This was really the first day of the show and even though I got here two days early, the staff of the Christian Booksellers Association had already been here for a week getting everything ready. The fixtures for the show are huge and they actually drive them out in a semi. I’m sure that some of you are saying “What else would they do, ship them Fedex?” Okay, but I never gave it any thought before.

(Half of) the entrance to the ICRS exhibit floor

At the ribbon cutting ceremony they had an opening prayer by one of the board members and then a short performance by the Irish Band Rend Collective Experiment. Here’s a video of one of their songs at the ribbon cutting:

Executive Director Curtis Riskey welcoming everyone to the show

Chairman George Thomson cutting the ribbon

At the ribbon cutting Curtis Riskey said that the attendees had raised several thousand dollars for a local charity that helps poor children. They also purchased material to fill 300 backpacks with school supplies for the kids. They asked the attendees to take time during the show to fill backpacks.

Backpack project for Orlando Children’s Church

The show floor looked better once the setup was finished.

ICRS Show Floor – this is actually a smaller exhibit area then in the past

The non-Catholic market has been ahead of the Catholic market technologically for a very long time. It’s probably because the Protestants are still sore about the Catholics publishing an English New Testament (The Rheims version in 1582) 19 years before the King James version was completed. They decided that the Catholics would never beat them again. Proof? This conference actually has an app and a QR code for download.

ICRS App – Catholics will follow suite in about ten years

I wandered the show floor for about an hour which let me see about one-third of the exhibit. Even though this show is smaller than some past ones, it still is a huge show. A couple of things I saw on the show floor caught my attention. First, was a solar-powered audio Bible.

The Solar Audio Bible, for those times when you are trapped on a desert island.

The other thing I saw was something I had first seen at the same show in Denver several years ago. I really had hoped it had died off but I guess it is actually gaining traction. I present to you…the host shooter.

Host shooters - now in three colors!

Host shooters – now in three colors!

This is actually a plastic, gold or silver plated dispenser for hosts for those who are paranoid about spreading germs. You hold it like a salad shooter, pull the handle on the back and it dispenses a host out of the bottom. When I first saw these four years ago I thought that they needed to be in a vampire movie where our heroes would use them to take down vampires that were invading their church. The company also sells hosts that are infused with wine to make receiving communion even more efficient.

In the afternoon I gave my first presentation:

The feedback was good both from the Catholic and non-Catholic stores that attended. We even had a store from Nigeria attending.

For dinner Johanna, the head of Image books, treated me to dinner at Capriccio’s, the hotel restaurant which serves very good steak. I’ll be interviewing her today about the return of Image Books and plans they have going forward.

Final thing for the day. The bathroom mirror has a strange light ring in it:

The weird thing about this is that when you look in the mirror you end up looking like this:



The company said that one Catholic church is using them.


_Please_ tell me these "Host Shooter" things are not used by Catholic Churches.


Ducks? BTW--these security questions are getting hard!

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I’m at the International Christian Retail Show (Day 2)

After spending a good part of yesterday walking through empty conference buildings, today went much better.  I was able haul...