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Always Something to Learn with TNNA

Posted By Gwen Bortner, Friday, February 12, 2016

“There is always something to learn.”

Gwen BortnerThat was my statement to an industry friend at a recent event. We were talking about TNNA education. And as I find too often, she held a number of misconceptions about the education programs offered by TNNA:

  • There are very few business classes (if any). 
  • Business classes are focused only on those new to business and/or our industry.
  • If you aren’t a retailer, there is no value in the classes TNNA offers.


OK…That even felt rude as I typed it, but that is what I always want to say when confronted by these statements.

Instead I usually try to politely set the record straight. There have been times when each one and possibly all of the above statements were true, but that has not been the case for many years. Education is one of the areas where TNNA has probably seen the most changes in recent years.

Look at any TNNA Trade Show class schedule and you will see a huge number of business classes, including the all-day event, Building Better Business. New for 2016, TNNA will also be offering webinars (all business-focused) throughout the year.

When reviewing the list of business classes offered, you will find a wide assortment of options both in the realm of topic and experience level. Keep in mind that experience really is relative. Just because someone has owned a successful shop for years, doesn’t mean they are also an expert on maximizing their web presence.

Because the Education Committee is headed up by the Retail Council and the majority of students at the trade show events are retailers, there is definitely a bias in class subjects toward retailers. But there are always several classes focused toward the Business and Creative Services sector (all the folks who don’t fall squarely into either the wholesaler or retailer category). In addition, some classes are just about general business practices. So regardless of your business details, the information still applies.

After teaching business classes for TNNA for over 10 years and getting feedback from hundreds of students, I can assure you that regardless of your business model, your experience level, or your area of interest, if you are truly interested in increasing your knowledge, THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING TO LEARN!

Give TNNA education a try. You might be surprised what you learn.

Gwen Bortner teaching at TNNA San Diego  

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