Agenda

All events, sessions and speakers are tentative and subject to change
Friday, June 16  
5:00 pm - 6:25 pm MSPA-U: QSR & Casual Dining - $25
Adrienne Dobson, Customer Impact

QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) & Casual Dining shops are possibly some of the most widespread available in the mystery shopping industry. The surveys are generally relatively simple to fill out and do not require a lot of time to complete, which can make them popular with both route shoppers and those who just mystery shop occasionally. That said, somewhat intricate timings may be involved during the shop itself, and note-taking is still important, to ensure that the survey can be accurate and complete. While these shops often do not require lengthy narratives, it is still important to write clearly, concisely, and objectively to get the required information across. This course will include tips and tricks on how to complete these shops correctly and quickly, helping you maximize your profits.
5:00 pm - 6:25 pm MSPA-U: Banking and Financial Institutions I - $25
Rich Bradley, ath Power Consulting

Financial Institutions, large and small, domestic and international, rely heavily on mystery shoppers to maintain a high level of sales and service standards, as well as to ensure strict governmental compliance. In this course, you will review the basic types of shops which many large-scale and regional/community banks often contract for, as well as the types of skillsets necessary to be successful at these shops, which tend to be some of the most lucrative paying in the industry. You must have completed (or be simultaneously enrolled in) your Core Courses (Intro to Mystery Shopping or the “Silver Course”, Professional Report Writing and Professional Responsibility & Ethics) in order to take this course.
6:30 pm 7:25 pm Mystery Shopping 101 (This session is open to the public for free - contact MSPA Americas headquarters for details at mspa@hqtrs.com)
Mike Mershimer, HS Brands International
Rich Bradley, ath Power Consulting
 
This comprehensive overview of the industry history and current status/opportunities is especially designed for brand new independent contractors and those who may have heard about mystery shopping, but not taken an assignment yet. We will talk about how mystery shopping started, what clients and MSPs have as expectations of mystery shoppers and how to distinguish legitimate companies from scams and frauds. Veteran mystery shoppers are welcome to attend; however most experienced shoppers will likely already have a substantial understanding of the material being presented here.
7:30 pm – 9:30 pm   Opening Night Networking Reception

This Grand Opening Networking Reception will be your chance to get to know your fellow shoppers and dozens of Mystery Shopping Providers (MSPs).  The MSPA Americas Board of Directors and other companies will be in attendance. There is no other place where you can get this much quality face time with the industry’s leaders than at ShopperFest! Don't miss the kick-off to a great weekend!
Saturday, June 17
8:30 am – 9:00 am    Your Association and You
Mike Mershimer, HS Brands International

MSPA Americas President Mike Mershimer shares a power-packed half hour of industry news and member benefit tips in this annual state of the association address. You'll learn about the newest issues and trends in the industry as well as an informative review of MSPA member benefits to make sure that you are taking full advantage of your membership.
9:00 am – 9:40 am Confessions of Schedulers
Marguerite Turner, Elite CX Solutions
Adrienne Dobson, Customer Impact

What is the life of a scheduler really like? Understanding how a scheduler operates — what drives them crazy and what makes them want to rely on you as a go-to shopper — helps you get lots of assignments, including the best ones! Take a peek behind the curtain with Marguerite Andriola Turner, Director of Scheduling for Elite CX Solutions, and Adrienne Dobson, MSPA Americas Secretary and Vice President of Operations for Customer Impact, as they share the ups, downs, smile generators and hair-pulling elements of their scheduling teams during this session.
9:45 am - 10:25 am The Fundamentals of Superior Report Writing
Robin Hansen, Wordsmith Pros

Confused about when to use commas or semicolons? This lively discussion, led by Wordsmith Pros’ Editing Manager Robin Hansen, will include the foundations of successful report writing as well as advanced grammar tools to help you author those five-star reports which will keep assignments flowing your way! 
10:30 am - 11:10 am Route Shopping - Setting a Game Plan
David Hartley, Elite CX Solutions

Have you wondered how to best organize a shopping route, especially for an extended trip? Elite CX CEO, and MSPA Americas board member, David Hartley will break it down in this informative session so that you have a greater understanding of whether route shopping is for you, and if so, how to pull it all together. 
11:15 am – 12:00 pm MSP Roundtable - Whaddya Wanna Know?
Mike Mershimer, HS Brands International
Angela Megasko, Market Viewpoint
Guy Caron, BARE International
Paul Ryan, Secret Shopper
Paul Bell, Intouch Insight
Joe Kromer, MaritzCX

