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 Independent Mystery Shoppers' Conference (IMSC) - discussion
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Servanne
Star Contributor

Silver Lake, MN
USA
2430 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2013 :  11:26:11 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
A new blog post was posted on the IMSC website : What is a forum - http://www.imscinfo.com/what-is-a-forum/.

Head to the website and leave us comment!

Servanne
Merrily shopping my way through the Twin Cities, Western Minnesota and beyond...
MSPA Gold Certified since April 2007!
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IMSC
Independent Mystery Shoppers Conference

Las Vegas, NV
USA
330 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2013 :  07:27:58 AM  Visit IMSC's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
This is a great article on LinkedIn:
(You do not need an account to read the article.)

How to Get the Most from a Conference:

https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130221134051-17102372-how-to-get-the-most-from-a-conference?_mSplash=1&sessionid=R_bPdE0AHVmb8fk0rfac

Independent Mystery Shoppers' Coalition
http://imscinfo.com
Email: info@imscinfo.com
424-235-IMSC (4672)
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IMSC
Independent Mystery Shoppers Conference

Las Vegas, NV
USA
330 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2013 :  3:09:56 PM  Visit IMSC's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Now is the time to book airfare for Atlanta! Flights as low as 69.00 each way.
http://www.southwest.com/html/promotions/nationwide-sale.html?hero&RMID=L_130226_CNS_A&RRID=c3dlZXRjYXllbm5lMTk1OUBjb3gubmV0&src=MAILCNSTUES000000130226A

Independent Mystery Shoppers' Coalition
http://imscinfo.com
Email: info@imscinfo.com
424-235-IMSC (4672)
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IMSC
Independent Mystery Shoppers Conference

Las Vegas, NV
USA
330 Posts

Posted - 04/10/2013 :  08:58:57 AM  Visit IMSC's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
We wanted to let you know that we listen to you, we see your posts on the various social media platforms and read the questions you email us. You are our most important customer!

Many of you have asked how we select hotels for the conferences. Although getting rooms at a reasonable rate is important, there are other items we must look at. Here are a few examples and some of the costs associated.

Travel to and from: (We try to find airports that offer inexpensive travel.) Unfortunately Reno is not one of them and there is little we can do about it. We also try to have the conferences at locations where driving to and from is easy for the shoppers to minimize costs and facilitate route shopping.

Hotels charge us between $5000.00 and $15,000.00 for Food and Beverage in order to not be charged unreasonable fees for meeting space.

With that said the food and beverage items are marked up incredibly high. Here are some examples;
Gallon of coffee: $45.00 to $75.00 per gallon
Gallon of juice: $45.00 to $60.00 per gallon
Gallon of hot water for tea: $55.00 per gallon
Pretzels, chips, etc.: $20.00 per pound


AV costs at the hotels are outrageous and although some hotels allow us to bring our own AV or search for competitive pricing, there may be a fee to do so. Here are some examples; (These are average and taken from invoices over the last few years.)

Cordless Microphone: $180.00 per microphone per day
Electrical cords for various uses: $50.00 per cord (Union hotels charge a plug in fee)
Screens: $135.00 to $200.00 per screen, per day
Sound: $50.00 to $250.00 per day

On top of this, we have to pay an average of 22% service charge for all food and beverage and AV services, after tax (Yes we checked and it is the law in all states we have visited.) We pay the sales tax on average of 9% on all services.

We pay an additional fee for breakout rooms, storage and a host of other items that are simply required at a professional conference of this nature.

When we ask you to vote on where to hold the next conference, we have already scoped hundreds of hotels in cities around the country. We select the ones that we feel will be up to your high standards, will accommodate our size and be affordable to continue holding the conferences. We do not want to raise the cost for shoppers to attend, so we must keep our costs in mind when selecting which state we hold the conferences.

We are always open to suggestions. Other than Las Vegas and Reno, we look first at your suggestions. If we do not select the city you suggest, it is a matter of economics, hotel costs, travel cost or lack of meeting space.

The IMSC decided in 2009 not to register as a non profit mostly due to tax restraints and was based solely on our tax consultant’s advice. While we would like to make a profit the truth is that has simply not happened. We would like to see everyone in our industry make a profit, working for free is never a good idea.

