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The Munce Group began hosting CPE over 10 years ago because of the challenges independently owned Christian store owners and managers were facing. They needed to be encouraged. They needed to be equipped. And, they needed to be engaged in order writing. And those three needs (encourage, equip, and engage) serve as the foundation of our event.
We have found that the retailers who attend CPE choose to spend their time out of the store at CPE and no other tradeshows. In fact, the stores have told us that if it wasn't for CPE, they would not attend any tradeshow.
CPE provides us with an opportunity to encourage stores and help stores get training and stay informed of trends happening in our industry and in retail in general. CPE also provides retailers with information regarding new products so they can be in-stock on upcoming promotions.
Attendance from stores is vital to their long-term health and viability. Yes, while we encourage order-writing to make the show worthwhile to the exhibitors, we know that CPE strengthens the independent in such a way to keep them strong throughout the year. And if the independents are healthy, vendors will be healthy, too.
If you are a retailer who has never participated in CPE, don't let another event pass you by. You'll be glad you invested the time.
If you are a vendor, would you consider investing in the Independent Christian channel by attending? Not only will our stores benefit from the overall CPE experience, we encourage them to say, "thank you" throughout the event. In fact, you'll most likely hear Kirk Blank, president of Munce, say, "Remember retailers, nothing says, 'thank you' like a big, fat purchase order!"