Mega Group reports record attendance at Nashville meeting
Furniture Today Staff -- Furniture Today, September 9, 2011
GERMANTOWN, Tenn. — Retail buying group Mega Group USA said it had record attendance at its national convention in Nashville, Tenn., Aug. 25-28, attracting more than 500 Mega member businesses.
A highlight of the show was a presentation from the Tempur-Pedic Roadshow Experience, which detoured from its national tour to lead an interactive training session on the popular beds and pillows made of the company's proprietary Tempur foam.
Mega USA hosted an evening reception to welcome members and vendors to Nashville, then opened the next morning with a State of the Furniture Industry address by Jerry Honea, the group's chief operating officer, and other industry representatives. Honea said Mega members have made successful moves in the past 12 months.
"Our exclusive Paula Deen Home by Serta Mattress Collection continues to be a winner with consumers," said Honea. "The collection is in over 300 stores and is proving to drive traffic and revenues for our members."
Also helping drive profit for members is the group's Product Protection Plan, officials said.
"Mega's enhanced Product Protection Plan is a key ingredient in helping increase sales and margins," Mallory Parker, director of business services for Mega USA, told the group. "When sales are challenged, the product protection plan needs to be a vital component of the overall business strategy."
Other industry experts participating in the State of the Furniture Industry session were Tom Prato with Bassett Furniture, Joe Hunt of Pure LatexBliss and Sean Bergman of FabricTech.
Later at the show, members learned of the new WebFronts Premium Plus Mattress and Bedding Platform, an online technology platform that will deliver cost-effective marketing for dealers in the category, officials said. Soon after the unveiling, more than 50 members had signed up and officials estimated the number will double over the next few weeks.
In a keynote speech, media marketing expert Jeff Korhan encouraged members to have a robust website, implement search engine marketing, embrace social media strategies such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, consider blogging, utilize YouTube, and adopt email marketing.
"Sixty-five percent of adults that are online use social media," said Korhan. "The 50-plus segment is the fastest growing group. The more robust your social media strategy is, the more traffic you will get to your site, the more people who will visit your store and the more sales you will have."
Mega USA members also shopped 80,000 square feet of floor space in a trade show during the convention, ordering from more than 75 vendors including Bassett Furniture, Southern Motion, Serta, Sealy, Simmons, Tempur-Pedic, Klaussner, Leggett & Platt, Coaster, Pure LatexBliss, Catnapper and England.
Members also spent time learning about an array of business services the buying group offers to help them run their stores. A new one introduced at the show is Mega Web Advertising by NetSertive, an exclusive search marketing and display ad program focused on increasing local sales opportunities and targeted online exposure by providing technology-driven and high-performance strategies.
Convention dates and locations have been set for 2012 - March 17-20 in Orlando, Fla., at the Marriott World Center and Aug. 20-23 in Louisville, Ky., at the Downtown Marriott.
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