BioGuard Platinum dealers will have a new education opportunity to learn to better compete in the current retail landscape.

The Lawrenceville, Ga.-based chemical manufacturer is holding the inaugural BioGuard Leadership Conference Jan. 5-8 in Atlanta.

It’s a new approach for BioGuard, which previously offered an Enrichment Conference, with half days of education in the morning and leisure activities with networking in the afternoon. “The genesis of it was our dealers requesting that we step up from an education perspective,” said Joe DeFuria, brand manager for BioGuard.

Sessions include presentations by BioGuard officials presenting brand strategy, plus exploring showroom presentation.

Education also will focus on case studies of brick and mortar companies that are successfully competing with big box stores and Internet retailers. Jeff Koenig, owner of Big Poppi’s Bicycle Co. based in Manhattan, Kan., will give dealers examples of how his bike shop competes. Speaker Mike Consentino, owner of the seven-store chain Big Peach Running Co. based in Atlanta, will talk about the strategic shift needed to become the go-to specialty store.

“The primary take away [from the event] is that they can not only survive but thrive in the current landscape,” DeFuria said.

Though neither business owner is in the pool industry, their success at specialty retailing will offer ideas for dealers because Koeing and Consentino have found ways to be successful despite market pressures.

“We feel it relates to our industry because of the competition our dealers face,” DeFuria said.

Marcus Lemonis will serve as the keynote speaker. The host of CNBC’s series “The Profit” works and invests in locally owned business and will talk about ways dealers can improve customer experience.

It’s not going to be all education, though. BioGuard will host a Dine-Around in Atlanta, where attendees will break into smaller groups to eat at some of the top restaurants in the city.

BioGuard anticipates about 200 dealers will participate in the conference, with about 400-500 attendees. Registration is open for Platinum dealers only.