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WHFA Unveils Tucson, AZ Conference Format and Interactive Sessions

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The Western Home Furnishings Association (WHFA) unveiled the all new format of their upcoming 2008 Conference and Expo, May 18–20 at the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, AZ. The new format is meant to get attendees out of their seats and actively participating in all of the education and fun. “Many of us who have been attending conference thought we needed a change,” said Claudia LeClair, WHFA’s 2007 conference chair. “We came to a consensus that what we enjoy most about conference is the networking. People have always enjoyed the roundtables and interacting with peers, and this new format is more conducive to that.” With the input from retailers, WHFA created sessions that offer flexibility and are tailor-made to meet retailers’ needs. Conference attendees will be able to participate in interactive learning sessions, in-depth workshops, and seminars with excellent research data — whatever best suits their learning style. “There is a conference session for every learning style,” said Sharron Bradley, WHFA’s executive director. “If you prefer to be active and participate while learning, you can attend one of the interactive learning sessions. Or, if you would rather sit and listen to someone speak, you can attend one of the more traditional seminars. We have made this conference more about the retailer by giving them a variety of education options and letting them choose what they want to do.” One interactive workshop will let attendees hear straight from the female consumer. The Town Hall Discussion—Confessions of a Female Consumer, facilitated by Jody Seivert, One by One Companies, will bring retailers face-to-face with their female consumers, and retailers will learn what women really want from their shopping experience. Seivert will share her stories and experiences from several months of on-the-street interviews with female consumers and attendees are encouraged to share their own experiences. Conference attendees will also be able to share their experiences and ideas with each other during the retailer-to-retailer roundtables. WHFA has expanded this popular “best idea” exchange to span two days of conference. Retailers will be able to sit shoulder-to-shoulder with the industry’s top retailers and share money saving, business generating and profit keeping ideas. This ‘can’t be missed’ session has also become more interactive, with conference attendees being able to create their own roundtable discussion topic. To create a roundtable discussion topic, visit the WHFA conference microsite at www.WHFAconference.com and select “Create a Roundtable Discussion” under Fresh Style. With a need for speed, former speed skiing Olympian and motivational speaker, Vince Poscente, will leave attendees eager to seek speed in their lives with his closing session, The Age of Speed. This session will turn attendees’ perspectives on speed upside down and challenge them not to resist acceleration but to use it to their advantage. Everyone that attends this session will also receive a complementary copy of Poscente’s bestselling book, The Age of Speed. When retailers aren’t busy interacting, learning and having fun in the educational sessions, they will be able to tap new industry innovations in the all new Expo. The Expo has been reformatted to be a thriving, buzzing hub for all conference activity where vendors will be hosting new product demonstrations and gathering input and evaluations from the retail community. Join WHFA at the all new conference, May 18-20. Register at www.WHFAconference.com or call (800) 422-3778. About the WHFA and NHFA: The Western Home Furnishings Association (WHFA) is the largest affiliate of the NHFA, representing more than 1,100 independent home furnishings retailers in more than 2,800 stores in 12 western states. 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.

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