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CONFERENCE SESSIONS

WSA Footwear & Accessories Business Conference Program to Focus on Trends, Business Solutions and Technology

What footwear will your customers want to buy? In which colors? What fashion trends will dominate in your market? What industry best practices can you adopt to increase your bottom line right away?

NSRA CONFERENCE: The University of Shoe Retailing - Setting the Course for Profits

Monday, July 31, 2006 from 7:30am to 5:00pm at Mandalay Bay
See details and register at www.nsra.org.
Non-NSRA Members Welcome
Early Registration: Members $125, Non-members $225


TUESDAY, AUGUST 1, 2006

WSA SHOW STEP-BY-STEP: ORIENTATION FOR BUYERS NEW TO THE WSA SHOW
Date: Tuesday, August 1, 2006
Time: 9:00am - 9:30am
Location: Sands Expo Center
Cost: Free

Learn the ins and outs of navigating the three venues. Find out what tools are available to find what you're looking for while making the show a fun and profitable business experience.

If you have never been to a WSA Show before--or could use some practical guidance---this short session will save you time and energy. Be sure to pre-register.

RETAIL STRATEGIES: BORROWING FROM THE BIG GUYS
Date: Tuesday, August 1, 2006
Time: 11:00am - 12:00pm
Fee: $40

What are the successful strategies large retailers use--and which ones can smaller companies employ to their advantage? Find out which promotions, events and sales techniques you can "borrow" from the big guys to compete today.

This workshop is for the established retailer who needs inside information to survive and thrive in today's market. This is an important seminar for all retailers who want to improve their business. Learn the key difference between customer service and customer relations, discover how to effectively handle promotions and sales, get tips on finding sale indicators, and learn exactly when it's best to houseclean departments.

Retailers of all sizes interested in improving their business will find valuable information, tips and techniques in this session.

Speaker: Mercedes R. Gonzalez
Mercedes R. Gonzalez is the director of the Global Purchasing Companies, a full service buying office that plans and implements retail strategies with specialties in new store planning and streamlining established businesses.

Mercedes has been a buyer in the garment industry since 1988. She worked as a buyer for Frederick Atkins, where she participated in private label for stores such as Dillard's and Harvey Nickels of England. A later stint at Gonzalez Padin in Puerto Rico deepened her passion for international trade, and in the last 17 years she's helped to open or restructure hundreds of stores in the U.S. and abroad, including the first Sears store in Panama. Mercedes started Global Purchasing in 1998, and has written numerous articles for trade magazines and has appeared on Fine Living Television and the television show Project Runway. She has been an adjunct professor for NYU's continuing education program.


WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 2, 2006

TREND BREAKFAST: KEY INSIGHTS INTO TODAY'S FOOTWEAR CONSUMER
Date: Wednesday, August 2, 2006
Time: 7:30am - 8:30am
Fee: $50 (includes breakfast)

Do you know what motivates customers to buy? Do you know how and where they show? Do you know which brands have the most customer loyalty? This program presents research and expert insight into the footwear market from the consumer's point of view--including how shoppers make their purchase decisions and what they think about specific brands.

Back by popular demand, Marshal Cohen brings a new, updated information session that focuses on the key fashion trends that influence footwear sales today.

This session is a must for all footwear retailers and marketers who want to keep abreast of the market and ahead of the competition.

Continental breakfast is included in the price of the session.

Speaker: Marshal Cohen
Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group, brings 28 years of experience in manufacturing, retailing, product development and data analysis to NPD's clients, the fashion market and the media.

Viewed as "the king of the consumer" and the "go-to guy" by the fashion industry and the media, Marshal appears frequently on NBC's "Today Show," and has been seen on ABC's "Good Morning America," "The CBS Morning News," CNN and CNBC. He is the author of a best-selling marketing book, "Why Consumers Do What They Do."

Major publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Business Week and Women's Wear Daily turn to Cohen for cogent commentary about fashion and retail trends. He frequently addresses industry leaders, industry association events and conferences attended by leading CEO's and senior executives.

WSA SHOW STEP-BY-STEP: ORIENTATION FOR BUYERS NEW TO THE WSA SHOW
Date: Wednesday, August 2, 2006
Time: 9:00am - 9:30am
Location: Sands Expo Center
Cost: Free

Learn the ins and outs of navigating the three venues. Find out what tools are available to find what you're looking for while making the show a fun and profitable business experience.

If you have never been to a WSA Show before--or could use some practical guidance---this short session will save you time and energy. Be sure to pre-register.

