UNITE, CBA’s international convention, is where the Christian products industry meets.
The annual convention is designed to encourage the widespread distribution of Christian products and foster unity and cooperation within the worldwide Christian products industry.
- It is the largest gathering of Christian-resource providers, thought leaders, faith leaders, and Christian artists and authors engaged in the production and distribution of Christian resources and related lifestyle materials.
- Retailers, publishers, suppliers, artists, filmmakers and others gather from more than 50 countries.
- The convention began in 1950 in Chicago with 279 retailers and 48 suppliers. Today, it is held in a different U.S. location each year and attracts more than 2,000 participants.
- The event remains in the top 250 U.S. trade shows of more than 6,000 reporting events as ranked by Trade Show News Network in 2016.
- Products represented include Bibles, books, church curriculum/supplies, gifts, lifestyle products and family entertainment such as music, faith- and family-friendly films and other media.
- UNITE serves as a common meeting space for businesses and industry groups, and attendance is far more economical for participants than setting up hundreds of individual meetings with business partners.
- Participants benefit from trainings on topics such as retailing, authorship, marketing and best business practices.
- The convention offers opportunity for international rights and licensing sales for internationally-based companies and those who do business with them.
- Propelled by the theme “Envision the Legacy,” this year’s event will be a time of looking forward and building on a foundation in a way that sets up future leaders to continue building.
Ministry in Action Project
- CBA and UNITE traditionally support a local ministry in the host city as a way for the industry to give back. Since 1998, CBA has given more than $208,000 in cash donations and material donations to ministries in host convention communities.
- In 2017, CBA partners with BLOC (Believing and Living One Christ), an embedded ministry in one of Cincinnati’s toughest areas riddled with gangs, drugs, sex trafficking, homelessness, and domestic violence and abuse. The ministry provides relief, education, job training, and more.
The Christian Resources Industry in the U.S.
- Christian-product providers represent more than $5 billion in sales of books, Bibles, music, lifestyle gift and apparel, family entertainment products (DVDs, music), and church supplies.
- The network of approximately 2,200 Christian stores serves an estimated 14 million active Christian households.
- Christian stores have weathered 67 years of technological, cultural, and economic changes because of their dedication to Christian ministry, family values and faith building.
The Christian Consumer*
- Nearly 70% of the U.S. population self-identifies as Christian.
- Nearly 30% of the population includes active Christians who regularly attend church, engage in Bible study, and volunteer at their churches.
- Christians buy more books than the general population (+3%)
- Faith Driven Consumer estimates 41 million Christians spend $2 trillion annually
* Bowker PubTrack Consumer
The U.S. Church
- The U.S. has about 350,000 churches of all denominations, primarily Protestant, but also Catholic and other faiths.
- The U.S. reports more Christians than any other country in the world, and a large majority of Americans – roughly seven-in-10 – identify with some branch of the Christian faith. ***
- The Evangelical population grew by about 5 million from 2007 to 2014. ***
** Hartford Institute for Religion Research
*** Pew Research: America’s Changing Religious Landscape