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WHFA & NHFA Announce 2010 Las Vegas Winter Market Seminar and Business Survival Academy

Furniture World Magazine

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The Western Home Furnishings Association (WHFA) and National Home Furnishings Association (NHFA), unveiled their February Winter Market educational seminar schedule. The Retailer Resource Center (RRC), located in World Market Center B-1630 and C-512, is the retailers’ “home away from home” during busy Market weeks offering attendees top-rated educational seminars, a bustling business tradeshow, complimentary coffee, buyers’ breakfast and Internet access as well as numerous networking opportunities. 

During Market, the RRC will host a powerful selection of industry speakers on a diverse range of specific retail issues. These complimentary workshops are designed to motivate, educate and accommodate busy buyer schedules while still providing a wealth of quality information.

WHFA and NHFA have partnered with the World Market Center Las Vegas for the Business Survival Academy series which takes place Monday – Wednesday from 4 – 5 p.m. in the World Forum room. These sessions will cover topics on becoming a retail superstar, negotiating techniques, and digital branding in a multichannel world.  

Another highlight of the week is the two morning Retailers’ Town Hall discussions taking place from 9 – 10 a.m. on Wednesday and Thursday morning. These discussions are a unique Market opportunity to interact with others and ask your questions to a panel of industry experts. The panel consists of Doug Knorr, Knorr Marketing, Bob Moorman, JRM Sales & Management Inc, Dan Bolger, The Bolger Group and will be facilitated by Mark Lacey, The Furniture Training Company. Topics will include marketing and advertising, merchandising, logistics, budgeting and financial controls and sales and sales management. Participants can suggest topics early by visiting the WHFA Web site at www.WHFA.org.

WHFA & NHFA seminars are offered Monday, February 1, 2010 through Thursday, February 4, 2010 at the Winter Las Vegas Market. 

For more information about the Retailer Resource Center or the seminar series, please visit www.WHFA.org or call (800) 422-3778. 

A complete listing of the dates and times of WHFA & NHFA seminars follows: 

All seminars are in the WHFA/NHFA Retailer Resource Center, B-1630 unless otherwise noted. 

Monday, February 1, 2010 

10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Sweat the Small Stuff

Brad Huisken, IAS Training, brad@iastraining.com

In today's retail environment, the difference between mediocre and spectacular is the small things that make a furniture salesperson successful. During this seminar you will learn the little things that make the difference between a salesperson being poor or average and sales record-breaker. Sales personnel have to be sales professionals today and not just sales clerks. The days of having clerks are gone forever. Give yourself and your staff the tools to sweat the small stuff and maximize your furniture sales and profits. 

12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Five New Ways to Connect with Your Customers

Gerry Morris, Sleep Trust, gerry.morris@sleeptrust.com

The mattress industry is being transformed before our eyes. Using social media, today's enlightened and empowered consumers’ influence where people shop and what they buy. It's word of mouth with afterburners. Come learn how retailers can connect and create outstanding customer experiences or get left behind. 

1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Transforming Show & Tellers into Closers

Steve Smith, Profitability Consulting, steve.smith@profitabilityconsulting.com

This seminar will reveal the processes and techniques for turning your chronically underperforming salespeople into true sales professionals. This session will showcase a logical and systematic, "paint by numbers", approach of how to deal with tougher customers.  

3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Leave a Legacy, Keep Your Sanity

David Lively, The Lively Merchant, david@ramarketing.com

Unless you are over 95 years old, you have never held a job or managed a company in such a time as this. Your world is changing, your customer is changing and your company is changing. In fact, 60 percent of independent, family businesses owners will transfer ownership and control in the next five years. Although there aren't many nonagenarians among us, we can dig into the past to understand the future. President Roosevelt observed, "There is a mysterious cycle in human events." Understanding how this cycle works will make or break your business. Bring you notebook, your thinking-cap and your debate skills to this comprehensive look at family business past and future 

4:00 – 5:00 p.m.  
Business Survival/WHFA Academy Series sponsored by World Market Center – World Forum Room

Becoming a Retail Superstar: Business Building Lessons from America’s Best Independent Stores

George Whalin, Retail Management Consultants, george@whalinonretail.com

In the middle of the most severe economic downturn in memory, independent retailers exist who are not only surviving but thriving. George’s new book, Retail Superstars, tells the story of 25 stores that redefine what independent retailers can do in a highly-competitive environment. Whether just starting out or eager to take their business to the next level, retailers can learn what has worked for the best in the business even in tough economic times. Followed by WINEdown at WHFA’s Retail Resource Center on B-16. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2010 

9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

Government Regulations that Impact Your Consumer Financing Program — Learn How to Grow Your Business in the New Decade

GE Money

This program will look at the regulatory changes in the credit card industry and how this will impact your business. Topics covered: Credit CARD Act of 2009, implications for merchants, how to succeed with financing in the new year. 