OPEN-TO-BUY PLANNING
Date: Wednesday, August 2, 2006
Time: 9:30am - 10:30am
Fee: $40

This popular buyer's session details the needs, benefits and workings of the open-to-buy process. Retailers learn how to set up a buying plan to ensure leaner, better-balanced, faster-turning inventory with fewer markdowns and a positive cash flow. Whether your store is new or old, small or large, if you want a technique to improve your bottom line, this is the session you do not want to miss. (This session will be repeated on Thursday, August 3.)

Speaker: Mort Haaz
Mort Haaz has been involved in retailing since 1965 and has owned and operated small and large single stores as well as multiple-unit operations. In 1970 Mort developed an open-to-buy system for his own use and in 1985 began marketing his system to other retailers as The OTB Book. In 1987 he introduced The OTB Book as IBM compatible software. In addition to presenting seminars and consulting with other retailers, Mort writes articles for trade publications and markets and supports The OTB Book software.

MARKETING TO PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT LIKE YOU
Date: Wednesday, August 2, 2006
Time: 11:00am - 12:00pm
Fee: $40

Diversity marketing is the new norm, and this doesn't simply mean racial diversity. Gender, race, age, lifestage, language preference, religion, sexuality and special interests are all ways in which people's differences are recognized.

In this session, learn about the hottest new market segments; which group represents the largest opportunity for your business right now and which group will be your opportunity tomorrow.

Also find out what are the key emotional drivers for important target segments, how to leverage those marketing messages and what major brands and companies are doing to reach new customers with relevance and innovation. Specific strategies and tactics will be discussed for identifying your high-potential prospects and how to reach them effectively.

Speaker: Kelly McDonald
Kelly McDonald is a marketing and advertising expert with 20 years of ad agency experience, on both the General Market and Latino sides of the business. She worked in top positions for several global ad agencies, including Young & Rubicam, TBWA Chiat/Day and Temerlin McClain before making the move to Latino advertising and marketing.

Working with clients such as Toyota, Nissan, Subaru, BlueCross BlueShield, Kimberly-Clark, Bank One, Alltel and Budweiser, Kelly has helped clients grow business by targeting U.S. Latinos strategically and creatively.

Kelly was drawn to the Hispanic culture 20 years ago when she left her home town of Milwaukee and moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico. She began studying the Hispanic culture and collecting Latin American artwork.

TREND LUNCH: COLOR AND TREND DIRECTION FOR SPRING/SUMMER 2007
Date: Wednesday, August 2, 2006
Time: 12:30pm - 1:30pm
Fee: $50 (includes lunch)

Do you have questions about what colors your customers will want to wear in 2007? Trend analyst Carol Meek, owner of Color Portfolio Inc., has the answers. Her focused presentation on upcoming color trends for men's, women's and children's fashion will not only guide you through the right colors to buy for spring and summer, but will also show how trends silhouettes, fabrics and patterns for apparel will influence footwear.

A box lunch is included in the price of the session.

Speaker: Carol Meek
Carol Meek has had over 21 years of experience in the fashion industry. She has an extensive product development and fashion direction background in women's, men's and children's. Carol understands the importance of color and trends for retailers and manufacturers in today's marketplace. She has worked extensively in the European, Asian and South American Markets. Carol is a member of the American Trend and Color Committee, which consists of a group of over 20 industry experts from the international marketplace. Carol is also an invited speaker at many of the industry's trade shows, such as MAGIC, DIRECTIONS and The Apparel Sourcing Show in Guatemala.

Carol is owner and president of Color Portfolio Inc. located in Dallas, Texas. Color Portfolio offers affordable color books and trend information to retailers, manufacturers and allied industries, providing directional and understandable recommendations for successful color, trend and textile merchandising for markets worldwide. Color Portfolio creates personalized design and trend packages for companies with specific market needs.

SALES TEAM SECRETS
Date: Wednesday, August 2, 2006
Time: 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Fee: $40

Finding motivated employees may be the number one challenge for any retailer or department manager. This workshop takes you through the steps needed to find and keep a productive sales staff. Learn where to find them, how to train them and how to keep them, as well as key ways to effectively manage your sales team.

Speaker: Mercedes R. Gonzalez
Mercedes R. Gonzalez is the director of the Global Purchasing Companies, a full service buying office that plans and implements retail strategies with specialties in new store planning and streamlining established businesses.

