National Training Conference • Fall 2021


Learn How to
Do Thrift Better


What To Expect

On September 27th and 28th, SMCo Thrift will host its next event focused on equipping leaders in the thrift industry to Do Thrift Better. Principles, strategies and tools proved successful in the 150+ locations where the SMCo Thrift team has assisted will be shared.

What You'll Learn

Expect to hear about, and then see, the interconnected elements within a thrift operation – such as receiving donations, sorting & pricing individual items to retail sales. The two days will include “lecture style” learning combined with interaction in-person hands on learning implementing the different thrift strategies and concepts. Directors, managers and other leaders will walk away with practical steps to implement at existing thrift operations to grow your social enterprise. 

Be Prepared to Participate

Every conference is unique because of the people who attend. We recognize the value of different viewpoints so come prepared to share your challenges as well as your successes. Recent attendees have ranged from west and east coasts as well as places in between. They represented organizations with no stores to more than a dozen, with existing stores generating less than $25K per month to over $125K per month.


The Fall 2021 SMCo Thrift National Training Conference will be held at the Knoxville Convention Center. Situated adjacent to the World’s Fair Park in downtown Knoxville, this beautiful venue boasts great meeting spaces and delicious refreshments. Within walking distance of dozens of hotels, restaurants, and entertainment venues, this space will help make this event one to remember.

Conference Hotel Offering

We are pleased to offer a hotel block for the SMCo Thrift National Training Conference. Within walking distance from our venue, Hilton Knoxville offers wonderful amenities, on-site dining, and a convenient location within a few minutes walk.

In order to take advantage of this event rate, please click this link or call Hilton Knoxville directly at 865-523-2300 and provide the group name SMCO THRIFT.

If you would prefer to stay at a different site, many other hotels are within walking distance to the conference including The Tennessean, Hyatt Place Downtown, Courtyard by Marriott, and others.

Area Restaurants

Dozens of amazing restaurants are within walking distance of the Knoxville Convention Center and many area hotels. Mane plans to enjoy your own “taste of Knoxville” during your visit.


Planning Your Trip

Getting to Knoxville doesn’t need to be difficult. Located at the intersection of I-40 and I-75, a road trip is easy for many. McGhee-Tyson airport (TYS) is a great mid-sized airport served by all the major airlines (with short security lines). And plan to enjoy all the benefits of Knoxville by extending your stay.

If you need help planning your trip, let us know and we’ll contact you.


Monday, September 27th

  • Importance & Value of Donations
  • Engaging a Donor
  • Counting Touches
  • Pricing Strategies
  • Identifying Key Performance Indicators
  • Benefiting from Captured Data

We will host a reception with heavy hors d’oeuvres inside the Hilton Knoxville.

Snacks will be available throughout the day. Lunch is provided.

Tuesday, September 28th

  • Team Member Engagement
  • Interacting with Your Audiences
  • Identifying Obstacles
  • Defining Key Components
  • Targeting Different Audiences
  • Marketing Mediums & Resources

Interaction Session to Answer Any Thrift-Related Questions

  • Building Displays
  • Store Planograms
  • Expanding Your Thrift Operation
  • Selecting the Right Property

Snacks will be available throughout the day. Lunch is provided.

Wednesday, September 29th


For those who wish to stay for a third day or are still waiting to catch a flight, you have the opportunity to see a store in action.

Two store tours will be available, one featuring a small format store and the other featuring a large format store. Following the store tours, sessions to help with software setup and to discuss best practices for Thrift Shopping Network, PickUpMyDonation, and ThriftTrac are available. 


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Conference registration is non-refundable, but payment can be transferred to another individual or to the next conference.

For additional information, please contact the SMCo Thrift team to have your questions addressed personally.


We want our attendees to be aware of the best products and services available to help you Do Thrift Better. So joining us at each conference are some of the best resource providers in their business, including …

  • Point of sale
  • Merchant services
  • Bale / Recycle
  • Direct marketing
  • Packaging
  • Trash consulting
  • Truck leasing
  • Wholesaler
  • Mattresses

Previous vendors have included:

If you’re interested in participating in the upcoming conference as a vendor, contact the SMCo Thrift team to learn more about the opportunity or sign up here.