Bedding Conference goes west, features retail-focused agenda
David Perry -- Furniture Today, March 11, 2013
Another strong Furniture/Today Bedding Conference is taking shape, out west this year. Registration is open at www.furnituretoday.com.
This year's event is set for May 8-10 at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort, a beautiful facility in Chandler, Ariz., in the greater Phoenix market. We are headed to the western half of the country because we want to provide a change of pace from our more traditional Florida base. But this isn't our first venture west; past conferences were held in Las Vegas and Dallas.
Our theme for this year's event is "Connecting with Consumers," a goal that is more important than ever for our industry to achieve, given the major changes that are occurring with consolidation, product development and marketing strategies, to name just three issues.
We have designed an agenda that is focused on bedding retailers, the key drivers of the business.
We will be presenting the results of a secret shopper study that looks at what bedding retailers are doing well - and not so well - as they aim to connect with consumers.
Also on the agenda are presentations on some exciting new retail concepts. Ben Thorud of Ashley will be sharing the details of Ashley's new ZZZ's by Ashley sleep shop program. And Steve Tronstein of Gardner-White Furniture will be talking about his test stores with Best Buy in the Detroit market.
Also scheduled are presentations by West Coast retailers Nelson Bercier of Sit ‘n Sleep and Steven Stone of BedMart.
Each conference we shine a spotlight on better sleep issues, since better sleep - and not just mattresses - is what our industry should be selling. This year we'll hear from Lisa Shives, The Sleep M.D., who specializes in sleep issues. She has teamed up with Carpenter's SleepBetter.org website to share her insights with consumers.
We'll also look at the changing marketing landscape. Kristi Griggs of G-Force Marketing Solutions and Julia Rosien of SocialNorth will help us explore social media and marketing issues.
Other speakers will include Sleep Doctor Michael Breus and Ryan Trainer, president of the International Sleep Products Assn.
I'll have more on their presentations, and details on other speakers, in stories and columns to come. And did I mention that you can register online at www. furnituretoday.com?
I look forward to seeing you at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort in May.
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