The bedding industry brings people together in many ways. Of course, there’s the obvious: We work daily as colleagues, co-workers, buyers, sellers, partners and even competitors.
But we also come together for common causes and shared interests. For more than 100 years, the International Sleep Products Association has afforded members the opportunity to join together at what is known as ISPA EXPO, which is set this year for March 18-20 in New Orleans. Obviously, the purpose of the biennial show is for members to conduct business, but everyone genuinely seems to light up as they catch up with old friends and make new ones at receptions, meals and on the show floor.
This month, in the neon capital of the world, thousands of bedding manufacturers and retailers will meet at the semiannual Las Vegas Market (Jan. 26-30). Many activities during the show include parties and receptions, as well as fundraisers, such as the 12th annual Ante4Autism poker tournament (Saturday, Jan. 25). Sponsors for the event include numerous bedding companies, and the event will spotlight celebrity players such as Jose Canseco. Proceeds will be donated to five autism-related charities. As of February 2019, the charity had raised $712,386.
And speaking of fundraisers, another event that has become a tradition for members of the mattress and home furnishings industries is the Seena Magowitz Golf Classic. The 17th annual event, held Nov. 1-3 in Phoenix, raised more than $1.3 million to support pancreatic cancer research at the Translational Genomics Research Institute in Phoenix. In addition to golf, participants got a taste of the Wild West at the Corona Ranch and were treated to a gala dinner at the Arizona Biltmore. After dinner, Daniel Von Hoff, physician in chief and director of translational research at TGen, shared successes in his research, and about dozen survivors told their moving stories. The next morning, dozens of duffers hit the links, attired for the now-famous Ugly Pants contest.
I look forward to our paths crossing soon.