Convention 2021 to Spotlight Furniture and Service

By Alan Wolf, YSN

BrandSource will be waving the flag for home furnishings and appliance repair at next month’s Convention 2021 in Nashville.

The four-day event (Aug. 21-24), which marks the group’s return to in-person national shows, will feature special tracks for its furniture and self-servicing members under the FTS and ServiceSource banners.

FTS, or Furniture Technology Source, debuted at last March’s Summit as an exclusive new platform for home furnishings dealers offering news, business tools and peer support. For Convention 2021, FTS will provide a full slate of sessions beginning Sunday, Aug. 22, with Mattress University, and concluding the following morning with a Furniture Town Hall breakfast hosted by Seth Weisblatt, AVB’s director of home furnishings, and home furnishings GM Michael Posa.

In between, furniture dealers will be treated to a “Lunch & Learn” gathering; a review of effective marketing practices for furniture stores in a post-pandemic world; and a discussion on the current state of the supply chain.

Not to be out outdone, ServiceSource, which provides BrandSource’s servicing dealers with dedicated town halls, newsletters, expert advice columns and digital marketing campaigns, has slated a full lineup of service-specific content. The program gets underway on Sunday with a presentation by Fred’s Appliance Academy on how to average ten service calls per day per tech. Then, BrandSource service consultant Paul MacDonald will address setting service rates based on the cost of doing business.

Following a “Lunch & Learn” session on pricing, Paul will be joined by Andrew Streff of CareerPlug to help tackle the problem of finding, hiring and retaining service techs. Next up, AVB Marketing VP Brian Wattier will discuss service-specific marketing strategies, while the ServiceSource track wraps up the following morning with a Service Town Hall breakfast.

The Convention itself will be held at the Gaylord Opryland, site of BrandSource’s successful 2018 and 2019 Summits. “To say we are thrilled to have an in-person show would be the understatement of the year,” said customer experience GM Jennifer Baldwin, who produces BrandSource’s meetings and buy fairs along with her AVB Events team. “We can’t wait to see everyone back in Nashville and give our members the chance to attend more training and education sessions, check out more key insights from our industry experts, and have more time on the Expo floor than ever before.”

Indeed, besides the FTS and ServiceSource programming, a host of incisive educational sessions are on tap, including “Actions, Tactics & Strategies to Grow Your Business in a Growing Economy,” presented by Fox News and MSNBC commentor Gene Marks, and, for those nearing the tail end of their retail journey, “Are You and Your Company Ready to Sell?” hosted by former BrandSource member and YSN contributor Rich Lindblom.

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The Expo follows on Monday, Aug. 23, for two days of hands-on product demos with the appliance and furniture industry’s newest introductions.

Registration is open at AVBEvents.com/Convention, and AVB’s new “Book with Confidence” policy will allow attendees to cancel as late as July 20and still receive a full refund.

So pack your Stetsons and get ready to gain new insights and get reacquainted with old friends at the 2021 Convention in Nashville.

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