We are not a non profit organization. We do not hire outside sources such as a management company that we need to pay. The money brought in is reinvested back into shoppers instead with our "No Shopper Left Behind" program and the education of college students who are in the Market Research Industry.

On a final note, many of you have asked why we hold two conferences in Nevada. Although we may not always hold two in Nevada, we would like to offer an explanation.

Las Vegas is our Conference Home. It is very low cost for travel and hotel rates are great! It is an easy drive for those who live in Southern California, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and Colorado and flights are cheap from most every city. Reno is an 8 hour drive from Las Vegas. It is the other side of the state. Reno is easier for those who live in Northern California, Oregon, Idaho and Washington for shoppers to drive to.

As always, feel free to post your questions and comments or email us at info@imscinfo.com .

Independent Mystery Shoppers' Coalition
http://imscinfo.com
Email: info@imscinfo.com
424-235-IMSC (4672)
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IMSC
Independent Mystery Shoppers Conference

Las Vegas, NV
USA
330 Posts

Posted - 05/04/2013 :  4:56:27 PM  Visit IMSC's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Per Michael D.

If you are coming to Atlanta for the IMSC meeting at the end of May and are flying on Southwest Airlines, check your flights again.

They are running a sale that is as low as $59 each way depending on where you are coming from. I am changing my flights right now(Saturday evening). My prior flight was $163.80, my new flight is $62. If you have a credit you can use the balance of your airfare for up to one year after the date of the original reservation.

This may not save money for everyone, but if you are on Southwest for your flights take a look. It is saving me $100 tonight for checking.

Independent Mystery Shoppers' Coalition
http://imscinfo.com
Email: info@imscinfo.com
424-235-IMSC (4672)
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IMSC
Independent Mystery Shoppers Conference

Las Vegas, NV
USA
330 Posts

Posted - 05/07/2013 :  4:43:12 PM  Visit IMSC's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
We have very exciting news for those attending the Atlanta IMSC Conference. Papa John’s will be in the house and they are having pizza delivered to us during their session on Friday, May 31st. They are going to demonstrate how to do their mystery shopping jobs perfectly. Pizza and education all in one session, it does not get much better than that!

Independent Mystery Shoppers' Coalition
http://imscinfo.com
Email: info@imscinfo.com
424-235-IMSC (4672)
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Joan_in_DE
Member

Newark, DE
USA
48 Posts

Posted - 06/08/2013 :  6:49:28 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Thank you to all of the IMSC Team members for a great conference in Atlanta. While the confidentiality agreement I signed does not permit details, I want to thank you especially for the presentations by the folks from Papa John's and the major MSPs. Those were incredible and provided valuable insights for those of us who attended.

Joan_in_DE
Gold kt5fir, Video Certified
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NickSarro
Member

Pottstown, PA
USA
20 Posts

Posted - 06/08/2013 :  7:28:52 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I agree with Joan - it was a great conference both entertaining and educational (never a dull moment!!) If you have the opportunity - you have to check it out - the networking along is worth the time (not to mention the tax break!!)

'Nick' Sarro
SE Pennsylvania
MSPA Gold
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IMSC
Independent Mystery Shoppers Conference

Las Vegas, NV
USA
330 Posts

Posted - 06/11/2013 :  06:30:15 AM  Visit IMSC's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
If you are flying to Reno or Las Vegas for one of the upcoming conferences, check out the flights at Southwest~They have a big sale taking place.

http://www.southwest.com/html/promotions/click-n-save-sale.html?RMID=L_130611_CNS_A&RRID=c3dlZXRjYXllbm5lMTk1OUBjb3gubmV0&src=MAILCNSTUESWOWPP0130611A

Independent Mystery Shoppers' Coalition
http://imscinfo.com
Email: info@imscinfo.com
424-235-IMSC (4672)
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IMSC
Independent Mystery Shoppers Conference

Las Vegas, NV
USA
330 Posts

Posted - 07/06/2013 :  06:43:19 AM  Visit IMSC's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Those of you who were on the last IMSC member conference call heard about this last week, but since we are getting so many emails with questions, we wanted to offer an update for everyone regarding the dissolution of Undercover Essentials. We would like to thank Carrie for all she has done in the video shopping industry and her support throughout the last few years.

