Posted by Charles Dortch on Fri, Jun 07, 2013 @ 05:00 PM
On the flight home I had a chance to reflect on the Home Furnishings Industry Conference (HFIC) that just concluded in New Orleans. It was an exciting and successful show for furniture retailers, designers and companies like mine that sell to these folks. In addition to some fun (see below), the event provided numerous opportunities and workshops that offered business advice, tips to improve sales and marketing support. Here are a few highlights.
On Monday afternoon there was a best idea luncheon where retailers were allowed to share some of their best business practice ideas with the group. This was followed by two separate learning labs specifically for retailers that covered topics such as how to effectively use social media and economic and political trends that affect the home furnishings industry. The first session was for beginners. The second was an intermediate session covering the same topics.
The newly formed North American Home Furnishings Association (NAHFA) deserves an immense amount of credit for providing its members with a seemingly endless cache of resources designed to help make businesses more successful. If you’re not a member of this group, I highly recommend you look into it.
On Tuesday morning there was another learning lab followed by a session where we were introduced to the board members of the new association. They discussed the impetus behind consolidating the three associations and the direction for all going forward. They set the stage for a strong, professional organization with true benefit for their members in the home furnishings industry.
The afternoon learning lab was the most exciting and informative of all. It covered such topics as:
- Identifying the trends of major shoppers
- Ways to find your competitive advantage
- How to create a BIG Buzz with a small budget
There was another general session followed by a networking reception.
Of course it’s not all business, all the time. One of the benefits of these types of conferences is getting the opportunity to meet peers in the industry, blow off a little steam and make connections for the future. We did that, too, though it involved a little masquerade! A masquerade ball started at 7 pm and I have to say that the association staff did an incredible job of putting this party together. From the costumes to the live band to the acrobats performing feats at incredible heights, it was definitely a night to remember.
CrossCheck is proud to be affiliated with such a dynamic group of people and we look forward to strengthening our relationship in the coming years! If I missed seeing you at the conference and would like to get in touch, leave me a comment below.