Mercedes has been a buyer in the garment industry since 1988. She worked as a buyer for Frederick Atkins, where she participated in private label for stores such as Dillard's and Harvey Nickels of England. A later stint at Gonzalez Padin in Puerto Rico deepened her passion for international trade, and in the last 17 years she's helped to open or restructure hundreds of stores in the U.S. and abroad, including the first Sears store in Panama. Mercedes started Global Purchasing in 1998, and has written numerous articles for trade magazines and has appeared on Fine Living Television and the television show Project Runway. She has been an adjunct professor for NYU's continuing education program.


THURSDAY, AUGUST 3, 2006

OPEN-TO-BUY PLANNING
Date: Thursday, August 3, 2006
Time: 9:30am - 10:30am
Fee: $40

This popular buyer's session details the needs, benefits and workings of the open-to-buy process. Retailers learn how to set up a buying plan to ensure leaner, better-balanced, faster-turning inventory with fewer markdowns and a positive cash flow. Whether your store is new or old, small or large, if you want a technique to improve your bottom line, this is the session you do not want to miss. (This session is a repeat of the Open-To-Buy session on Wednesday, August 2.)

Speaker: Mort Haaz
Mort Haaz has been involved in retailing since 1965 and has owned and operated small and large single stores as well as multiple-unit operations. In 1970 Mort developed an open-to-buy system for his own use and in 1985 began marketing his system to other retailers as The OTB Book. In 1987 he introduced The OTB Book as IBM compatible software. In addition to presenting seminars and consulting with other retailers, Mort writes articles for trade publications and markets and supports The OTB Book software.

VISUAL MERCHANDISING
Date: Thursday, August 3, 2006
Time: 11:00am - 12:00pm
Fee: $40

It's a proven fact that good merchandising increases sales. This seminar will give you tips on the best placement of product, cross merchandising shoes with accessories, and techniques to enhance the appearance and effectiveness of your shoe wall. You'll learn about the importance of color, repetition, balance and height in creating persuasive displays. And, if window displays make you crazy, you'll see new shoe fixtures that can jazz up your presentation.

Speaker: Sharon Leicham
Sharon Leicham is the author of Merchandising Your Way to Success and How to Sell to Women. She is the creator and principal of www.merchandisingHUB.com.

Sharon has served as Trade Marketing Manager and Global Marketing Manager for Specialized Bicycle Components; Director of Merchandising and National Sales Manager for Royal Robbins; Director of Apparel Merchandising for Sierra Designs: and Contributing and Visuals Editor for Outdoor Retailer magazine. She currently contributes a merchandising column for SNEWS and writes for GearTrends magazine.

She has contributed merchandising articles to Outdoor Retailer, Visual Merchandising & Store Design, Bicycle Retailer, Floral Review, Sporting Goods Business, Fly Fishing Retailer, Country Business, Dance Retailer News and Bicycle Dealer Showcase magazines. She is also a speaker at trade shows including Interbike, Outdoor Retailer Expos, Snowsports Industries America, Dance Retailer News Expo, Fly Fishing Retailer World Trade Expo, and Children's Trade Expo.

TREND LUNCH: FASHION TRENDS FOR SPRING/SUMMER 2007
Date: Thursday, August 3, 2006
Time: 12:30pm - 1:30pm
Fee: $50 (includes lunch)

Wondering which fashions will be making a splash in 2007? Nice and natural are the key words to remember for this exciting new season. In this comprehensive overview of what's to come, you'll find out what styles will be important in ready-to-wear as well learn about their impact on footwear trends (look for plenty of patterns and florals adorning shoes and accessories in unexpected places). Don't miss this chance to see visual presentations of what's hot on runways and Europe's most fashion-forward city streets, then discover the key footwear you'll want to stock to stay in touch with consumer demand. This is a fashion forecast no footwear professional will want to do without.

A box lunch is included in the price of the session.

Speaker: Sara Petitt
Sara Petitt is a currently a professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, where she is the fabric styling department coordinator. She is also the Vice President of Design and Merchandising for the Di Seta Corporation and has won the Cotton, Inc. Award for Design Excellence and a Roscoe Commendation for Design Excellence. Over the course of her career she has developed concepts and design ideas for Springs Industries, Croscill Industries, Franco Manufacturing, Gear, Inc., The Bibb Company and J.P. Stevens Inc. In addition to F.I.T., Petitt has taught at the Parsons School of Design, the Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science, New Jersey City University, the School of Visual Arts, and Universidad Ibero Americana.


**You must be confirmed as fully registered for the WSA Show in order to sign-up for conference sessions. Sessions subject to change.**