Winter Institute is a three day conference featuring speakers, education sessions, author events, and networking opportunities for booksellers, publishers, and other people in the industry. Last year, when I was working at VHOB, I desperately wanted to go - but the store owners couldn't afford to send me and I certainly couldn't justify spending that kind of money on a part-time gig, so I had to miss out. But my boss can't make it this year, and she thinks it would be a great opportunity for me to start getting my name out there (and bringing honor to HB's reputation, I'm sure).
The conference will be in January in Denver, CO. That's really great because I've always wanted to visit the city. I don't know if I'll have time to play tourist, but they're supposed to have a fantastic art museum. But the place I'd really like to visit - and almost certainly will - is the Tattered Cover, a legendary independent bookstore. It is to Denver what Powell's is to Portland and the Strand is to New York City.
Huzzah for professional development!