We just wrapped up the two-day Bedding Conference 2022, our first in-person edition since 2019. The pandemic pushed us into a virtual format for 2020 and 2021, and while those were nice, being back together has highlighted the finer points of our industry.
The conference reminded me of a family reunion, where extended family from near and far came together to enjoy each other’s company, tell old stories, and create new memories. There were many stories told and so many memories shared.
Over the past two years, the home furnishings and bedding segments have weathered lengthy shutdowns, an incredible surge in consumer demand, logistical nightmares and labor shortages. Any of these things alone can be difficult; combined, they can be catastrophic.
However, this industry – mattress retailers, manufacturers and service providers – has an impressive superpower. A stealthy network of partners. These partnerships were on full display in Orlando, as the industry came together for the first time at the in-person conference since 2019.
There were lots of hugs, loud handshakes and atta boys/atta girls handed out throughout the three-day event.
Partnerships, at the heart of our industry, reigned supreme throughout the conference. Not only do the attendees in the room have a strong bond with each other, so does Furniture Today, and we are grateful to the more than 30 companies who have joined us in sponsoring the Bedding Conference.
Without them, organizing an event of this magnitude for over 350 people would be prohibitively expensive and the registration fees unaffordable for most. Tempur Sealy International was the title sponsor of this year’s conference and led a panel discussion on how the consumer journey has changed over the past two years.
King Koil sponsored our keynote speaker Scott Deming and our annual charity event which wowed the kids at the local Boys and Girls Club with an after school dance party followed by a night out at Epcot.
Spring Air International sponsored our featured speaker Brittany Hodak, who shared actionable insights into building superfans for brands and stores.
Serta sponsored our awards gala dinner, during which we honored Roger Magowitz, the founder of the Seena Magowitz Foundation, for his work in funding clinical trials for pancreatic cancer research, as well as three bedding giants.
Both cocktails at the event were sponsored by Leggett & Platt and Sierra Sleep by Ashley. Our annual golf tournament – it was a hot day on the course – was sponsored by PureCare.
Our list of sponsors also included Artaban, ChargeAfter, Alterna Capital Solutions, Customatic Technologies, Diamond Mattress, Resident Home, Synchrony, Buoninfante, Carpenter, Colonial, DreamFit, Emma, GhostBed, Esquire Advertising, Englander, Kingsdown, International Market Centers, Magniflex, Malouf, Mlily, National Marketing Group, Snap Finance and Wright Global Graphics.
A mix of retailers and manufacturers took part in a myriad of panel discussions offering ideas and insights on topics ranging from changing consumer buying habits to selling sleep as a health and wellness benefit. welfare.
As I mentioned in the lecture, our glass of gratitude is so full. Our participants came and jumped with both feet; our speakers delivered A-plus content; and our sponsors have helped create some wonderful days of fun and learning.
Thank you all for your participation in this exceptional event. And to Lisa Humphrey of Fred’s Beds, we have a great speaking role for you at next year’s conference!