High Point Market sets educational seminars

Events start on opening day, April 17
HIGH POINT — High Point Market organizers and the National Home Furnishings Assn. have released the list of educational seminars set for the market, which runs April 17-22.


Unless otherwise noted, seminars will be held in the NHFA Retailer Resource Center on the first floor of Plaza Suites, and there is no charge and no registration necessary to attend.

Saturday, April 17

8:30-9:30 a.m.
Converting Lookers into Buyers
Philip Gutsell, Gutsell & Associates
"I'm just looking!" It's the No. 1 excuse in our industry. Find out how to avoid and overcome it. Gutsell, a 30-year industry expert, will tell how to convert lookers into buyers. Find out how to build rapport with even the most difficult customers. www.gutsell.com.

10-11 a.m.
First Time Visitor Orientation Seminar
Informative session on how to navigate the High Point Market and make the best use of your time with easy tips and suggestions. Q&A and individual help if needed.
High Point Theatre, next to the Transportation Terminal on Commerce Street.

10-11 a.m.
She's Just Not That into Your Offer!
Charles Horich, Jon Parks, Brad Lebow and Chip Hictor, Horich Parks Lebow Advertising
The team for Horich Parks Lebow will show you the offers that are driving traffic in today's tough retail climate. The seminar will share current advertising that's generating sales including television, direct mail, circulars and e-mail marketing. www.hpladv.com.

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Sales and Profits Are Shrinking - What's an Owner to Do?
Tom Zollar and Bob George, Impact Consulting Services
During these tough times, you cannot save your business by just cutting costs. At some point you have to sell more. With traffic counts static or shrinking, you must make sure you maximize the return from every customer coming into your store. Are they the right ones? Do you offer the right product? Is your sales staff treating them well? Learn about the best strategies and programs to make certain all your advertising, merchandising and selling efforts are in line with your target customer's needs. www.impactconsultingservices.com

Noon-1:30 p.m.
Trends with Traction for 2011
Michelle Lamb, co-founder and chairman of Marketing Directions
Today's economy requires a convergence of trend and practicality to stimulate consumer interest and sales. Lamb will share her view of the colors and styles with top appeal for the years ahead. Lamb is the editorial director of Marketing Directions' trade newsletter The Trend Curve, which forecasts trends in color, pattern and design for product designers, manufacturers, interior designers and retailers. She also writes a blog called Connecting the Dots and can be found on Twitter at twitter.com/trendcurve. Box lunch provided.
International Home Furnishings Center, Green Wing, 11th Floor, Ballroom B

1-2 p.m.
PPC + SEM + SEO = $
Sharon Gillis, JGSullivan Interactive
Who has the time to decipher the alphabet soup while trying to increase furniture sales? Learn how to get found on search engines without a huge time investment. Gillis' fast-paced presentation is full of resources to help you with pay-per-click advertising, search engine marketing and search engine optimization. Sponsored by HomeFurnishings.com.

2:30-3:30 p.m.
Vendor Management: Best Practices to Achieve Efficiency and Compliance.
Philip Wolfe, Globe Express Services
As the global business environment becomes ever more complex, it is important to view all business partners as an extension of your company. This fact is exemplified when analyzing the relationship between an importer and its overseas vendors. Problems with vendors - from general inefficiency to a lack of knowledge on U.S. compliance issues - can negatively impact a company's competitiveness in the global market and, ultimately, its bottom line. This presentation will explore issues that often lead to strained vendor relationships and help importers develop strategies to proactively manage the vendor/buyer partnership - turning a potential liability into competitive edge.

4-5 p.m.
"It's Not Working Anymore!" Sales & Operational Strategies for Success in Today's Economy
Ed Borowsky and Martin Roberts, Dovetail Alliance
Prepare to keep pace with a new world order during this dynamic, information-rich seminar. What's Next: Market research informs retail strategy; ad campaigns incorporate new media; consumer behavior redirects selling focus; economic pressures transform lease arrangements, insurance options; video teleconferencing streamlines communications; and much more. Leave this session with a list of action items and resources needed to improve business in 2010 and beyond.

