May 2023 Do You Feel It Too? The World is Coming Back.
Heading off to NRB and looking ahead to CPE.
Recently the World Health Organization made the announcement that the Covid 19 pandemic was officially over. It was a fairly ho-hum announcement in a world with flashier and more horrific crises du jour, but it confirmed what I’ve been feeling in recent weeks in the slice of life where I live.
The world is back.
I’ll be watching for stats on Americans and travel, expecting all of that to increase this summer to pre-pandemic levels, But I believe it’s starting already with expected increases in the number of Americans choosing to travel for Memorial Day.
And I’m seeing this in two large gatherings that drive my world, NRB and CPE, two in-person events where Christian authors and ministries gather.
I’m traveling to Orlando for the 2023 NRB convention, formerly known as the National Religious Broadcasters convention, which now describes itself as “the World’s Largest Gathering of Christian Communicators.” This year, they tell us, they sold out the exhibit floor, making this the largest in terms of exhibition space in 12 years.
I’m an exhibitor with three authors in my booth who have scheduled interviews and book signings. We are all greatly anticipating the week, and that sold out floor is good news. I can still remember in prior years where there were empty booths at the end of rows and exhibitors nervously chattered about how much traffic there was on the show floor.
Then there’s CPE, the Christian Product Expo, which is something I also talk about in this space. It’s a twice-annual show for bookstores and others who sell Christian products to gather to do business.
The August show is the larger of the two annual shows, and the next one will be August 6-8, 2023 in Lexington, KY. (cpeshow.com). Running Sunday through Tuesday, the primary attendees are Christian retailers who are there to see and order product.
And books are a primary focus, so authors also attend. A highlight of CPE is a big book signing event on Sunday evening, but the event also provides training for authors and retailers, along with worship and fellowship opportunities.
In addition, an increasing number of media also attend, as they are figuring out this is a great opportunity to interview authors. CPE, sponsored by the Christian Retail Association, goes out of its way to welcome the media, providing them each a dedicated interview space at no charge for the days of the show. With media credentials, registration is at no charge of course. But registration at CPE also includes a surprisingly nice hot buffet lunch on Monday and Tuesday for everyone.
Authors don’t attend for free, but just in the past few weeks I’ve been hearing out of the blue from a number of authors who want to talk about CPE and have asked me to send them info on how they might participate with Buoyancy PR at the event.
So, we’ve decided – we will be exhibiting and will offer authors space in our booth to display their books. We expect to make it look much like our NRB booth, which means we will provide a large graphic panel for each author with their photo and book cover on it. Each participating author can also then have a second individual book signing or meet and greet event in our booth, as well as work from the booth to meet bookstore reps for facilitating book orders. By having, in a sense, their own booth, participating authors will have an increased exposure without having to purchase their own booth.
Many of those same authors and others will also be benefitting from Buoyancy’s work on their behalf to maximize interview opportunities for them with the media that will be in attendance. There is more info to come on all of this next month, but if you think this sounds interesting, please write me and we’ll chat.
Soon I’ll be back with pictures and more on NRB 2023.
By the way, NRB 2024 will be back to its usual timing of February and also back in Nashville at Opryland in 2024. If that is something you think may be right for you by February, let me know. We will be exhibiting again and will provide the dates once we get them. For more NRB info, check out NRBconvention.org.