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Mike Root

Report From The Home Furnishings Industry Conference

May 9, 2012

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — The annual All Industry Home Furnishings Conference was held this week in a beautiful setting. The great folks from the Western Home Furnishings Association combined with the National Home Furnishings Association put on a first rate gathering for retailers from across the country.

Though the offerings were heavily geared towards helping retailers improve their business, I gained tremendously in learning what's new in social media and technology applications I can use. There were sessions on the following that would be pertinent to reps:

• social media like facebook marketing (so you can talk with your retailers about what is going on in their world and figure out how to help them design social media campaigns with your product
• Gadgets, technology, and Ipad tips to make our industry more efficient and productive
• Various selling seminars to improve basic skills
• Keynote retailer and factory discussions of what's working and why they are successful

More importantly it was a chance to network with retailers and industry leaders from around the country in a relaxed informal setting. Where else does a rep get to socialize with Top 100 retailers in a non-selling, non-threatening environment? Those relationships are beneficial for everybody as we try to grow our businesses together.

I also picked up a number of great ideas from the various resources with future discussion as to how we can employ these services for IHFRA. If you are a member of IHFRA, we will be talking about these in upcoming member newsletters. If you are not, then email Jennifer at jsova@ihfra.org for more information.

At the Presidential Gala during the High Point market, there was discussion about doing a big conference for reps. After attending this event, I think we could easily join efforts next May when the All Industry Conference will be in New Orleans. We can share some events and also have a separate rep track for those that would be interested.

If you have some interest in attending an event like this with a furniture representative only session, please comment below or drop me an email at meroot@mikeroot.com. Good Selling.

PS. If you are interested in my notes from the two keynote speakers at the conference Larry Winget and Tim Saunders send me an email at meroot@mikeroot.com and we will send them to you.