Sunday, April 18

7:30-9 a.m.
WithIt Educational Breakfast - Decades of Design by Mark Hampton
Alexa Hampton, president of Mark Hampton
Alexa Hampton is the creator of a growing collection of licensed home furnishings that bears her name, and is a familiar face from home design television programs. For her, the key to meaningful design is to leave enough emotional room for people to unfold and be normal in, no matter how extraordinary the surroundings. Her interiors are elegant, layered, and literate; her collections, ranging from furniture and lighting to wall and floor coverings, are deftly mixed and often historically based. Sponsored by WithIt and IHFC. Breakfast and seminar are free. Reservations are required by e-mailing hallred@ihfc.com or at www.withit.org.
IHFC Green Wing, 11th Floor, Ballroom A

8:30-9:30 a.m.
The Outlook for the Furniture Industry
Jerry Epperson, Jr., Mann, Armistead & Epperson
Using the latest statistics and proprietary research and forecasts, furniture research specialist Epperson will define where the industry stands and our expectations for the future.

10-11 a.m.
First Time Visitor Orientation Seminar
Informative session on how to navigate the High Point Market and make the best use of your time with easy tips and suggestions. Q&A and individual help if needed.
High Point Theatre, next to the Transportation Terminal on Commerce Street

10-11 a.m.
Foresight is 20/20: Top Technology Trends to Maximize Your Retail Business
Steve Muench, Storis Management Systems
Break free from your comfort zone and learn ways to embrace retail technology to grow your business and stay competitive. This seminar will guide you through the top technology trends of the next generation. Learn how to utilize these tricks of the trade to maximize your business.

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Color Confidential: Secrets from an Industry Expert on Using Color to Engage Customers
Kate Smith, Sensational Color
Everyone loves to be in the know about color trends, especially when buying for the home, but having the right color in your product assortment is only one way to catch your customer's eye. Smith will share her strategies for using color trends as a springboard for generating sales and engaging employees, along with tips for putting these ideas to work in your business. Sponsored by WithIt and IHFC. www.sensationalcolor.com.

Noon-2 p.m.
Staying True to Your Brand while Evolving in Today's Market
Rachel Ashwell
For more than 20 years, the name Rachel Ashwell has been synonymous with Shabby Chic, a brand that marries English elegance and a California casual vibe. Ashwell's vision and love of vintage styling quickly struck a chord with her customers who have found her approach to design both reassuring and achievable. She has a series of books, an exclusive partnership with Target stores, several features in national home and lifestyle publications and formerly hosted the "Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic" television show. There are three Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture stores in Santa Monica, Calif., New York and London. Sponsored by IHFC and IFDA, Carolinas Chapter. $20 includes lunch. Advance registration recommended. Reservation is secured upon receipt of payment. Mail check to: IHFC, Attn: Holly Allred, P.O. Box 828, High Point, N.C. 27261. E-mail hallred@ihfc.com to request a credit card authorization form.
IHFC Green Wing, 11th Floor, Ballroom B

1-2 p.m.
How to Succeed with Social Marketing without Wasting Time
Sharon Gillis, JGSullivan Interactive
Without a plan of action you could waste your valuable time engaging in online conversations without ever learning what works and what doesn't. Attend this seminar and learn how to determine what social marketing activities are worthy of your time and how you can achieve your store's marketing goals. Sponsored by HomeFurnishings.com.

2:30-3:30 p.m.
Growing Great Talent
Phyllis Zaepfel, Profitgroups
Searching for, finding, cultivating and retaining extraordinary employees who love what they do and excel at their jobs can be a challenge. Join us for this seminar where you will learn best practices in recruiting and hiring the right people for the right job. We will examine training methods to grow, mature, nurture and ripen your staff. You'll discover what is needed to retain them so your best employees will not want to look for greener pastures. www.profitsystems.net.

4-5 p.m.
Customers' Buying Behaviors Have Changed. Have You?
Joe Milevsky, JRM Sales and Management
Does your sales floor create obstacles for your salespeople? How do you assess your salespeople's performance? Are you able to help your salespeople develop their skill sets? Do they consistently maximize opportunities selling warranties, etc? This seminar focuses on positioning your company to maximize the potential of every customer that calls or visits your store. www.jrmsales-mgmt.com.

