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The 2018 Upper Deck Certified Diamond Dealer Conference in Orlando, Florida was a first-class affair and shops in attendance left buzzing about the event. The majority of shop owners left feeling invigorated, energized and ready to head back to implement what they learned in their own shops.
The event started off with a memorable welcome reception where sports agent J.B. Bernstein (inspiration for the movie “Million Dollar Arm”) said a few words before introducing one of his top clients; Barry Sanders. The Hall-of-Fame running back spent time with shops owners and Upper Deck shared a special 2018 Goodwin Champions preview hard-signed autograph with guests in attendance.
Later on in the evening and even into the morning, Upper Deck’s network of Authorized Group Breakers were breaking boxes live at the event from an exclusive breaker suite. Upper Deck staff would pop in on breaks while also sharing some special bonus items for the collectors involved.
Keynote addresses from Upper Deck’s president Jason Masherah, J.B. Bernstein and Marvel Entertainment left attendees enlightened, motivated and inspired.
Educational sessions followed before guests were treated to a special surprise appearance by the Stanley Cup. Over lunch, Dave McCarthy, Vice President of Consumer Products Marketing for the NHL® and Marty McQuaig, Retail Licensing Manager at the NHLPA, shared a variety of exciting insights with attendees.
Throughout the event attendees were able to purchase a special version of Upper Deck Authenticated’s Monumental multi-sport product. There were some incredible items pulled from the product and some shops even brought the product back to share with collectors in their shop.
One shop owner shipped his Monumental box back to the shop and shared the incredible contents with customers there.
Many shop owners loved the opportunity to check out the Upper Deck Authenticated Showroom where they could check out a huge display of new products first-hand, personally meet with the sales team and place orders.
Also popular after the Marvel keynote was the Upper Deck Entertainment Gaming Lounge where dealers could try out new games and find out more about organized play programs.
Upper Deck brought in a social media consultant to work with one of their Certified Diamond Dealers to improve their social media efforts. That afternoon she presented the results in the form of a case study and attendees were blown away with what they saw. Attendees left with a ton of new ideas and their very own social media toolkit that included tips for beginners, intermediate users and experts. Certified Diamond Dealers were excited to know they could use Upper Deck co-op funds to bring in a social media consultant to help them improve and expand their presence online.
That evening the Upper Deck Certified Diamond Dealer Conference took over Planet Hollywood and the Stanley Cup was back in attendance. Also in attendance was a gentleman who had hoisted the Cup four times; Upper Deck spokesman Patrick Roy.
Upper Deck brought in all the shops from Quebec to get some extra time with Patrick which provided some great memories for these dealers who do so much to promote the collectibles category.
After the event it was incredible to see Roy back at the hotel hanging out with Upper Deck CDD’s and opening packs to share with them.
The final day of the event started off with a keynote from the Executive Director of the NHLPA; Don Fehr. The insight and stories shared by this historic figure in our industry had the audience glued to their seats.
Upper Deck’s Vice President of Sales hosted a panel with three shops showcasing how they used Upper Deck’s exclusive co-op funds to improve and grow their businesses. Their stories and results were nothing short of incredible, and an inspiration to stores in attendance.
Upper Deck’s Chris Carlin awarded two retailers with the annual Steve James Award. Congratulations to Dan Alsford and Jimmy Surmas from Out of the Box on receiving this award for becoming one of Upper Deck’s top Canadian shops. In the USA, Wayne Bailey of Three Stars Sports Cards was recognized with the American version of the award.
The venue Upper Deck selected was second to none making for some magical moments.
Guests were appreciative and excited for some stellar prizing offered during the show, including the final gift; 2018 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions Black Preview boxes.
Attendees flocked to social media to share their experiences at the event. To see what people were saying, check out the hashtag #cddconference on social media channels like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
When many shop owners returned home, they were greeted by a package of new marketing materials from Upper Deck as part of our Certified Diamond Dealer mailing program and as a great follow up to a productive few days in Florida.
The last day of the show Upper Deck announced a special pre-registration offer for the 2019 Upper Deck Certified Diamond Dealer Conference in Anaheim, California from January 8-10. Over half the attendees registered that day. For those who were unable to attend, Upper Deck is extending a $100 off registration offer for Certified Diamond Dealers who register before January 31, 2018. One attendee said, “Last year was incredible, and it was twice as good this year. I don’t know how Upper Deck can top this for 2019?” Register today to see how!