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NHFA announces April High Point Market Seminar Lineup

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The National Home Furnishings Association anounced that it will host 24 educational seminars April 7-10, 2008, at the Retailer Resource Center during the upcoming High Point Market. Seminars are free and will cover a wide range of industry-related topics designed to provide attendees with new ideas and strategies for their businesses. The Retailer Resource Center (RRC) is located on the twelfth floor on the Main International Home Furnishings Center building. During Market, the RRC is home to numerous exhibitors who specialize in areas such as advertising, consulting, financing, software, store design, training, warehouse and much more. Visitors at the RRC will also find complimentary food, beverages and web access at the CyberCafe and Sports Pub. A complete listing of NHFA seminars follows: Monday, April 7 8:30-9:30 a.m. Growing Your Business When Facing Challenging Conditions Philip Gutsell, GutSELL & Associates This seminar will elaborate on seven strategic steps you can do to increase your business profitability including: increasing your advertising in key areas, converting and remodeling unproductive displays, expanding your showroom, converting warehouse into display, buying out competitors and partners, moving to a new location, and the number one way to grow your business with minimal investment. This program will give you the necessary steps to expand your thinking, business and profits. In addition, Phil Gutsell will give case histories of clients that met these challenges and are still growing today! 10:00-11:00 a.m. Refresh, Revive, Renew Your Store: 12 Steps to Better Retailing Martin Roberts, GRID2 If you’ve been paying attention to what’s going on in the marketplace – the lack of consumer confidence, the mortgage crisis, deflation of product, competition from lifestyle stores – you know it’s time for a change. But bad retail practices can be hard to break. Start with what you can change. This presentation will show you 12 simple steps you can take that will help you refresh, revive and renew your store, and put you on the path to better retailing. 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Effective Operations Against Falling Average Tickets John McCloskey, Profitability Consulting Group Cheap imports have changed the retail playing field. In today’s marketplace it still takes the same amount of warehouse space and labor to deliver a $499 sofa as it does a $1,299 sofa. Learn to operate more effectively with strategic back end management tools essential for delivering more product for less cost. 1:00-2:00 p.m. 3D: The Next Generation of Selling Solutions for Retailers & Manufacturers Steve Street, Icovia Traditional barriers to providing a completely immersive visualization experience are gone and technology is now available at a reasonable cost for most mid-to-large retailers and manufacturers. This presentation will describe the process and explore all the features and benefits of the 3D Virtual Space Planner, and how this powerful marketing and sales tool can prove profitable to your business. 2:30-3:30 p.m. Hi-Performance Email Marketing for Furniture Retailers Mike Morawski, The Yaffe Group Learn the essentials of email marketing with best practices, tactics and strategies to move your email marketing campaigns to a higher level and greater ROI. Whether your company currently runs an email program or wants to get started, this timely seminar offers insight into exciting new business solutions. Topics covered: the top 15 email best practices, email whitelists and blacklists, deliverability and rendering, Can-Spam Act and guidelines, and dynamic messaging. 4:00-5:00 p.m. What Do Salespeople Really Need From You to be Successful? Joe Milevsky, JRM Sales & Management, Inc. Learn how to maximize the potential return on each customer that enters your store. This seminar will show you how to find top salespeople, properly set sales goals, use measurements to coach improved salesperson performance, develop the customer experience that best fits your company’s culture, hold salespeople accountable for performance, create a positive selling environment, develop and retain top performers, and improve your company’s sales performance. Tuesday, April 8 8:30-9:30 a.m. The Outlook for the Residential Furniture Industry W.W. “Jerry” Epperson, Jr., Mann, Armistead & Epperson, Ltd. In this seminar, furniture research specialist Jerry Epperson will cover the economic demographic and furniture industry specific issues we will face in 2008. 10:00-11:00 a.m. China: Friend or Foe Cameron Cook, Design Management Company Considering the flood of technology, internet, and an American frame of mind and leadership - is China our friend or foe when it comes to investing in overseas product development? Just how soon will it be until China becomes the dominant market player and will it? Listen to, learn from and ask questions of an industry protégé about her experience in product development and manufacturing overseas in China. 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. New Consumer Research and Its Impact on Retail Sales Training Tom Zollar, Impact Consulting Services We all know that our sales staff must develop new skills and adjust their selling behaviors in order to succeed in this world, but has your training kept up with the ever changing customer? Attend this seminar to learn how new consumer research and lifestyle profiling information can be used to create dynamic, three dimensional sales training that addresses both the practical needs and emotional wants of today’s customers. 1:00-2:00 p.m. Maximizing Conversions from Website Queries – Preparing to Win Leslie Carothers, The Kaleidoscope Partnership In today’s business climate, customers are increasingly using the phone and email to get the information they need before coming to visit your store. In this seminar you will learn how to prepare operationally to maximize the conversions of those inquiries into sales, as well as how to train your sales consultants to convert phone based queries into store visits and sales. 2:30-3:30 p.m. Warehouse and Delivery Excellence – Attention to Basics Dan Bolger, P.E., The Bolger Group Is your warehouse and delivery helping or hurting your bottom line and reputation? This seminar is worth your time regardless of whether you operate your own warehouse and delivery or use contracted services. Industry expert Dan Bolger will share practical ways warehouse and delivery can support retailer profitability goals while improving quality, productivity and gaining competitive advantage. Your delivery is the last opportunity to demonstrate customer commitment. Small retailer or giant chain, you will leave this seminar with ideas that get positive results. 