10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Turning Your Furniture Website into a Lead Machine!

Steven McLendon, MicroD, Inc.

With the overwhelming majority of the consumers starting their furniture shopping experience online, the effectiveness of your online store’s ability to generate leads that drive the consumer to the store can have a significant impact on sales. This session will explore the practices that lead the consumer to your online store and stimulate inquiries and trips to the store. 

12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Turned On and Excited! Build Sales, Energize Customers & Increase Profits

Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender, Kizer & Bender Speaking!, info@kizerandbender.com

Regardless of how well prepared you are to do business or how well defined your business plan, if the people in your store — from stock person to store manager — are not Turned On and Excited, your customers won’t be either. 

KIZER & BENDER will share what Turned On and Excited retailers do to thrill their customers and drive their competition crazy. You’ll learn their strengths and strategies, plus how to utilize what you learn to create a positive impact in your own store. You’ll also hear about Turned On and Excited store associates who know how to excite their customers and add to the bottom line. You’ll come away with an understanding of what it takes to create a Turned On and Excited store culture that’s guaranteed to thrill customers and associates alike! 

1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Get on Your Mark, Get Set, Grow!

Phyllis Zaepfel, PROFITsystems, Inc., phyllisZ@profitsystems.net

In this session you will learn five of the smartest methodologies available to grow your business and outmaneuver your competition. You will learn of “Real Life” strategies compiled from hundreds of retailers that create efficiencies within companies. Best of all, you will leave with tips to put your competition at a serious disadvantage. 

3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

eCommerce101:Creating Your Online Store is Easier Than you Think

Mark Van Winkle, STORIS, Inc., mvanwinkle@storis.com

This informative presentation highlights the benefits of hosting an online store. Learn how having the right software will allow you to save money, increase your customer satisfaction, track customer activity and drastically cut overhead costs affiliated with opening a new store location. 

4:00 – 5:00 p.m.  
Business Survival/WHFA Academy Series sponsored by World Market Center – World Forum Room

Negotiating Techniques for the Furniture Professional: Practical Ideas to Improve your Effectiveness

Paul Friedman

This seminar focuses on the theories behind basic negotiating tips. Learn pointers on how to improve the outcome of your negotiations, both professional and personal. Discover tactics to calm situations to enable achievement of the most desirable results. Paul Friedman has worked in the contract furniture industry for more than 35 years, initially as a dealer and now as the Principal of Friedman & Associations, a consulting firm focusing on facility related issues. His collaboration with major furniture manufacturers in development of strategies and pricing structures ultimately led to successful contract negotiations with numerous Fortune 500 corporations. Followed by WINEdown at WHFA’s Retail Resource Center on B-16. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2010 

9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

Retailers’ Town Hall

A first-of-its-kind opportunity at market. These informative and interactive sessions will provide attendees with a format to ask the experts a multitude of questions on a variety of topics. These co-created sessions will feature consultants who are knowledgeable and experienced in all facets of the industry. An exceptional two days of interactive seminars focused on your specific needs and concerns. Get answers and get going! Topics will include Marketing and Advertising, Merchandising, Logistics, Budgeting and Financial Controls, Sales & Sales Management. Or submit your questions on www.WHFA.org

10:30 – 11:30 a.m.


David McMahon, PROFITsystems, Inc., David@profitsystems.net

Now is the time of opportunity — don’t miss it. Let David show you how you can maximize cash and profitability while you ride the bumpy road up the mountain of economic recovery. He has traveled throughout North America and around the world helping operations like yours and has witnessed the most innovative and proven methods of creating cash, in any economy. Come and see how you can make amazing gains by executing various strategies that can affect your entire operations.  

12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Is Web-based Interactive Marketing Part of Your Marketing Mix? It Should Be.

Ron Carpenter, Strategic Marketing Solutions

Learn how to leverage your website and interactive marketing programs by fully integrating them into your store's marketing program. We'll discuss how to select the right key vendors and resources, enhance your site’s capabilities over time and key tools in marketing your store’s website. 

1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Exceeding Customer Expectations

Joe Milevsky, JRM Sales & Management, Inc., joe@jrmsales-mgmt.com

The competition for each customer is more intense then ever before. Are you ready? Is your store ready? Are your salespeople ready? Does your sales floor make it easier for your salespeople to sell? Do you understand how to truly evaluate and help to improve salespersons’ performance? What are the seven areas of your business that must be consistent with each other? How do you ensure that everyone in your company is customer centric and on the same page? This seminar focuses on positioning your company to maximize the potential of every customer that calls or visits your store. Attend this seminar and start exceeding your customer’s expectations. 

