second and third shows, people will realize just what this is, and you will have participants, both exhibitors and buyers, who truly want what is offered, and that will take care of the numbers.
Was it perfect? No, I have a set of criticisms that I hope are constructive and that I will send to the Strang representative. But those are details. Energion Publications will definitely be at the next one, and though I hate traveling, I may be there myself even if I can manage to hire someone to do all the work.
Besides the series of “impressions” posts that Jody will be doing here, I plan to review a number of materials that I picked up at the expo on the Pacesetters Bible School newsletter blog. These are materials that I believe will be helpful to Christian educators wherever they work. Watch over there for that information.
I am thankful for both the blessing and the positive business benefit, represented by a list of good contacts, that I received at the expo. Now I will move forward to see that our books become more and more available through all possible outlets.