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ISPA’s 91st Annual Conference, Attracts Over 300 Participants

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A record number of mattress industry executives came together last week in Florida to participate in the International Sleep Products Association’s 2006 Industry Conference and Exhibition. ISPA’s 91st annual conference, which attracted over 300 participants, was uniquely tailored to address the business needs of the mattress industry. The conference featured an expanded exhibition and dynamic educational programs designed to enhance the growth and profitability of individual businesses and the industry as a whole. The timely meeting theme, Mattress Industry Best Practices—Competing in a Global Economy, addressed the fast-paced and ever changing global market that presents mattress manufacturers and their suppliers with many opportunities and a host of challenges. Conference participants heard expert speakers discuss how to stay competitive, understan important business trends, reduce overall operating costs, and broaden international markets for mattress sales. “This conference offered a great deal for every firm in the mattress industry,” noted ISPA Chair Kerry Tramel of Lady Americana Associates. “In such a competitive market, it’s worthwhile to meet periodically as an industry and to focus on the issues that affect us all. This was an excellent forum that allowed us to grow individually and collectively. Ultimately, we all prosper.” The conference kicked off with a welcome reception in the exhibit hall which showcased a array of products and services offered by dozens of industry suppliers. According to Atlanta Attachment President Hank Little, "Not only was the Industry Conference well organized and in a great location, it was professionally run as well. Our decision to participate with the 10x10 space was very rewarding, and resulted in great new business opportunities." Other important networking opportunities included breakfasts and lunches, a lively poolside reception, and an industry golf tournament. The packed agenda began with a welcome from and an industry address from ISPA Chair Kerry Tramel, who discussed the association’s accomplishments on the industry’s behalf and covered ISPA’s strategic activities in support of industry growth, including consumer research and outreach, government advocacy, and continually improving member services and education. Well-known economist Dr. James Smith and Pat Cleary, senior vice president, communications for the National Association of Manufacturers, were the feat ed keynote speakers for the opening business session focusing on U.S manufacturing and the world’s economies, with timely reference to the possible impact of the recent elections on the U.S. economy. Allen Podratsky, president of Global Supply Chain Partners Inc. and David Osterman, partner with the law firm of Goldberg Segalla, LLP led enthusiastic discussions about how mattress producers can minimize business and legal risks as they refine their business strategies for meeting the new federal flammability standard. Tom McLean of Kingsdown Inc.updated attendees on the Better Sleep Council’s activities, and Thom Winninger delivered a powerful presentation on business-building strategies to help companies create brand loyalty and stand out in the marketplace. Other sessions on labor issues and the global marketplace provided forums for members to discuss common problems, develop solutions, and take advantage of new opportunities. “I am always encouraged when I spend time with my industry peers.” stated David Orders, vice president of Park Place Corporation and immediate past ISPA chair. “It was great to see so much interest and participation with great speakers that were full of helpful information, motivation and encouragement.” The next Industry Conference and Exhibition is slated for November 7-9, 2007, at the Hyatt Bonventure Resort in Weston, (Ft. Lauderdale) FL. Established in 1915, the International Sleep Products Association, www.sleepproducts.org is the trade organization for mattress manufacturers and their component suppliers around the world. ISPA hosts the biennial ISPA EXPO trade show and publishes BedTimes and Sleep Savvy magazines. The Sleep Products Safety Council, www.safesleep.org is a non-profit organization established in 1986 by the mattress industry. SPSC’s mission is to provide consumer safety information, support scientific research, and promote activities aimed at reducing hazards associated with mattresses and other sleep products.

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