How They Stopped Doing That: Closing a Conference Bookstore

By: Karla Taylor

When a conference bookstore program fell victim to changing times, the League of California Cities was forced to write a new chapter in its conference offerings and its staffing. Here's how the organization navigated a smooth transition for members and staff.

The recent history of the League of California Cities' conference bookstore mirrors what's happened to booksellers everywhere. For more than a decade, the traveling bookstore—called CityBooks—was popular with attendees at the league's 14 educational conferences around the state. It was also a reliable source of sales for the league's own books, plus reference books, bestsellers, gift items, and logo merchandise. The league even made shopping a a special attraction at the meeting by giving preregistered attendees coupons worth $10 to $25 to use toward CityBooks purchases. ...