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BrandSource Prepares For National Convention & Expo

Tustin, Calif. – Next month’s BrandSource National Convention & Expo will host its largest exhibit ever in the home furnishings and bedding categories, the buying group announced.

More than 40 vendors from the two industries will show up with new products and services alongside appliance vendors at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas from August 23-26.

Exhibitors include Ashley, Serta, Southern Motion, Tempur-Pedic, Coaster, Med-Lift, Twin Star, Furniture of America, Simmons, Kidz World, Sealy, Windermere Motion, Leggett & Platt, and others.

“Without question, the home furnishings category, especially mattresses, drives store traffic and increases profitability,” said Mike Allen, executive VP of home furnishings at BrandSource, the $12 billion buying group for independent dealers.

Workshops and sessions: To help members increase profitability, the group is sponsoring a Mattress University workshop, which will start with Serta’s Bob Muenkel. He will offer sales training tips to help members make the best possible mattress purchase “without undesired or pressured sales tactics,” the group said. Additional topics will focus on current trends and the changing landscape of traditional and digital advertising and marketing.

Keynote speaker, comedian and motivational speaker Steve Rizzo, author of “Get Your Shift Together,” will challenge attendees “to shift their way of thinking and discover greater enthusiasm, increased productivity, and new levels of success,” BrandSource said.

A presentation by Mike Frank, an entrepreneur and professional speaker, will offer insights into how millenial customers and employees, born in the 1980s and 1990s, differ from their older counterparts. He’ll also offer up sales and customer service strategies to help dealers better connect with shoppers in this age group, also known as Generation Y.

Sue Hartman, technician expert from Guardsman Furniture Repair, will perform live demonstrations of leather and wood repair and fabric spot cleaning, and industry expert Joe Higgins will offer insights into the prospects for economic growth in the decade ahead. He will also discuss breakthrough technologies and how they’re changing America and the job landscape.

For his part, Todd E. Scott, Electrolux’s digital retail integration and merchandising manager, will join Laura Woodford, the company’s senior trade marketing manager, to provide an overview of the digital retail landscape. More than 60 percent of consumer use Internet tools to research appliances before a purchase, and the session will provide a variety of digital paths that could lead consumers to members’ front doors, BrandSource said.

Nancy Friedman, known as the Telephone Doctor, will offer insights and techniques to keep the customer on the phone or in person. 

Other highlights: On August 24, members in their 20s and 30s will attend a Young Professionals luncheon. Later in the afternoon, convention-goers will take advantage of a limited supply of deals during the 90-minute “Stampede” session. At 8 p.m., members will get together for an evening of Lip Sync Karaoke.

On August 25, the second annual Women In Business Breakfast will be held for women in the appliance, electronics and home furnishings industries, including women in finance, marketing, advertising, customer service and sales.