Monday, April 19

8:30-9:30 a.m.
How to Create a Newsworthy Retail Event around the Subject of Sustainability
Leslie Newby, Brand Communications
Based on the successful fall 2009 event at Room & Board's flagship store, "Experience Soy Style: Be in the KnOH," Leslie Newby, principal of Brand Communications, the agency of record for Cargill BiOH Polyols, will provide a primer for creating conversations with shoppers around the subject of sustainable furnishings through community involvement, local media and social networking. Strategically planned events can draw attention to your store, foster long-term good will and drive retail traffic. Attendees will walk away with useful materials and tips for generating new excitement in stores. www.experiencebioh.com.

10-11 a.m.
First Time Visitor Orientation Seminar
Informative session on how to navigate the High Point Market and make the best use of your time with easy tips and suggestions. Q&A and individual help if needed.
High Point Theatre, Next to the Transportation Terminal on Commerce Street

10-11 a.m.
Emerging from the Downturn - Are You Ready?
Connie Post, Connie Post Global Media
Attend this seminar and gain creative ideas to jumpstart your business by adding value to the shopping experience. Post will also present new products and trends from the January Cologne and Paris furniture shows. www.conniepost.com.

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
A New Decade of Consumer Financing and How It Benefits You
Scott Friss, Citi Retail Services
Regulatory changes are here, but what are they and how will they impact your business? This session will touch on the Credit Card Act of 2009, Regulation Z, and the role these important changes will play. Friss also will tell why new regulations will place more emphasis on having a strong consumer finance programs. www.citi.com.

Noon-2 p.m.
Divine Design with Candice Olson
Candice Olson, host of TV's "Divine Design with Candice Olson," continues to make her mark as one of North America's most trusted and gifted interior design and media professionals. Sponsored by IHFC and IFDA, Carolinas Chapter. $20 includes lunch. Advance registration recommended. Reservation is secured upon receipt of payment. Mail check to IHFC, attn: Holly Allred, P.O. Box 828, High Point, N.C. 27261. E-mail hallred@ihfc.com to request a credit card authorization form.
IHFC Green Wing, 11th Floor, Ballroom B

1-2 p.m.
How to Maximize Protection Plan Revenue and Profit
John Rose, Montage Furniture Services
Learn how to increase the contribution of your furniture protection plan program and enjoy significant top and bottom line growth. Discover how to increase FPP revenues up to 7% of total sales; increase your overall profit margin by 67%; identify and implement the elements necessary for success in this category; determine whether the training you get is, or even can be, effective; and evaluate the use of sprays and giveaway products to determine whether they add real value to your FPP program. www.montagefs.com.

2:30-3:30 p.m.
The Myths & Realities about Professional Sales Promotion & Liquidation Companies
Mike Egan, Ron Cooper and Hector Mustafa, Profit Management Promotions
They dominate the classified pages of Furniture/Today. They move more merchandise than most Top 100 retailers. You've heard stories of unbelievable sales volume as well as slick operators and unfulfilled promises. They are the professional sales promotion and liquidation companies. During this seminar, you will learn how promotion companies operate - what services they perform, how companies differ and if they just run GOBs. You will learn if their services benefit your business and you will leave with a good understanding of this behind-the-scenes segment of the furniture business. www.pmpsales.com.

4-5 p.m.
15 Ways to Lower Costs, Increase Sales and Increase Profits in a Tough Economy
John McCloskey, Profitability Consulting Group
2009 was a tough year for the furniture industry, leaving many companies searching for ways to survive. Yet some stores saw increases in sales and profits. Attend this seminar to learn the tricks your competition is using to survive and thrive. www.profitabilityconsulting.com.

