Party pictures and first impressions from ISPA EXPO

With all eyes on the ultimate consumer, we didn’t spot much puffery, but there was fluff and ‘ploof’ aplenty at this busy show

Photos Bert VanderVeen

ISPA EXPO 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina, last week may have been an industrial trade fair, but it felt as though exhibitors, now more than ever, were thinking seriously about consumers and new distribution channels. Not only were vendors cozying up with lots of comfortable components and gorgeous fabrics, the hall was studded with home-delivery boxes, turnkey e-commerce solutions, as well as newly engineered springs, foams and pretty fabrics for squeezing into those boxes.

GSG ploofy quilted mattress

If aesthetics sell the bed, then even when it’s compressed, rolled and wrapped in plastic, how much better if that pretty ticking shows through the plastic film–thanks to crystal clear (strong and thin) co-ex film, instead of heavy, milky plastic wrap? (Buy the new MW Film from Atlanta Attachment Co.)

We even spotted Leggett & Platt Inc.’s Global Systems Group reaching right through to mattress shoppers with the goofy #ploofystyle hashtag. It reminds retail sales associates and shoppers that beautifully quilted “ploofy” panels give beds a special comfort. Pictured to the left is one such bed created on the company’s state-of-the-art Spectrum quilter.

To lure comfort-seeking shoppers over to finished products in brick-and-mortar stores, Wright Global Graphics (below, right) put a lot of thought into this zen-filled top-of-bed display. (We got to rest-test this particular bedroom setting on Tuesday evening at the ISPA Women’s Network cocktail party, which Wright sponsored.)

Wright top of bed

Beth English and I spent the entire show speaking to exhibitors and we’ll have a wrap-up report for you in the May issue of BedTimes. We also did our best to post observations in social media, so check out BedTimes on Instagram and Twitter for more pictures from the show floor.

Party time!

In the meantime, enjoy these photo galleries (photograhy by Bert VanderVeen) from two ISPA EXPO social events, followed by highlights from the Industry Breakfast. No, it wasn’t all work, even for us. There were plenty of opportunities to mingle and munch. And the publications team certainly enjoyed speaking with industry members everywhere we went.

On Tuesday night, industry women gathered together at the ISPA Women’s Network cocktail party:

And here are scenes from the crowd at the ISPA EXPO Welcome Reception held at the NASCAR Hall of Fame and sponsored by Atlanta Attachment Co., a division of HSM:

Industry Breakfast included awards ceremony and Johnny ‘Cupcakes’ Earle

ISPA chair Bryan Smith of Southerland and ISPA President Ryan Trainer addressed the crowd before Carpenter’s Bob Steelman received the Robert MacMorran Memorial Award, and Gerry Borreggine of Therapedic won the Russell L. Abolt Exceptional Service Award:

ISPA EXPO 2018 ribbon-cutting

Complete show coverage coming your way in May BedTimes

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