Editor’s note: This interview is all about last year’s IMSC conference in Atlanta Georgia. We’re re-publishing again this year, ahead of the New Orleans conference. It will give you a more clear idea of what these conferences are all about, and what you can expect from them. Be sure to read our other two interviews here, and here.
An interview with Amie 086 about the recent IMSC Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.
What was the most important thing you learned? The most important thing I learned is that face-to-face time with fellow shoppers and MSCs is invaluable if you are interested in adding more depth and knowledge to your mystery shopping career.
I will likely define my mystery shopping success in “Pre-“ and “Post” conference segments. Mystery shopping is one of the few opportunities that I have found where your success is a direct and complete reflection of your dedication and effort.
How did your networking with the MSCs go? The networking with MSCs was mostly very positive. Even though there were fewer companies in attendance than I originally presumed, there were still 2 companies I extensively work with that I did not meet. For the ones I that I did have discussions with, the relationship was absolutely strengthened and I have already noticed quite a difference.
Which presentation did you find most interesting and why? The most interesting presentation was…wait for it….Papa John’s. If you search topics on this company on www.mysteryshopforum.com, you may run far and fast from accepting their assignments due to the overwhelming negative comments regarding the pictures required for their shops.
I recently had 2 shops that were rejected for picture quality. Considering I had dozens of shops that were accepted, I was anything but happy with the suddenly rejected shops.
The presentation gave details on why they are so strict on their pictures, the computer program they use to diagnose the pizza in detail, and the tremendous impact the reports can have on the stores that were shopped. The presentation is currently on the IMSC website at www.imscinfo.com and would be worthwhile to view if you have a similar experience as mine or are hesitant to accept a shop.
What was the most fun part of this experience? Without exception, the experience that was the most fun was the interaction with fellow shoppers. Not only did we share business information and tips, but we also began friendships through light-hearted, and most often, hilarious conversations and adventures outside of the hotel. Although I learned that walking in an unfamiliar city at night was probably not the best idea, our group herded around together and had a wonderful time.
Do you expect your business to grow due to your attendance at this conference and why? Without a doubt, my business will grow due to my attendance. I learned how to fine tune many of the ways I shop to improve efficiency and scheduling, gained new knowledge from several MSC representatives, and the face-to-face time with shoppers and MSC associates is significantly more beneficial than being one of the many shoppers they know only through email communication.
Anything else you’d like to share about the conference? From beginning to end, the conference is packed with speaker lectures, smaller break-out sessions, and networking opportunities. Taking advantage of all activities results in a very long day.
Regrettably, I missed out on a few activities that would have been very beneficial to me if I would have attended them. I overslept and opted out of a couple of sessions. I am still kicking myself for making those choices. If you are dedicated enough to the business to make the time and financial commitment to attend a conference, then you have nothing to lose and much to gain by making every hour of your day worthwhile.
Would you attend another IMSC conference? I will absolutely attend another conference. Many shoppers that I met attend almost every conference offered. All of them said that their business improved as a result of going to each conference they attended. Let’s see…business improves, efficiency increases, and new friendships begin…why in the world would I NOT make every effort to make it to another conference.