6-9 p.m.
WithIt Competitive Intelligence/Trends Forecast
All Market attendees are welcome to join for a discussion of the latest design trends seen this market. Complimentary beverages, beer, wine and appetizers.
Palliser Showroom, 220 Elm, space 400

Tuesday, April 20

8:30-9:30 a.m.
How to Motivate Your Staff - Without Spending a Dime
Jody Seivert, One by One Companies
Do you want to recognize your team for their efforts and contributions, but don't have the budget for cash rewards? Do you value morale boosters but don't know how to create them? At this seminar you will learn the three key concepts to create motivational environments that produce greater results, happy employees and even happier customers. www.onexone.com.

9-10 a.m.
Michael Payne: Designing for the Times - AIDP Breakfast
Payne, the original host and interior designer of HGTV's "Designing For The Sexes," spent 10 years in the computer industry before switching careers and graduating from the UCLA interior design program in 1980. He now has licensing arrangements with companies to design contemporary furniture, bedding, mirrors, lighting, sculptured wall art, architectural elements and rugs. Payne has been on numerous TV and radio programs and has been the featured speaker at national events and is the author of "Let's Ask Michael." Continental breakfast provided. Sponsored by IHFC and Assn. of Interior Design Professionals.
IHFC, 11th Floor, High Point Room.

10-11 a.m.
First Time Visitor Orientation Seminar
Informative session on how to navigate the High Point Market and make the best use of your time with easy tips and suggestions. Q&A and individual help if needed.
High Point Theatre, next to the Transportation Terminal on Commerce Street.

10-11 a.m.
Using Online to Reach "Nonline" Shoppers
Jennifer King, Google Inc.
The game has changed. Consumers increasingly interact with brands in multiple dimensions across multiple channels; online pre-shopping and deep research is the norm for almost all home furnishings purchases. Understanding that consumer behavior is now channel-agnostic is an imperative for retailers, and those who master multichannel marketing have a distinct advantage over those who don't. In short, retailers need to understand how to use digital to generate e-commerce and drive in-store sales. Over the past few years, Google has partnered with retailers to quantify how digital advertising impacts in-store sales. King, the online sales and operations manager from Google's retail team, will discuss key consumer trends and implications for home furnishings retailers. www.google.com.

Noon-1 p.m.
Lunch Seminar with Vicki Payne
Vicki Payne, Cutter Productions
Payne, founder and CEO of Cutters Productions, is driven by style. As the host of two national television series, "For Your Home" and "Glass," she is always on the lookout for the next trend and ways her viewers can incorporate that look into their homes. Payne's stylish and chic ideas are available through her books, television shows, personal appearances and branded products. In 2009, she launched a line of home decor fabrics distributed in partnership with Westminster Fibers. Boxed lunch provided. IHFC, IHFC Green Wing, 11th Floor, Ballroom B

1-2 p.m.
True or False: All Furniture Sales Training Is the Same?
Mark Lacy, The Furniture Training Co.
Training and learning is a science. Lacy, an award-winning designer of training for the home furnishings industry, federal and state agencies, universities and Fortune 500 companies, will debunk the approaches commonly used to train sales associates. Afterwards, watch him demonstrate scientific training techniques proven effective for changing the selling behaviors of salespeople and increasing their furniture sales. www.furnituretrainingcompany.com.

2:30-3:30 p.m.
How to Succeed in This Economy
Joseph Connolly, Lynch Sales
Tough times call for creative thinking and new tactics. It is time to employ a new philosophy to survive in today's economy and help you maintain passion for your business. Learn how to bring customers into your stores and increase your volume, profit and client base. www.lynchsales.com.

Wednesday, April 21

8:30 a.m.-Noon
WithIt Student Mentoring
Please volunteer to mentor a student and introduce them to market. Contact: director@withit.org

9-10 a.m.
Secrets of PR
Jenny Heinzen York, Home Accents Today
Join York, editor in chief of Home Accents Today, and a panel of public relations-savvy retailers as they reveal their secrets for getting maximum coverage in the press by using simple, inexpensive strategies to get your store noticed. Home Accents Today is the market-leading publication for the home accessories and home furnishings business. York has worked with the Furniture/Today family of publications for more than 12 years. Pastries and coffee provided.
IHFC Green Wing, 11th Floor, Ballroom B


More High Point Market April 2010 Coverage

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