Furniture First Symposium set for Fort Lauderdale in May
Clint Engel -- Furniture Today, September 16, 2013
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Furniture First buying group will hold its next Symposium May 12-14 at the Harbor Beach Marriott in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
The theme for the event is "Waves of Change, Oceans of Opportunity," inspired by the buying cooperative's 20th anniversary, the meeting location and the current retail climate, the group said.
Activities will include peer-to-peer networking sessions and presentations by industry experts and other inspiring keynote speakers. At the conclusion, there will be time set aside for swimming, volleyball and socializing on the beach.
In a release, Furniture First said its previous Symposium in New Orleans this past May was its most successful to date, noting that it broke attendance records and was "enthusiastically received by members and vendors alike."
The Florida Symposium "is on track to be even better," said Furniture First President Bill Hartman.
"Increased interaction among our member retailers and vendor partners is the focus of events like the Symposium, and the programming is designed to encourage it," he said. "Our dealers come away with new insights, tools, and ideas as a result of these exchanges."
To help promote and organize the event, Furniture First will use its Symposium microsite, built in-house, to highlight the meeting agenda and session descriptions and provide guest speaker bios as well as details on local restaurants and attractions. Members also can register online.
Separately, the group said that at next month's High Point Market, it will feature merchandise from vendor partners, including custom dining and custom upholstery programs, in the Furniture First showroom in the International Home Furnishings Center, space G-770.
Also at the Oct. 19-24 market, members will attend group shops to new vendor partner showrooms, networking sessions, and a presentation on Furniture First's new Mattress 1st store concept - a store-within-a-store specialty sleep shop using the private label name.
Furniture First has 206 company members with 435 stores doing $1.6 billion in annual sales.