Training continues discussion at CBA’s MarketSquare Europe.
Gerardo Scalante of CLC International recently spoke with Christian MARKET regarding the company’s global mission, opportunities, and challenges, many of which will be addressed at CBA’s MarketSquare Europe event, April 16- 18, 2018 in Budapest, Hungary.
“From [the company’s headquarters in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania], I get to work with the entire CLC family. We have 48 countries around the world where CLC is working. So, there’s enough to keep me busy,” Scalante says.
A native of Uruguay, he has served CLC International for 32 years, initially in his home country before relocating to Panama to take on the role as national director. Prior to assuming the international director position in 2016, Scalante spent more than 12 years serving as the regional director for the Americas and The Caribbean.
CLC, a not-for-profit organization, is an evangelical, interdenominational world mission that was founded in 1941. Any profits are used to grow the ministry.
“We work with bookstores, we publish books, and we do all sorts of things related with books and Christian literature distribution as well. We publish titles around the world. We have publications in 20 countries and 24 languages,” Scalante says.
CLC has over 200 bookstores around the world and provides resources and training. The next training session for international Christian publishers will be held in Budapest in conjunction with CBA’s MarketSquare Europe event.
“Our mission started in 1941, and we want to keep the same passion, the same love, and the same desire to serve God, but we also are aware of the need of being innovative in the way we do things,” Scalante says.
OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES
“I have the blessing to visit different parts of the world. I see the church growing in different areas like Africa, Asia, and Latin America,” Scalante says. “I can see the big opportunities that we have in those areas to grow the ministry”
The challenges he sees relate to technology and how to deal with the new generation and those who don’t read traditional books.
“New generations are considering more digital formats, and we’re trying to be there, to be relevant, to have the materials we need, and at the same time, provide content in other formats. Books are still relevant for many people,” he says.
Slowly, e-books are getting a piece of the market in different areas of the world. Another challenge is customers moving toward doing more business online and not visiting brick-and-mortar shops.
“Somehow, we need to make the bookstores a place of encounter, where people can come in. This is the store for a course or a seminar, this is the store to get in contact with somebody. A place where you can meet people, come in contact with ministry and find resources,” Scalante says.
With CLC’s Digital Project, another challenge is people aren’t able to get online and shop with a credit card in places like Africa or some of the countries in Latin America.
“So, even if people have the devices, they can’t get online and buy things because they don’t have a credit card,” Scalante says.
CONTINUING THE DISCUSSION
These and other global publishing issues will be the topics of discussion and training at CBA’s MarketSquare Europe, conducted in cooperation with CLC International, April 16-18, 2018 in Budapest. The agenda includes two days of rights and licensing sales with a day of training focused on marketing and contracts and a leadership panel session on international publishing issues and trends.
The 2017 event drew more than 60 attendees representing 18 countries. All the CLC countries in Europe that publish will be present once again, with a few additional CLC countries such as Colombia and Korea.
To learn more about the 2018 event, visit cbaonline.org/marketsquare-europe/.