The IMSC will now be working directly with VSN (Video Shopping Network) to provide the video training at most of the upcoming conferences. VSN will decide on the educator for the conferences they attend. Should there be a conference they are unable to attend, the IMSC will utilize the skills of expert, certified video shoppers, approved by VSN to provide the training. The materials used for the training will come directly from the VSN companies as well as material given to us by Debra Buggie, a pioneer of video shopping.

The IMSC was the first to present video training during the 2009 IMSC conference in Las Vegas under the direction of Debra Buggie and we will continue to offer you the education you want and need.

We have listened to your feedback and we will be incorporating that feedback into the new program. For example; the cost will be reduced, making it more affordable for shoppers to attend. The program will be changed to accommodate shoppers based on their needs. We understand everyone learns at a different pace and the new program will offer you more options.

More details will be posted soon, so please be patient as we make this transition.

Independent Mystery Shoppers' Coalition
http://imscinfo.com
Email: info@imscinfo.com
424-235-IMSC (4672)
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ValricoConnie
Star Contributor

FL
USA
1083 Posts

Posted - 07/06/2013 :  6:32:12 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I received a couple of emails from Jeff and Kathy. Is this tied to IMSC and VSN, or not? They are offering video certification six times a year throughout the US.

>>We are proud to announce the creation of VIDEO SHOPPING PROS, the Next Generation in Video Mystery Shopping Training.<<<



>^..^< ::¤Connie¤::¤Gold Certified¤:: >^..^<
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IMSC
Independent Mystery Shoppers Conference

Las Vegas, NV
USA
330 Posts

Posted - 07/06/2013 :  6:54:49 PM  Visit IMSC's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
No, it is separate. The IMSC will only handle the video training at the conferences. Jeff and Kathy will be scheduling their own events and training sessions outside of the conference. However, they will most likely have a table at the conferences.

Independent Mystery Shoppers' Coalition
http://imscinfo.com
Email: info@imscinfo.com
424-235-IMSC (4672)
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IMSC
Independent Mystery Shoppers Conference

Las Vegas, NV
USA
330 Posts

Posted - 07/10/2013 :  06:42:58 AM  Visit IMSC's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Here is the information for the upcoming video training in Las Vegas.
http://www.videoshoppingnetwork.org/imsc_vegas.html

The cost is only $50 if you register before November 1st. ($75 after November 1st).

Your workshop leader, Karen Marsh, has completed over 800 successful video shops and works with all the VSN companies. Upon completion you will become a certified VSN video shopper.

You must be an IMSC attendee in order to attend the workshop and take advantage of this fabulous price. The IMSC will be having a "Hands on Training" after the workshop for $25.00 per person for those who wish to partake.

Request registration for the extra "Hands on Training" by emailing us at info@imscinfo.com as these will be set up by appointment only to ensure we have enough “Hands on Trainers” to accommodate everyone.

Independent Mystery Shoppers' Coalition
http://imscinfo.com
Email: info@imscinfo.com
424-235-IMSC (4672)
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IMSC
Independent Mystery Shoppers Conference

Las Vegas, NV
USA
330 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2014 :  5:04:40 PM  Visit IMSC's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
The IMSC has gone Mobile. You can now sign up via your phone if you wish to stay up to date on what is taking place. The app is free.
http://imscinfo.mobapp.at

Independent Mystery Shoppers' Coalition
http://imscinfo.com
Email: info@imscinfo.com
424-235-IMSC (4672)
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IMSC
Independent Mystery Shoppers Conference

Las Vegas, NV
USA
330 Posts

Posted - 08/16/2014 :  09:04:47 AM  Visit IMSC's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Free Conference Call- Feel free to share!

Join the IMSC on Thursday, August 21st at 7:00 PM EDT when we interview the new MSPA President, Rich Bradley.

Please email your questions for Rich in advance to info@imscinfo.com and they will be asked during the interview.
Conference Dial-in Number: (661) 673-8600
Participant Access Code: 932166#

Independent Mystery Shoppers' Coalition
http://imscinfo.com
Email: info@imscinfo.com
424-235-IMSC (4672)
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