Do you have a question about the mystery shopping industry that's been bugging you and that you want to get a straight answer from the people who know? Each year our highest-rated session, as scored by attendees, is our annual open forum, "MSP Roundtable: Whaddya Wanna Know?", where a group of MSPA Americas Board Members and company owners and executives field questions from conference attendees on any industry topic. This year our all-star panel features: MSPA Americas President and President of HS Brands International, Mike Mershimer; Angela V. Megasko, Owner and President of Market Viewpoint; Guy Caron, Vice President & Managing Director of Bare International; Paul Ryan, Owner and President of Secret Shopper; Cameron Watt, President and CEO of Intouch Insights, Canada's largest mystery shopping firm; and Joe Kromer, Director, Research Services at MaritzCX.
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm Lunch with the MSPs / Shoppers' Choice Awards

One of the things that makes ShopperFest such a special gathering is the open access to MSP owners, executives and the MSPA Americas board throughout the weekend. A tradition from the start, "Lunch with the MSPs" is an opportunity to have round table, personal discussions with an MSP representative over lunch (which is INCLUDED as part of your registration fee). Also at this luncheon is the announcement of the 2017 Shoppers' Choice Awards recognizing your favorite MSP companies! 
1:30 pm – 2:10 pm
New Shopper Track
Setting Yourself up in Business
Mike Mershimer, HS Brands International

MSPA Americas President, and President of HS Brands International, Mike Mershimer, will tackle the basic issues of getting your mystery shopping business properly structured for success and optimal profitability (yes, if you are a mystery shopper, you are the sole proprietor of your own little mystery shopping business! Congratulations!!). If you are new to the business, or have only been shopping for a year or two, this is an important session to attend.
1:30 pm – 2:10 pm
Veteran Shopper Track
Must Have Apps and Websites for Serious Shoppers
Adrienne Dobson, Customer Impact

This is a must-see session that will simplify and enhance your shopping experience. MSPA Board Secretary Adrienne Dobson of Customer Impact will lead a conversation on "Must Have Apps and Websites for the Serious Shopper"! Get out your smart phones and tablets and prepare to download on the spot as Adrienne shares her list of go-to apps and websites that you'll want to make sure you have at your fingertips.
2:20 pm - 3:00 pm
New Shopper Track
Marketing Yourself to MSPs - How to Stand Out (in a good way!)
Angela Megasko, Market Viewpoint

You want to be that go-to shopper that stands out to your scheduler (and gets the better assignments...particularly the ones that NEVER GET POSTED!), right? So how do you tee yourself up to be that top-of-mind shopper? Market Viewpoint CEO & Founder, and MSPA Americas board member, Angela V. Megasko, will layout a blueprint in this session for becoming that person that your scheduler keeps at their fingertips for the best assignments!
2:20 pm - 3:00 pm
Veteran Shopper Track
MSP Roundtable: Help Wanted - Editors and Proofreaders
Laurie Irwin, Wordsmith Pros

Jason Bare, BARE International

Often shoppers who really enjoy mystery shopping will ask how they can join an MSP as an editor. The job of an editor is both interesting and demanding. They provide a vital link between the shopper and the client, learning many nuances about shops and business practices; but it's also a profession of perfection. This year at ShopperFest 2017 you'll learn more about the life of an editor, and for those interested in working towards an editing gig, what steps to take to prepare yourself to be an awesome candidate for consideration. Wordsmith Pros President Laurie Irwin, and Jason Bare, Global Business Development Manager of Bare International, will explore the paths leading to this fascinating and rewarding vocation.
3:10 pm – 3:50 pm
New Shopper Track
Getting the Most out of Your MSPA IC Member Benefits
Doug Rector, Northwest Loss Prevention Consultant
Lety Gonzalez, QSI Specialists

Did you save $50 on this conference’s registration? Have you been saving big bucks on your included Abenity membership? Was your vote counted in today’s Shoppers’ Choice Awards? Are you tied in to the on-going dialogues on the member exclusive Facebook page, where you can get answers from experienced shoppers, MSP owners and executives and MSPA Americas board members and staff? If you find yourself with a blank look on your face after hearing about any of these benefits, then you’ll want to join Northwest Loss Prevention Consultants President Doug Rector and MSPA Board Member Lety Gonzalez, Vice President at Global Intelligence Network/ QSI Specialists for a comprehensive look at all your benefits as an MSPA IC member!
3:10 pm – 3:50 pm
Veteran Shopper Track
Making Bank on Banking Shops
Rich Bradley, ath Power Consulting

