The Mystery Shopping Providers Association will host the 5th Annual Educational Conference for Mystery Shoppers, July 18 – 20, 2008, in Pittsburgh, PA. There will also be a Gold Certification Workshop on Friday, July 18, 2008, before the conference begins.
If you have been to any of the past years’ conferences, you know why you should be there. There are many top shoppers who have attended all four of the previous conferences. They know that the conference is a great opportunity to learn about the industry and network with other shoppers, as well as schedulers, editors, account managers, executives and company owners from many of the top mystery shopping companies. This year, at least 30 MSPA-member companies are expected to be represented. But if you haven’t been to a Mystery Shopper Educational Conference before, here is what you need to know about what you can get out of attending.
First of all, if you are not already MSPA Gold Certified, you can attend a certification workshop on Friday, July 18, 2008. Although the workshop is not a part of the conference, many shoppers like to combine getting certified with attendance at the shopper conference. Because MSPA has drastically cut the live workshop schedule, this may be your last opportunity to attend an in-person certification in 2008.
The Shopper Educational Conference kicks off at 5 p.m. on Friday, July 18, 2008, with a welcome reception and exhibits. There will be representatives there from many of your favorite mystery shopping companies, as well as some you may not know. Some schedulers, editors and others will be at tables, while other company representatives will be mixing and mingling as they circulate through the room. It is a great chance to put faces with the names of the people with whom you work, and the companies enjoy meeting the shoppers for the same reason. The reception includes food, and it is always a fun evening of networking. If you are local or attending the Gold Certification Workshop, and can’t stay for the whole conference, you may purchase a ticket for only the reception.
Some of the sessions this year include Casino and Cruise Ship Shopping, How to Score Superior Ratings on your Reports, Smart Shopping: Ways to Increase Your Profits, Video Mystery Shopping, Working with Schedulers, Business Etiquette and Netiquette and more. And you won’t want to miss my Sunday morning session on Scambusting! Stop the Crooks and Protect Yourself, where I will talk about how to keep yourself safe online, as well as how to bust the scammers who prey on mystery shoppers and would-be mystery shoppers.Both Saturday and Sunday start with a continental breakfast, then you can choose which workshops you want to attend. There will be something for everyone, new shoppers and veterans alike.
You will be well-fed on Saturday. In addition to the continental breakfast, there is a luncheon and awards dinner. The entertainment at the dinner will be provided by Robert Priest. The “Theater Of The Mind” show is a skilled blend of mind reading and thoughtful comedy, an act alive with action, laughs, and mental challenges. The entertainers at the dinners are always amazing, and I am sure that this year will not be an exception.
Plan to arrive before the opening reception on Friday evening (or before the Certification Workshop on Friday morning) and stay until the conclusion of the final session at 12:30 on Sunday afternoon. You won’t want to miss a thing! See you in Pittsburgh!