ISPA Attends Furniture Today Bedding Conference

Better Sleep Council discusses findings of exclusive consumer trends survey

More than 360 members of the bedding industry—including Mary Helen Rogers, vice president of marketing and communications for the International Sleep Products Association—attended the 2017 Furniture Today Bedding Conference May 10-12 at the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.


Themed “Mastering the Details of Retail,” the event kicked off with a golf tournament and welcome reception on the resort’s grounds. The following day and a half, conference goers attended educational sessions and panel discussions consisting of industry veterans, newcomers and leading business experts, who gave insights into the digital landscape and remaining competitive in today’s retail environment.

Highlights included:

  • Keynote speaker Erik Qualman, a social media authority and author of the best-selling book “Socialnomics,” began Thursday’s session by sharing ideas on how digital leaders are made—not born—and outlining five habits that successful digital leaders practice.
  • Jim Jacobus, an expert on building high-performance sales teams, offered insights into how attendees can become better sales professionals.
  • Several panels addressed the impact of boxed beds on the bedding industry, the increase in online mattress sales, how to sell accessories and recent consumer trends.
  • Sam Woods, executive vice president of merchandising for Mattress Firm, challenged the industry to work with him to “build beds together” and give consumers what they want.
  • The Better Sleep Council, ISPA’s consumer-education arm, discussed its recent consumer trends research during the conference’s closing session. Panelists included Pete Bils, vice president of innovation for Select Comfort, headquartered in Minneapolis; Michelle Brumfield, founder and owner of BedCrafters by Michelle, which operates two sleep shops in the Virginia cities of Richmond and Williamsburg; Phil Johnston, senior vice president of Cleveland-based marketing communications agency Marcus Thomas LLC and the BSC’s agency of record; and Lisa Stansbury, president of Fred’s Beds in Wilmington, North Carolina. (For more about the BSC’s research survey, check the December 2016, January 2017 and February 2017 issues of BedTimes at

“The event is an excellent networking event, and ISPA is grateful to have the opportunity to participate and share some of the good work we do with the Better Sleep Council,” Rogers said. “We look forward to participating each year.”

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