ATLANTA — Celebrity chef G. Garvin served up hospitality and enthusiasm as he hosted Serta Simmons Bedding’s first virtual tradeshow, which the company said drew strong reviews.

Garvin also drew the names of retail winners in the giveaways that were featured throughout the show.

SSB Virtual Showcase_G Garvin

Celebrity chef and TV host G. Garvin got comfortable during SSB’s virtual tradeshow.

SSB gave away more than 300 prizes, part of the company’s effort to make the show an exciting event.

“The virtual showcase far exceeded our expectations in terms of audience participation, engagement and receptivity to our latest brand innovations,” said Derek Miller, SSB’s chief sales officer. “Attendance at our virtual showcase even exceeded that of last year’s summer Las Vegas market, and feedback from our retail partners about our new product lineup has been overwhelmingly positive.”

The event, streamed live from SSB’s corporate headquarters, gave the company a safe venue in which to introduce its new product lines in the COVID-19 climate, and safety was one of the themes in the product launches.

SSB recently announced an exclusive partnership with HeiQ V-Block to bring antimicrobial technology to its new Beautyrest Harmony lines and Serta Perfect Sleeper lines, both debuting on retail floors early next year.

During the virtual tradeshow, a Star Wars-like video demonstrated how the V-block technology breaks down the outer membrane of the coronavirus and how the silver in the technology then kills the virus. SSB officials described the technology as providing a robust antimicrobial solution.

SSB officials unveiled a number of COVID-19-related insights from consumers:

  • 58% say the pandemic will change the way they sleep.
  • 50% said they would pay more for products that are clean and sanitary.
  • 65% said that how well a brand responds to the pandemic will influence their future buying behavior with that brand.
  • 84% say retailers with face mask policies make them feel safer.
  • 71% say retailers performing temperature checks make them feel safer.

Brand officials presented new Beautyrest and Serta product lines at the virtual tradeshow. SSB used its online venue to introduce its new lines for 2021, which will be available for online selling later this year.

With the retail launch of Beautyrest Harmony in early 2021, the V-Block technology will be available on Harmony’s Cayman Series mattresses and Emerald Day Series mattresses at no additional cost. V-Block kills 99.99% of bacteria that cause unpleasant odors, discoloration, staining and deterioration, officials said.

“In today’s environment, consumer behavior is changing rapidly, and we have to change with it,” said Melanie Huet, SSB’s chief marketing officer. “We were proud to be the first major sleep company to lead the way with a fully digital event that showcased our exceptional new product innovation.”

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