There are many questions that come up repeatedly on www.mysteryshopforum.com that will be compiled in a series of articles here in the Mystery Shopping Magazine. We hope that this will be a convenient resource for you to find the answers you are looking for regarding the tips and techniques and tools used in this business.
“Learning About The IMSC”
FAQ: What is the IMSC? IMSC is the acronym for the Independent Mystery Shopper’s Coalition.
FAQ: What does the IMSC do? The IMSC sums up their purpose as providing “educational conferences across the United States to improve the skill sets of mystery shoppers, merchandisers, and auditors.”
They go on to state that they “utilize the knowledge of the company providers, independent contractors, and the clients themselves to cultivate an environment of professionalism and cooperation amongst all involved parties in our industry.”
FAQ: So what does all that mean? Basically, several times a year, the IMSC hosts conferences in different areas of the country for a multi-day span. The conference has seminars and networking events that are of interest to and of benefit to mystery shoppers interested in developing their businesses and improving their practices.
FAQ: Should I become a member of the IMSC? It’s not necessary to be a member of the IMSC to attend one of their conferences. However, if you are going to attend a conference, you will get $50 off your registration, which covers what you paid for your membership. So as a conference attendee, your IMSC membership costs virtually nothing.
If you’re not going to attend a conference, you would have to decide if the benefits are worthwhile to you.
FAQ: What are the other benefits of becoming an IMSC member? Some of the benefits described by the IMSC include: members only conference calls with speakers from previous events, private members only FaceBook group, be able to vote on the location of upcoming conferences, and priority seating at conferences.
FAQ: How much are the conferences? For early registration for the full three day event, the fee is currently $150. This is for the event itself, and does not include hotel accommodations or meals. However, usually the IMSC works out a group rate with at the hotel at discounted rates.
FAQ: How are these conferences structured? The event kicks off with a networking event which allows the shoppers and representatives from the mystery shopping companies to get to know each other in person.
The following two days will have an itinerary of available seminars. Shoppers can pick or choose on their own which seminars they want to attend.
Following the networking and seminars, shoppers have the opportunity to meet up with other shoppers. Those that have attended conferences in the past have stated that this is the best part, due to the camaraderie and the wealth of information shared, not counting the lasting friendships that are formed.
FAQ: Is it really worth it to my mystery shopping business to attend one of these IMSC conferences? The great majority of shoppers that have attended a conference state that they found their experience at the event paid off in tangible ways to their business. If you are an experienced mystery shopper and want to grow your mystery shopping business, then it may be worth it to consider attending a conference.