It’s Showtime: Welcome to Summit 21!

By Alan Wolf, YSN

Attention attendees: BrandSource has swung open the virtual doors to Summit 21, the group’s annual spring meeting and product expo.

The three-day gala is BrandSource’s first major gathering of the year, and brings a full lineup of product intros, industry updates, vendor trainings, education sessions and interactive Social Hours — all presented within an enhanced and easy-to-navigate interface.

See the full agenda here.

Now with new midweek scheduling, and joined by BrandSource Canada and chapters of the mighty NECO Alliance, the annual industrywide event will feature:

  • Today’s state-of-the-union address by AVB/BrandSource CEO Jim Ristow.
  • “The Furniture Channel,” a special series of industry keynotes and strategic sessions by the leading lights of home furnishings (Thursday).
  • Daily vendor product trainings and expert education sessions.
  • 777 Lunch & Learn, a daily short-form panel discussion with seven different suppliers, each answering seven questions in seven minutes.
  • And of course, the virtual expo floor, where attendees can explore the newest product launches across multiple industries (opens Wednesday).

This year’s Summit carries the theme of “Double Down,” as BrandSource urges its members to turn the competitive heat up higher, even after last year’s record sales and market share gains. Hammering home that message, and announcing new BrandSource initiatives, will be CEO Ristow in his afternoon keynote, along with an update on member engagement by COO Dave Meekings and marketing insights delivered by CMO John White.

The two will be followed by the much-anticipated Stampede of show specials, hosted by Merchandising VP Chad Evans.

Throughout Summit attendees will get the inside track on the latest appliance, home furnishings and consumer tech intros; vie for prizes in a host of Region- and Summit-wide contests; and connect with vendors and fellow members on a mobile-optimized platform through instant video chat and in-app messaging.

But all work and no play can make any convention a dull trade show, and BrandSource won’t have any of that. Taking the virtual format to the next level, the group has scheduled a full lineup of interactive Social Hours on Wednesday night, running the gamut from standup comedy and a magic act, to a cooking demo, a virtual campfire, and good old-fashioned happy hours.

Expect plenty of laughs and surprises along the way, topped off by BrandSource President Tom Bennett’s show-closing Virtual Pool Party & Awards Ceremony on Thursday.

Like last summer’s industry-first Virtual Convention, the online format ensures the safety of dealers, vendors and staff within an upgraded, next-best-thing-to-being-there platform, and affords registered members additional tickets at no extra charge.

Now on with the show!

BrandSource, a unit of YSN publisher AVB Inc., is a nationwide buying group for independent appliance, mattress, furniture and CE dealers.