The Book Industry Charitable Foundation has announced today that they will provide two $750 scholarships to comic book stores and their employees to participate in the Diamond Summit in Baltimore, Maryland on October 26th and 27th, 2022. The funds may be used for travel, replacement wages, and lodging.
The Diamond Summit, which will be held before the Baltimore Comic Con at the end of October, gives comic book retailers the opportunity to beet comic bok publishers and creators, including presentations, promotional items, and networking opportunities. Often the promotional giveaways can be sold to cover the expenses of the trip, but this will make it a lot easier.
"We are enthralling that Binc recognizes such value in our programming and the summit''s networking opportunities that they are assisting individuals who might otherwise not attend," Diamond said on the new scholarship. "The continuous support of the comic industry and our retail partners is unmatched."
Pam French, Binc''s executive director, said: "We are proud to offer this new professional development scholarship to comic shops and their employees to participate in the Diamond Summit. Through this scholarship, more retailers will have the opportunity to participate, gaining valuable learning and networking opportunities."
Judey Kalchik, Binc''s communication and project manager, is eager to participate in this year''s summit. Kalchik encourages everyone to stop by Binc''s table to say hello, ask questions about emergency assistance and scholarships, and provide Binc with suggestions and feedback. Binc is always looking to hear from comic shop owners and employees.
Applications for a scholarship to the Summit must meet the following criteria:
- The applicant''''s store must be in the U.S. and either a retail bricks-and-mortar store owned by an entity a substantial portion of whose revenue is derived from the bricks-and-mortar sale of books/comics, -or- a mobile or pop-up store with an ongoing overhead investment that is open to the general public and maintains an annual average of 30 hours per week with an employee present.
- The applicant must be a regular part-time or full-time employee or owner of a comic shop.
- Applicants must be currently employed and have 90 days of continuous employment with the comic shop.
- Comic store owners and their employees can apply for a scholarship here.
Applications for the 2022 Retail Best Practices Award (BPAs) and the Dave Hawksworth Memorial Comic Shop Improvement Award have been open since October 3.
The Diamond BPAs seek to identify and honor comic book specialty stores that demonstrate "best practices" in their stores, thus providing their customers and communities with a consistent enjoyable shopping experience. The following are the categories for the 2022 Diamond BPAs:
- Best Kids / All Ages Section
- Best Interior Signage
- Best Toys / Collectibles Section
- Best Community Involvement
For the approval of a Diamond BPA, retailers must complete the online submission form on Saturday, September 30, with a written statement (no more than 500 words) explaining why your store is worthy of the award, along with any supporting photographs. All submissions will be made available to retailers for voting. Winners will be announced during the Summit and each will receive a engraved plaque.
Diamond''s late Outside Sales Manager, Dave Hawksworth, served as an Outside Sales Manager for thousands of comic book shops during his 20-plus years at Diamond, collaborating with each retailer and helping them grow their business. Now, an annual award in his name will honor the legacy of the comic shop owner.
Owners of comic shops interested in applying for the award should complete the sentence by completing the following: "I''d expect my customers to receive a $5,000 offer to enhance my business."
The Dave Hawksworth Memorial Comic Shop Improvement Award is open to brick-and-mortar stores around the world. Retailers are encouraged to provide additional information, such as a complete explanation, pictures, videos, or other media that would further enhance their store. The following forms are available for submission on Saturday, September 30, 2017. Diamond''s 2022 Retailer Summit will also feature a panel of experts.
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