BrandSource Virtual Summit starts today

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — BrandSource, a member-owned marketing and merchandising group for independent furniture, appliance and consumer tech dealers, is kicking off its virtual Summit 21 today.

The three-day gala, the buying group’s first major gathering of the year, features a lineup of product intros, industry updates, vendor training, education sessions and interactive social hours — all presented within an enhanced and easy-to-navigate interface, the group said.

Here’s a sample of what’s on tap over the next three days:

  • A state-of-the-union address by AVB/BrandSource CEO Jim Ristow (Tuesday).
  • The new Furniture Channel, a special series of furniture keynotes and strategic sessions by home furnishings leaders (Thursday).
  • Daily vendor product training and expert education sessions.
  • 777 Lunch & Learn, a daily short-form panel discussion with seven different suppliers, each answering seven questions in seven minutes.
  • And of course, the virtual expo floor, where attendees can explore the newest product launches across multiple industries (opens Wednesday).

“This year’s Summit carries the theme of ‘Double Down,’ as BrandSource urges its members to turn up the competitive heat, even higher after last year’s record sales and market share gains,” the buying group said in a release. Hammering home that message, and announcing new BrandSource initiatives, will be CEO Ristow in his Tuesday keynote, along with marketplace insights delivered by Chief Marketing Officer John White (also Tuesday) and Merchandising VP Chad Evans (Thursday).

In between, attendees will get the inside track on the latest appliance, home furnishings and consumer tech intros; vie for prizes in region- and Summit-wide contests; and connect with vendors and members on a mobile-optimized platform through instant video chat and in-app messaging.

The group has scheduled a full lineup of interactive Social Hours on Wednesday night, running the gamut from standup comedy and a magic act, to a cooking demo, a virtual campfire, and good old-fashioned happy hours. It will close with  BrandSource President Tom Bennett’s Virtual Pool Party & Awards Ceremony on Thursday.

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