2019 Fall SMCo Thrift Conference Recap

As a thrift operator, we are all truly striving to Do Thrift Better. That’s what our conference participants walked away from Knoxville a few weeks ago with – ideas on how to grow their stores, increase their profits, and serve their customers, donors, and teams better.

At the end of September, we had 100+ participants representing over 50 organizations from across the country in Knoxville for a thrift conference. They learned how the pieces of thrift fit together. From capturing and receiving donations to merchandising and organizing the retail floor, participants learned the ins and outs of the complex thrift industry through dynamic and engaging speakers.

Realizing people truly are our greatest asset, they gleaned how to best care for customers, donors, and volunteers. In thrift we have the opportunity to engage with unique audiences. Participants learned that donations are the lifeblood of a thrift operation and how to appeal to potential donors. For other thrift audiences, we showed how to properly engage and communicate with different audiences based on the way they interact with our thrift store.

Thrift conference attendees also received the benefit of networking with likeminded thrift operators from around the country. The SMCo Thrift National Training Conference facilitated ample opportunities for thrift operators to engage with other attendees to learn from others’ successes, failures, and goals. Furthermore through conference breaks and a vendor reception, participants received the opportunity to interact with thrift vendors to grow and develop their thrift operations in a variety of ways such as packaging, marketing, payment processing, and more.

Finally before returning home, the conference participants were able to see the informational sessions lived out through a visit to a local thrift store and distribution warehouse. These in-store workshops provide reference and insight to all of the information in the preceding two days.

But the difficult part is always returning home with a list of ideas and executing them. The SMCo Thrift team is here year-round to help you through events, software, and services to grow your thrift operation.

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