National Thrift Training Conference
October 3rd - 5th
Bridgewater place - 205 Bridgewater rd. Knoxville, TN 37923

Learn How to
Do Thrift Better


What To Expect

From October 3rd to 5th, SMCo Thrift will host its next thrift conference at Bridgewater Place (205 Bridgewater Rd. Knoxville, TN 37923) focused on equipping leaders in the 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. Directors, managers and other leaders will walk away with practical steps to implement at existing thrift operations to grow your social enterprise. 

Who is a Thrift Conference For?

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. While no thrift store is exactly the same, we do believe that certain strategies can be deployed to encourage success. No matter the size of your thrift operation, we are certain that this conference can benefit you.


The Fall 2022 SMCo Thrift National Training Conference will be held at Bridgewater Place. Situated in West Knoxville, this beautiful venue boasts great meeting spaces and delicious refreshments. Within a short drive to many stores, restaurants, and hotels, this space will help make this event one to remember.

Conference Hotel Offering

We are pleased to offer a hotel block at a great rate for the SMCo Thrift National Training Conference. Within a 5 minute drive from our venue, Drury Inn offers wonderful amenities, comfortable stays, and a convenient location. Your stay even includes a complimentary hot breakfast and complimentary drinks and snacks every evening.

In order to take advantage of this event rate, please use the group number 10015028. when you book online at or via phone at 1-800-325-0720.

If you would prefer to stay at a different site, many other hotels are in the area of  this year’s venue – Bridgewater Place – 205 Bridgewater Rd. Knoxville, TN 37923.

Area Restaurants

There are many wonderful restaurants near the venue so make plans to enjoy your own “taste of Knoxville” during your visit. Check out Visit Knoxville for recommendations or be sure to ask a SMCo Thrift team member.



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.


Conference Venue - Bridgewater Place - 205 Bridgewater Rd. Knoxville, TN 37923

Monday, October 3rd

  • Importance & Value of Donations
  • Counting Touches
  • Pricing Strategies
  • Capturing Key Data
  • Making Informed Decisions

We will host a reception with heavy hors d’oeuvres inside our venue –  Bridgewater Place.

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

Tuesday, October 4th

  • Customer Service
  • Interacting with Donors & Volunteers
  • 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
  • Wholesale Business Component
  • Connecting Your Thrift Operation

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

Wednesday, October 5th

BONUS CONTENT 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 starting at 8:30am, one featuring a small format store and the other featuring a large format store. Small Format Store Tour – 7101 Kingston Pike Knoxville, TN 37919 Large Format Store Tour – 10612 Kingston Pike Knoxville, TN 37922 Following the store tours, sessions to help with software setup and to discuss best practices for PickUpMyDonation and ThriftTrac are available starting at 10:30am.  User Groups Location – 9329 Kingston Pike Knoxville, TN 37922


There will be no refunds within 14 days of the conference start date. If canceling outside of 14 days, a 50% will be refunded to the card that was used to register.

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

Conference registration is $395 per person until June 30th.  After June 30th, the price will increase to $495 per person.


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.