Often shoppers are looking for the best paying opportunities. Usually the more complex the shop, the better the chance the client will pay more to the MSP to compensate the shopper. Such is usually the case in banking and financial institutions. While these shops can take longer and are sometimes more involved than other types of shops, quite often the rewards are much greater. Rich Bradley, COO of ath Power Consulting, Immediate Past President of MSPA Americas and Chairman of MSPA Global offers an in-depth look at some of the most lucrative-paying shops in the industry.
4:00 pm - 4:40 pm Merchandising: More Opportunities for ICs
Sam Hersey, The Consumer Insight

Many mystery shoppers also pick up merchandising projects as well, as there are some similar elements to the two trades. Here is your chance to learn more about the merchandising industry and see if it's for you: Sam Hersey, Co-Founder and General Manager of The Consumer Insight will give you an overview of the merchandising world in our 2017 closing session so you can determine if there might be a plan-o-gram in your near future!
4:45 pm – 5:15 pm Closing Remarks
Rich Bradley, ath Power Consulting
5:15 pm – 6:00 pm Open Networking
6:00 pm – 9:30 pm Optional Activity: Gatorland BBQ - $75 registration fee required*

Gatorland is one of Central Florida's classic attractions, and provides a unique and natural alternative to the larger theme parks of today. Founded by the late Owen Godwin in 1949, and still privately owned by his family today, Gatorland is a 110-acre theme park and wildlife preserve, combining "Old Florida" charm with exciting, new exhibits and entertainment.
 
Your Gator Night Shine adventure takes you deep into the domain of Florida's most famous reptile, the alligator! Armed with only a flashlight and a few hot dogs, you bravely make your way along the winding wooden walkways of Gatorland's Alligator Breeding Marsh. The sounds of the night come alive around you as the rustle of feathers overhead and the splashing of water nearby signal that you are not alone. Turning your flashlight towards the water, you suddenly become aware of hundreds of hungry, glowing, red eyes slowly making their way closer… it's now your turn to experience the "Real Florida." A fun and educational tour for kids of all ages, Gatorland's Gator Night Shine Tour is one swamp stompin' adventure you don't want to miss!
 
Your experience at Gatorland will include “up close encounters” with two animals which could include a hatchling or photo-sized gator, birds, iguanas, scorpions, tarantulas or others.


*Registration fee includes transportation, admission to Gatorland and barbecue dinner.
 Sunday, June 18
MSPA Americas University Certification Courses

9:00 am – 12:00 pm 
Session One (Brands Standards Auditing, QSR & Casual Dining, Professional Responsibility & Ethics, or Video Shopping I ), Session Two (Fine Dining, Professional Report Writing or Video Shopping II) 

MSPA Americas University develops general and specific curriculum in order to strengthen our industry shopper pool. It is completely voluntary, but does become a part of our MSPA record for providers to see who has taken certifications. It is the association’s intention to offer in-person certification at least once a year, while developing on-line versions and exploring the cost/benefits of additional on-site seminars throughout the year.
9:00 am – 10:25 am
Session One
Brands Standards Auditing On-Site Certification - $25

Have you completed a “reveal shop” before, where you are secretly testing an employee and then needed to reveal that you were shopping him or her? Well brand auditing is somewhat similar, except you will announce upfront that you are there to conduct an inspection of the store’s compliance with the mandatory brand standards which the franchisor and/or corporate office are expecting to be in place. This course will give you an overview on the industry, the requirements needed to be a successful auditor, and the paths to find auditing work. You must have completed (or be simultaneously enrolled in) your Core Courses (Intro to Mystery Shopping or the “Silver Course”, Professional Report Writing and Professional Responsibility & Ethics) in order to take this course.
9:00 am – 10:25 am
Session One
QSR & Casual Dining On-Site Certification - $25
(Prerequisite: Introduction to Mystery Shopping AND Professional Responsibility & Ethics AND Professional Industry Writing)

QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) & Casual Dining shops are possibly some of the most widespread available in the mystery shopping industry. The surveys are generally relatively simple to fill out and do not require a lot of time to complete, which can make them popular with both route shoppers and those who just mystery shop occasionally. That said, somewhat intricate timings may be involved during the shop itself, and note-taking is still important, to ensure that the survey can be accurate and complete. While these shops often do not require lengthy narratives, it is still important to write clearly, concisely, and objectively to get the required information across.  This course will include tips and tricks on how to complete these shops correctly and quickly, helping you maximize your profits.
9:00 am – 10:25 am
Session One
Professional Responsibility & Ethics On-Site Certification - $25

Serious independent contractors who complete mystery shopping realize that the final output of their work product can impact many people…from themselves to the workers at the mystery shopping provider companies…to the lives of the employees of the ultimate clients, themselves. Being a model representative for the industry involves being set up properly in business, knowing the legal and industry accepted standards in place, and having a clear sense of the ethics expected by all. This course is a comprehensive review of all these factors. Students must pass an exam to be certified in Professional Responsibility and Ethics. This course is an MSPA Americas Common Core Course, and certification in this course is required before taking MSPA Americas advanced courses (Video Shopping I & Video Shopping II are exempt from this requirement). 
9:00 am – 10:25 am
Session One
Video Shopping I – On Site Certification - $50

More industries and MSP companies are requesting and embracing hidden video shopping. There are logistics and legalities to be aware of to both protect your own interests and to help you provide the best possible video shop results that you can, and thereby earn you more work at some of the industry’s highest pay rates.

MSPA Americas Video Shopping-I covers the basics of conducting hidden video mystery shops, particularly in the industries of new homes, multi-family (apartment) homes, automotive and education. You’ll learn about client expectations, camera positioning, common errors and the laws surrounding the recording and use of hidden video. Passage of a written exam is required to become certified.
10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Session Two
Fine Dining On-Site Certification - $25
(Prerequisite: Introduction to Mystery Shopping AND Professional Responsibility & Ethics AND 
Professional Industry Writing)

In general, only the most experienced and trustworthy independent contractors are chosen to complete Fine Dining mystery shops. Completing a fine dining assignment requires excellent concentration and observation, surreptitious note-taking skills, and the ability to blend in with the clientele of the restaurant. The surveys often require lengthy comments, over multiple sections, and interactions with up to six or seven employees, if not more. Excellent writing skills are a must, including the ability to organize information into concise, sequential narratives. In this course, we will discuss the ins and outs of fine dining assignments and provide advice on the best way to complete them successfully.
10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Session Two
Professional Report Writing On-Site Certification - $25

Well-written and descriptive reports are the keys to a successful mystery shop. This is important for two reasons. Your precise and intentional use of vocabulary helps to convey your exact impression during your shop. Secondly, the use of proper English and grammar cuts down on the time that mystery shopping provider edits and proofreaders have to put into your report once submitted. Those companies are looking to use most frequently the independent contractors who submit the best reports needing the least amount of editing because it breeds confidence in the submission of the report to the client and it saves the MSP money in reduced editing and proofreading time. This is your chance to stand out as a certified Professional Industry Writer by completing this course and passing the corresponding exam. Editors and proofreaders spend the bulk of their time fixing the same typical errors: generic writing, improper choice of vocabulary and inconsistency in writing. Join us for a crash course in attacking these areas and then demonstrate your understanding by passing the course exam for certification in this class. This course is an MSPA Americas Common Core Course, and certification in this course is required before taking MSPA Americas advanced courses (Video Shopping I & Video Shopping II are exempt from this requirement). 
10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Session Two
Video Shopping II – On Site Certification - $50
(Prerequisite: Video Shopping I)


More industries and MSP companies are requesting and embracing hidden video shopping. There are logistics and legalities to be aware of to both protect your own interests and to help you provide the best possible video shop results that you can, and thereby earn you more work at some of the industry’s highest pay rates.

MSPA Americas Video Shopping-II is a practical hands-on lab in which students role play and experiment with hidden video equipment in order to master the use of, and receive feedback on, their demonstrated handling of the equipment. Students must pass another exam to become MSPA Americas Video-II certified.
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm  Certification Awards and Lunch

Break bread (and much more!) with us at our last function of the weekend, as we wrap up our time together with award certificates to shoppers who completed and passed Sunday certification courses and hand out thousands of dollars’ worth of door prizes donated by your favorite MSPs! It’s one last chance to get together and share our ideas and laughs before we head back home.
 
  COUNTING
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MSPA
SHOPPERFEST 2017
 
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