by Jacqueline Ashley
In April my husband and I, owner of Wentzville Music, LLC, had the opportunity to attend RPMDA’s convention in St. Louis. Being that this was our first time, we were both apprehensive and unsure what to expect, but were excited. Just getting a few days away from the store, even in the same metropolitan area in which we live, was like a vacation.
Well, let me tell you, this was an experience that I will never forget. We met some wonderful, warm people that spend their days doing exactly what we do: selling music stuff. Although we have been open for almost 7 years (Sept. 5th), we are still learning, and this convention gave us so much information to bring home and implement that our heads were exploding. There were people from all over the world, sharing stories, giving advice and helping us to better understand how to improve what we do to make our store more successful.
The workshops and large group gatherings not only helped us to meet more people but educated us in ways you cannot imagine. It was so nice to be with people that truly understood our problems in running a business that is being challenged by big box stores and internet sales. It gave us hope that we could make ours work. We met so many wonderful people, from the vendors we already use and a few new vendors that we will be using in the future.
Speaking of vendors, Alfred Publishing and Hal Leonard staff treated us like royalty. We were treated to happy hours and dinners that were fabulous! The evening entertainment was most enjoyable. We even got to meet the founder of Alfred, Iris Manus, a really interesting person that shared many adventures and also really listened when she heard concerns of others. I feel so blessed to have been able to spend some invaluable time with her.
One thing we learned: we want to go again, and next year the RPMDA convention is in Atlanta Georgia, so take some time off and join the festivities. Thank you Christie Smith, for inviting us to the wonderful event! We are looking forward to seeing everyone next year.