See the following post - IMSC conference in Las Vegas 11/6 and 11/7 ... Here is one of my posts there.
Networking is so important. It shows the MSP's that you are serious. Being from Canada I was able to talk to companies that have not opened up this area because of a lack of shoppers. However, there are a lot of us up here and we are a huge market. We just needed to know what the companies are looking for, particularly with video. I was able to brainstorm several ideas with companies and will be following up over the next several months.
Each conference also offers courses where you can pick up tips for different types of shops. You can learn from the teachers and your fellow students. Each shopper has their own way of finding shops, organizing and routing. You'll find out about the apps that people are using and ways of role playing that you might not have thought of. You can question people as to different industries and why they like them.
It's also a real motivator. I met new shoppers who were scared to do their first shop and they were inspired by what I am doing. The flip side is that I remembered how scared I was and it made me realize how far I have come in such a short time. It boosts confidence for everyone.
One of the treats of the conferences is that you find out you are not alone. Working incognito by yourself can be isolating. It's a lot of fun to go and be with a bunch of people doing the same thing!
I found the video training better at the IMSC conference but had more time for networking at Shopperfest. Each has their benefits and each involves different companies. I have companies that I deal with at both, as a shopper and a scheduler. My advice is to check the list of companies that belong to both organizations and determine which has more of the companies you want to talk to.
It's a good way to find out why the MSP's do things the way they do. Sometimes I feel like questions on the survey are a little bit, shall we say, crazy? However, there are usually reasons and the feedback between MSP's and shoppers is invaluable. It will make you look at the shops differently and realize how important each question is.
MSPA's Shopperfest June 15-17, 2018 being held in Dallas is the conference for shoppers. It is the only conference run by MSPA, the industry's association. There you can network with company owners, schedulers and editors along with MSPA's Board of Directors. You are welcome to ask questions to the decision makers themselves along with varuious training opportunities and a full day of educational sessions. For more information visit the MSPA web site.
I went to both the conferences last year, one put on by the MSPA and one put on by the IMSC. Both were about equally attended and both were great for networking with the companies.Both have a good set of training sessions and both have advantages as a member. Each sets aside time for shoppers to meet and talk with the company owners, schedulers and editors. I found the video training better at the IMSC conference but had more time for networking at Shopperfest. Each has their benefits and each involves different companies. I have companies that I deal with at both, as a shopper and a scheduler. Some of the companies are members of both associations. My advice is to check the list of companies that belong to both organizations and determine which has more of the companies you want to talk to.