Sunday, March 9, 2014

5:00–6:00 p.m.


Meet the Yarn Market News team and receive your registration packet and gift bag.

6:30–8:30 p.m.


Cocktail Reception & Welcome Address by Comedian Mary Faktor
Come by our opening reception to kick off the conference and enjoy appetizers, cocktails, music, and great conversation with your fellow attendees—this is the perfect time to network. Wear your nametag on your favorite handmade garment! Mary Faktor will entertain us with a performance!


Monday, March 10, 2014

7:30–8:45 a.m.




8:45–9:00 a.m.


Opening Annoucement
Erin Slonaker, Editor in Chief of YMN


9:00–10:15 a.m.


Fashion for Our New World: David Wolfe, Creative Director of The Doneger Group
Trends, Colors and Design Fast-Forwarding to the Future. A look at the evolution of twenty-first century fashion, an important moment when technology, artificial intelligence and pop culture meld into the macro-trends that encourage consumerism. One of the fashion industry’s most astute and amusing experts analyzes the forces driving design, including the psychological shifts in the fashion-conscious mindset. How fashion is reflecting today’s lifestyles with design, color, and textiles for now and coming seasons.


10:15–10:30 a.m.


Morning Break

10:30–11:45 a.m.


Understanding the Personalities of Your Customers and Employees: Mary Faktor
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a personality instrument backed by 60 years of scientific research. It offers life-changing revelations of how our personalities interact with others. By combining the MBTI with the insights of Dr. John Gray’s Mars/Venus teachings, Mary incorporates fun, interactive exercises, leading the audience into a deeper understanding and appreciation of the differences which make us each so unique. Armed with these new insights, business and personal relationships flourish.


11:45–1:00 p.m.


Networking Luncheon


1:00–1:30 p.m.


Networking discussion: Lessons learned 


1:30–2:45 p.m.


Making the Most of Your Space: Tips & Tricks: Debi Lilly
Event planner and design expert Debi Lilly has a treasure trove of tips and tricks for retailers for making their space work best for them and their customers. Learn how to change with the seasons and events in the shop to create just the right atmosphere and draw people in.


2:45–3:00 p.m.


Mid-Afternoon Break


3:00–4:15 p.m.


PR from Digital Media: Nancy Shenker
Mailing hundreds of press releases and phoning reporters has gone the way of Lois Lane and manual typewriters. The new media includes citizen journalists, twitter chatter, streaming video and audio, and bloggers. "Page views" now means web traffic and not newsprint. But getting your business in the news can help increase awareness and attract new customers. In this lively and practical session, you'll learn how to: Define PR success in the digital age; find "next-gen" media who may be interested in your news; create news and pitch the media; evaluate and leverage PR results.


6:30–9:30 p.m.


Gala Dinner & Keynote Address: Nice Girls STILL Don't Get the Corner Office: Dr. Lois P. Frankel
Before Sheryl Sandberg told you to "lean in," Dr. Lois Frankel told you to quit bein' a girl! With warmth, wisdom, and wit she will share with us the ways in which internalized social messages contribute to women unconsciously sabotaging their own best efforts. More importantly, she will illuminate 10 simple things you can do to shift your behavior and achieve the success you've earned and the respect you deserve.


  Tuesday, March 12, 2013

7:30–8:30 a.m.




8:30 a.m.


Opening Annoucement
Erin Slonaker, Editor in Chief of YMN


8:30–9:45 a.m.


Growing Your Business in Challenging Times: A Path Toward Profitability: Paula Giovacchini
Half of needle arts stores were profitable in 2009, significantly less than the 74 percent of profitable stores reported in 2004, according to 11,000 respondents who participated in The State of Specialty NeedleArts 2010 Report, published by TNNA. While there are many paths to profitability, this interactive session will focus on the customer experience and provide you with strategies and tactics to convert prospective customers into buyers and increase what your current customers spend. You will find out how to segment your customers and prospects, learn buyer behaviors that are typical of each segment, and discover how to identify one or two strategies reaching each segment that may include deepening relationships with your existing customers and increasing or decreasing the amount of time spent with prospects and customers. You will have an opportunity to hear a panel of Chicago customers from three generations (Baby Boomers, Generation Xers and Millennials) about how they buy their yarn, what is important to them when visiting a store, and what it takes to secure them as loyal buyers.


9:45–10:00 a.m.


Morning Break


10:00–11:15 a.m.


The ABCs of Cash Flow: Cathy Wagner
Cash will get tight. It always does—this is the cyclical nature of retail. The trick is to be prepared. Don't stick your head in the sand like an ostrich: instead, be a peacock and strut your stuff! Work to generate cash flow with Cathy Wagner's help, including ideas such as coupons, customer rewards, making phone calls, and planning events.


11:15–11:30 a.m.


Mid-Morning Break


11:30–12:30 p.m.


Panel: Inspired Store Design
Retailers from the audience share photos and tips of their store organization, window displays, merchandise tables, and more.


12:30 p.m.


Boxed Luncheon and Closing Comments

Erin Slonaker, Editor in Chief of YMN


1:00 p.m.


Yarn Crawl to Local Yarn Shops

The bus will leave the Omni at 1 p.m. promptly.