3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Warehouse and Delivery Support for Increased Sales

Daniel Bolger, The Bolger Group, dbolger@bolgergroup.com

Are you prepared to handle increased volume as the economy rebounds? Home sales are rising. People are feeling more confident about their jobs. They are visiting furniture stores in increasing numbers. Doing the right things now in warehouse and delivery will give your company an immediate competitive advantage. Industry expert Dan Bolger will guide you through an assessment process that will identify opportunities for increased productivity, lower costs and provide superior customer satisfaction. Examples will demonstrate before and after situations. You will take home a checklist you can use to audit your own operations. An hour investment will yield great results. 

4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Business Survival/WHFA Academy Series sponsored by World Market Center – World Forum Room

Digital Branding in a Multichannel World

Diane Fannon, The Richards Group

Never in the history of humankind have people been more bombarded, more saturated and more distracted than they are right now. Marketers have helped create cynical customers and buyers with attention deficit disorder who have the power to fracture a brand as fast as we try to integrate it. Advertising has become harder and harder, because the clients’ dollars that used to be allocated to cover just a few disciplines are now spread across many. Diane will share innovative, engaging ways retail marketers use the Internet as a branding channel. She will also analyze cutting-edge brands that are harnessing the power of new technologies to make an emotional connection that will propel them into the future. Followed by WINEdown at WHFA’s Retail Resource Center on B-16. 

Thursday, February 4, 2010 

9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

Retailer’s Town Hall

Retailers’ Town Hall

A first-of-its-kind opportunity at market. These informative and interactive sessions will provide attendees with a format to ask the experts a multitude of questions on a variety of topics. These co-created sessions will feature consultants who are knowledgeable and experienced in all facets of the industry. An exceptional two days of interactive seminars focused on your specific needs and concerns. Get answers and get going! Topics will include Marketing and Advertising, Merchandising, Logistics, Budgeting and Financial Controls, Sales & Sales Management. Or submit your questions on www.WHFA.org

10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Active Buyers vs. Passive Buyers; Media Strategies in Today’s Economic Climate

Jeffrey Welsh, Crowl Direct

The age old dilemma: Half of my advertising spend is wasted…I just don’t know which half. This presentation explores the marketing solutions that are available today for furniture retailers. Join Jeff Welsh as he shows specific examples of successful MicroTargetMedium™ strategies that have been successfully implemented by different retailers. MicroTargetMediums form the framework of an effective marketing plan that works in today’s business world. Mediums that reach active buyers without a lot of waste. 

12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Understanding Leather and How to Sell it.

Bryan Runyan, Leather Techs, bryanr@leathertechs.com

Are you an owner, buyer, rep or salesmen who needs to understand leather at a deeper level? Could you use some hands on experience? In this session, you will go over the five basic types of leathers tanneries create, how to tell the difference between them, what type of leather a customer should buy and how to take care of each leather discussed. Join this interactive session and grow your knowledge to grow your leather sales. 

1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Who’s Afraid of the “I’m Just Looking” Shopper?

Mark Lacey, The Furniture Training Company, markl@furnituretrainingcompany.com

Every shopper who comes into your furniture store is just looking. Do your salespeople know the foolproof five-step strategy for turning “just looking” shoppers into customers? Attend this seminar and you will learn this amazing selling strategy and how-to teach it to your salespeople. By mastering this proven strategy, even the newest salesperson can confidently turn shoppers who are “just looking,” into satisfied buyers. In fact, nine out of 10 of the associates who have learned this five-step strategy have increased their furniture sales. 

3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Email Marketing – How to Get Started Right

Ken Mahar, Email Broadcast, ken@emailbroadcast.com

Is your email marketing campaign producing huge results? If not, or you still need to get started in email marketing, you should attend this seminar. Learn how Mor Furniture, Ivan Smith Furniture and others are cashing in on email marketing by Doing it Right! Ken Mahar is returning for another dynamic presentation chock-full of strategies, tips and step-by-step advice. Come early as this seminar has been extremely well-attended and bring a business card for the door prize. 

About the WHFA and NHFA

The Western Home Furnishings Association (WHFA) is the largest affiliate of the NHFA, representing more than 1,000 independent home furnishings retailers in more than 2,400 stores in 12 western states. 

National Home Furnishings Association (NHFA) is the nation’s largest organization devoted specifically to the needs and interests of home furnishings retailers. NHFA’s membership comprises 2,800 corporate entities representing 10,000 stores in all 50 states and several foreign countries. 

Furniture World is the oldest, continuously published trade publication in the United States. It is published for the benefit of furniture retail executives. Print circulation of 20,000 is directed primarily to furniture retailers in the US and Canada.  In 1970, the magazine established and endowed the Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library (www.furniturelibrary.com) in High Point, NC, now a public foundation containing more than 5,000 books on furniture and design dating from 1620. For more information contact editor@furninfo.com.

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