Recap of this year's Event
2018 Furnishing The Future
On June 13, 2018, Renegade Furniture Group hosted its fourth annual furniture industry networking event at the Hilton Huntington hotel located in Melville, New York. The exclusive event included discussions and seminars addressing the forecasting and planning for the future of the furniture industry, as well as an opportunity to network with top industry executives.
This one of a kind educational and networking event drew
more than 400 executives from over 150 companies covering
all sectors of the industry. Manufacturers, retailers, freight
and delivery partners, as well as companies that service
the industry were all well represented. An innovative and
coordinated event included a lineup of all-star speakers
and professional multimedia.
The day kicked off with a presentation by Tom Conley, the CEO of High Point Market Authority. Tom highlighted how High Point Market has adapted over the years, and has continued to focus on an ever changing landscape of market attendees. The crowd was treated to a behind the scenes look at the tens of thousands of hours of work that is required to ensure each market is a resounding success.
Following Tom was Farah Merhi, Founder of Inspire Me Home Decor, social media’s most followed home decor professional. Farah’s presentation enlightened even the social media savvy of the group as to the importance of needing to “come with a game plan” and
understanding the target audience’s interests and interaction with each post.
Lorin Sourbeck, Vice President of Marketing & Sales Strategies at Ashley Furniture, captured the audience with her presentation titled “Thinking in Social Marketing”. Lorin previously addressed various industrial audiences all over the globe, helping each attendee develop goals and realistic paths to accomplish them. This time was no different.
Renegade’s CEO Bruce Krinsky hit the stage with tremendous energy. His
theme was “collaboration” which was brought out well by his introduction
video, team dance off. He delivered a presentation of companies on
various ends of industries who successfully collaborate to succeed
with products and markets that would not manage to thrive to the
same extent on their own as they would through working together.
Lauren Hitchens, Head of Industry Retail at Google, shared advanced
and highly developed information on consumer trends. Drawing on
how this information relates to customers shopping at both brick and
mortar retail locations as well as those shopping online, Lauren shared some
of Google’s latest studies and revelations. This helped all of the businesses in attendance get an up to date understanding of the kinds of information available on their consumers. Several useful examples of how to take advantage of this extremely relevant data, as well as the ability to utilize this information to help ensure a successful encounter at the right time with each consumer during their respective “life events”
Finishing up the all star morning session was Wayfair’s Senior Category Manager, Bryan Lantz. Bryan clearly outlined Wayfair’s vision and investment to the future. He shared insights on how to achieve success in the e-commerce space. Bryan, as each presenter before him, had everyone in attendance vigorously take notes of the pearls of wisdom and experience he shared with them which will assist in their daily roles at each of their respective companies.
A delicious and elegant buffet luncheon was held in the grand ballroom between the morning and afternoon sessions. Attendees took advantage of the opportunity to network and catch up with colleagues and business associates.
The luncheon was followed by the afternoon session which opened with the keynote address presented by Liza Hausman, Vice President of Industry Marketing at Houzz, who discussed “The Future of Shopping”. Liza shared the very current trends of how consumers are shopping on Houzz’s apps, and where that direction continues to lead. She encouraged everyone to ensure that their game plans line up in that same direction, so that they can continue acting pro-actively and staying ahead.
Next up was Kerry Lebensburger, CRO at Ashley Furniture. He shared his wealth of knowledge and experience regarding current events thereby ensuring that one will be on the correct side of the “survival is optional” scale. Kerry has been a highlight during each of the last three years of the annual networking event. Hearing from a legend like Kerry; someone who sees both the big and small picture as well as anyone in the business world, left each person with a “ready to conquer” and focused attitude.
As the grand finale speaker, Seth Weisblatt, CEO of the Sam’s Furniture chain in Texas did a superb job addressing the various segments that comprise the furniture industry that were in attendance. Seth recapped the prior presentations and demonstrated how having a vision and goal “beyond the transaction” helped him, and those that he inspired, to have an upper hand in their business plans and successful roll-outs.
The purpose of this year’s event was to discuss increasingly important topics impacting the future of the furniture industry. With technology continuously changing industries, it’s not the largest companies which survive, but the ones which are most adaptive to change.
The event also included its “awesome people of the industry” video series, recognizing people in the furniture industry whom contributed positively to society. Amongst them, Renegade honored Point 2 Point Houston, for assisting with relief efforts after Hurricane Harvey. Additional shout-outs went to the Wanek family for their philanthropic contributions to medical research being undertaken, the Dean Michael Clarizio Cancer Foundation for their financial assistance to families battling cancer, Chabad for their assistance worldwide and more particularly during the High Point Market, and to All Furniture Services for their friendship and valued partnership.
Following the amazing panel of these top tier speakers who provided informative and insightful discussions, the full day affair concluded with fantastic and engaging entertainment, a cocktail hour, and dinner.