This has been an unusual year — bet you haven’t read that anywhere before — pivots, problem solving and reinventions have challenged virtually everyone. Coming up in one week, the biggest reinvention of our year will be unveiled when Furniture Today’s first virtual Leadership Conference begins its broadcast.
After 23 years of holding live events and drawing a who’s who of the furniture industry to learn, network and share ideas, this year’s event will have a distinctly different feel. And in some ways it will actually be an enhancement over years past, despite the inability to meet face-to-face.
First, there is the unlimited auditorium provided by the virtual platform. In recent years, we’ve been challenged by space constraints that have limited some people’s ability to attend. That’s no longer the case. Anyone and everyone is welcome, and there is room.
That brings me to our second enhancement. We’re offering more content than we’ve ever been able to offer before. The ability to present on multiple stages simultaneously means that we can tailor presentations to myriad segments within retailer organizations.
For example, on Wednesday, Dec. 2, after listening to the CEOs of Wayfair, Overstock and Resident discuss the future of e-commerce, attendees can choose between presentations on human resource management, sales training and management or digital advertising.
Human resource executives Joe Genduso and Victor Herrera from Bob’s Discount Stores will share insights on how the fastest growing furniture chain in the U.S. has reinvented its recruitment and onboarding practices to deal with disruptions caused by the pandemic. At the same time JR Linne, Global Leader Retail Industry Solutions at Salesforce will talk about reinventing sales and the customer relationship, while on yet another stage Esquire Advertising CEO Eric Grindley will discuss a hyper-targeted advertising approach that will disrupt traditional models.
On Thursday, Dec. 3, we’ll double down on this approach with three simultaneous sessions planned for both the 12 p.m. and 1:15 p.m. time slots. At noon (EST), we will present original consumer research on the impact the pandemic is having on consumer furniture purchase plans. You’ll also here from Julie Mahloch, co-founder of Rush Recommerce, a company that’s scaling reverse logistics on e-commerce returns and turning them from a pain point to a profit. And for those looking to step up their consumer finance game we’ll have leaders from TD Bank, Genesis and Progressive Leasing sharing best practices in the primary, secondary and lease-to-own finance segments.
At 1:15 p.m., attendees can select between a bedding panel featuring experts from Serta Simmons, Resident and Goodbed.com; a final-mile discussion led by JB Hunt’s Josh Delay that will include retailers Williams-Sonoma, Darvin Furniture, Bob’s Discount Stores and Renegade Furniture; and a re-inventing e-commerce panel featuring leaders from MicroD, Idle Group and vFurnish.
This is a just a sampling of the diverse and extensive content we’ve assembled to take advantage of this year’s virtual format. We know that many of you will miss the Ritz Carlton in Naples, but we hope to make it up with dramatically more content than ever before.
Perhaps this reads a little like a commercial, and if so, I apologize. Our team has worked harder than ever before to reinvent this conference and we’re pretty proud of the final result. We hope you’ll enjoy watching as much as we enjoyed putting it together. It all starts Tuesday, Dec. 1. Hope to see you there.
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