4:00-5:00 p.m. Advertising Strategies Designed to Fight the Furniture Retail Slowdown! Charles Horich, Jon Parks, Brad Lebow, Chip Hector; Horich Parks Lebow Advertising 2008 is proving to be one of the toughest furniture retail climates ever. This seminar will share specific ideas to help retailers generate more traffic and sales through the second half of the year. Learn about media strategies to help minimize political preemptions. See creative ways to drive product category growth, with particular emphasis on selling more mattresses. Go on the offensive with hard hitting television and direct mail promotions that have been proven effective in difficult market conditions. Wednesday, April 9 8:30-9:30 a.m. Innovative Direct Marketing Promotions Designed to Drive Traffic to Your Store Leo Bartsch, Mail America Join us for this discussion on direct marketing promotions and how to utilize their traffic generating power. Share in creative ideas and learn the successful formula for developing effective direct marketing. 10:00-11:00 a.m. Secrets Revealed for Financial Success: Saving With Safety Gwen Chisolm & Dave Diem, Safeco Insurance This presentation will be fun, thought-provoking, and hands-on. It will concentrate on helping the retailer understand the cost of doing business when safety is not part of their business plan while providing cost-saving safety tips that can be effectively implemented in their retail operations. 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Understanding Online Communities: Getting Your Message to the Masses Angela Connor, Capitol Broadcasting/CBC New Media This seminar will discuss the nature of a local online community, and how participating and getting involved in a community can payoff for businesses. It’s not about selling your product full-blast, but getting to know your community, understanding their interests, and finding a way to capitalize on that. 1:00-2:00 p.m. Clear It Out, Cash It Out, and Make Room for New Merchandise Mary Liz Curtin, Leon & Lulu, eBay Everybody makes mistakes, including buyers, but once you’ve got those dogs, you don’t have to live with them forever! Mary Liz Curtin will help you free your open-to-buy and make space for new inventory. Learn how to re-merchandise, re-package and renew accessories and furniture to give the goods another chance at full price, and then find out how to buy for, promote and stage a successful sale that makes money while it moves merchandise. And finally, when in doubt, put it on eBay: tips and tricks for selling on the web. 2:30-3:30 p.m. The Current Furniture Industry Distribution Model is Failing! Jerry Wingate, MicroD, Inc. This seminar is about clearly identifying the actual competition, as well as their strengths and weaknesses. It will also identify the weaknesses of the current distribution model and how competitors are using the weaknesses to penetrate our market. 4:00-5:00 p.m. Navigating the Chinese Sourcing Market & Managing Your Supply Chain Cash Flow Karl Alomar, China Export Finance China Export Finance are experts in the area of finance for goods that are manufactured in China and imported to countries in Western Europe and the USA. This seminar will explain alternative financing methods which benefit both the Chinese manufacturer and their Western customers, as well as the traditional financing methods. Thursday, April 10 8:30-9:30 a.m. Harnessing the Power of the Internet Sev Ritchie, FurnitureDealer.net This presentation will discuss the technology and marketing practices of retailers who are currently achieving success with Internet Marketing. The discussion will include proper site design, search engine marketing, local search, pay-per-click, email marketing, and one-to-one marketing. In addition, Web 2.0 tools (and their use) will be discussed. This seminar is based upon 8 years of research and client work in this area. 10:00-11:00 a.m. Legacy 1.0: Generational Change David Lively, The Lively Merchant Four out of five family-owned businesses are led by their founder, but 40% will change hands in the next five years. You’ll hire lawyers and accountants to plan your estate, but will your company survive? At Legacy 1.0, you’ll learn barriers to communicating transfers of authority, the importance of transition planning and organizational stability, and the Seven C’s of Intergenerational Leadership. 11:30-12:30 p.m. Are You Relevant? Getting & Selling Customers Today Al Wight, Strategic Decisions Inc. Every retailer today has challenges in increasing customer traffic and sales. Learn how you can use the tools of consumer research to analyze your market and match your merchandising and marketing to be most effective. Consumers buy your product not because they understand it but because you understand them. Find out what it takes to be truly relevant to them and their lifestyles and thereby bring them in and close the sale. 1:00-2:00 p.m. Fire Your Media Strategy! Are You Spending A Lot of $ In All The Wrong Places? Leo Levinson, Prescott/Levinson Advertising Many retailers report that their advertising isn’t working. Most likely it’s because their message is in media that are simply not reaching today’s consumer. In the furniture industry, a great deal of money is being wasted in media that are not focused on the primary furniture buying consumer. Leo Levinson will discuss new media and new strategies for the “old media” that will get you much more power from your advertising program. 2:30-3:30 p.m. The Use of the Business Plan in Keeping Your Business On-Track Brian Crozier, CDS Solutions Group All businesses, no matter what size, benefit from having (and referencing) an updated business plan. Brian Crozier will review the many benefits of creating a business plan and will provide participants with detailed information on what areas should be addressed. He’ll also offer an easy-to-follow template to get you started. A number of reference sources will be made available. 4:00-5:00 p.m. Lighting Your Store Now That Light Bulbs Are Illegal Monte Lee, Service Lamp Corp. Energy resolutions continue to become stricter as many states have outlawed various types of incandescent lamps and have tightened energy limitations. This presentation looks at ways to create a dynamic sales environment within energy limits. Lighting technology, costs and tradeoffs are part of this interactive presentation. National Home Furnishings Association (NHFA) is the nation’s largest organization devoted specifically to the needs and interests of home furnishings retailers. NHFA’s membership comprises 2,800 corporate entities representing 10,000 stores in all 50 states and several foreign countries. For more information, visit www.nhfa.org.

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