Registration Begins for BrandSource’s First-Ever Virtual Convention

By Alan Wolf, YSN

Registration is now open for next month’s 2020 Virtual Convention, the first-ever online edition of BrandSource’s late-summer confab and buying Expo.

The three-day digital event is set for Sunday, Aug. 30 through Tuesday, Sept. 1. Registration and show agenda are available at AVBevents.com/virtual-convention. Each registered member may bring an unlimited number of employees or other guests at no additional charge.

This year’s show, which shifted from Dallas to the cloud in light of the still-evolving health crisis, offers all the buying opportunities, new product introductions, industry updates and networking forums of the on-site event, albeit from the safety of one’s desktop or mobile device.

Moreover, as the industry grapples with such COVID-related concerns as supply constraints, shifting shopping behaviors, the impact of the presidential election, and the unknowns of the fourth-quarter selling season, the 2020 Convention assumes even greater importance as “a place to get the latest information about what is happening in the appliance, electronics, furniture and mattress industries,” said Chad Evans, AVB’s Vice President of Merchandising.

The decision to move the Convention online was made last month after long and careful deliberation by AVB’s Senior Leadership Team (SLT), which considered such factors as travel and exhibit center restrictions; guidance from national and local officials; and overwhelming feedback from members and manufacturers.

As AVB Chief Marketing Officer John White remarked, “We weren’t going to let a global pandemic stop us from moving forward and helping our members find ways to keep business going in the safest, most effective ways possible.”

Indeed, the 2020 Virtual Convention will replicate the most popular features of AVB’s on-site shows, including:

  • Show-special Stampede deals and Fast Cash offers;
  • A virtual booth Expo;
  • Region meetings and one-on-one vendor chats;
  • Marketing and merchandising insights from White and Evans, and;
  • A State of the Union address by AVB CEO Jim Ristow.

“We’re encouraging our members and vendor partners to use this time to network with one another and share what’s been working for their businesses,” Ristow said.

Here’s how it works: Registered participants can log into a browser-based Event Web App that provides access to a personalized agenda with direct links to specific, invitation-only sessions, along with supplemental meeting materials and plugins such as uploaded PDFs, videos and images, and BrandSource member polls.

The Event Web App also includes a chat feature that will allow users to send messages to everyone participating in a session or hold private conversations with individuals.

Attendees can plan their virtual booth visits by perusing a directory of exhibitors, who will be showcasing their latest wares during the two-day-long Convention Expo. Vendors in turn can choose from one of five exhibit tiers to enhance their virtual booths with online meeting rooms, product training content, resource downloads and other buy fair assets.

The Convention will conclude on Tuesday with a closing session hosted by BrandSource President Tom Bennett, who is sure to hoist a glass while presenting parting prizes.

So save your spot at AVBevents.com/virtual-convention; we look forward to seeing you next month!

BrandSource is a unit of YSN publisher AVB Inc.