By Alan Wolf, YSN
BrandSource will throw open the digital doors to its first-ever all-virtual Convention this weekend, setting the stage for what’s proving to be an online-only season for trade shows.
The industry’s first major tech, appliance and home furnishings expo to go all digital, the 2020 Virtual Convention kicks off tomorrow (Saturday, Aug. 29) with a welcome event for new BrandSource dealers, and formally opens on Sunday with a state-of-the-industry address by Jim Ristow, CEO of AVB.
Other highlights of the show will include a webinar and live question-and-answer session with Rick Coppola, President of North American Sales for Ashley Furniture. Hosted by Seth Weisblatt, BrandSource’s Director of Home Furnishings, the session will be held Monday, Aug. 31, at 2:00 p.m. CDT.
BrandSource’s enhanced Convention platform — which is optimized for the Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox browsers — will allow attendees to view keynote presentations, peruse a virtual product Expo, partake in show-special Stampede deals, conduct one-on-one meetings, and network with industry friends, just as they would at an on-site event.
Joining BrandSource for the cyber show will be north-of-the-border affiliate Mega Group (BrandSource Canada) as well as the New England Appliance Group and Intercounty Appliance Corp., all independent dealer organizations.
The decision to move the Convention online was made last spring after COVID-related safety concerns outweighed all other considerations. “Conducting this event virtually is not what we had hoped for,” Ristow noted. “Nevertheless, it is a wonderful opportunity to share, learn and grow our businesses, just as we would if we were meeting in person.”
In addition to his industry outlook, Ristow plans to announce a series of BrandSource initiatives at his opening address, which will be followed on Monday and Tuesday by merchandising and marketing updates by VP Chad Evans and CMO John White. Along the way, BrandSource members will meet with their regional chapters, hear from special guests, vie for Convention giveaways, and raise a glass at a closing session hosted by BrandSource President Tom Bennett.
“As always,” added Ristow, “this year’s show will be packed with many ‘must-see’ events coupled with a whole lot of fun — and will be a great opportunity to work on making your business the best it can be.”
The 2020 Virtual Convention will carry the theme “Tomorrow Starts Today.” Registration and the show agenda are still available at AVBevents.com/virtual-convention.
For all things Convention related, visit the Virtual Convention page on YSN.
BrandSource, a unit of YSN publisher AVB Inc., is a nationwide buying group for independent appliance, mattress, furniture and CE dealers.