“We had 490 distinct and separate retail buying groups come into our showroom,” stated show manager and SSA Executive Director Jones. “That is distinct businesses, not individual buyers. If you counted buyers we could be talking well over 1,000.” Jones explained that she only scans one badge for each group, but notes that the showroom draws multiple buyer groups with different geographic assignments or various product groupings. “Considering that this was a new location after years of being on the 13th floor, and we had a number of longtime exhibitors move out, and some first-time (new) exhibitors move in, this was a really rewarding show for our 32 exhibitors,” said Jones.
According to Jones she received ratings feedback from 25 of the 32 exhibitors on the show, ranking it on a 10 point scale, one being bad to 10 being excellent. “Every one of those grading reports came back a nine or 10 from the exhibitors in the showroom.”
SSA exhibitors expressed support for the new showroom. Todd Youngblood of Chili Technologies and Secretary /Treasurer of the SSA expressed the universal feeling of the positives of the 15th floor being a ‘mattress /bedding floor’. “I like the new layout, and the proximity to the other mattress brands. Overall this was a good move for us.”
“For Forever Foundations this market was more like we were attending our very first market, with the new setting and our new look. We experienced a more upbeat and positive customer. It really was quite exciting,” said Dennis Rodgers of Forever Foundations.
“It was a great show. For the most part the buyers we spoke with, including new, prospective, and existing customers, were very optimistic for 2013 and excited to be there and see which partnering vendors were going to be there for them as the economic situation gradually makes a turn for the better,” said David Wiener, of Lifestyle Covers.
“There was a constant stream of retailer and representatives flowing through. This gave us exhibitors’ access to not only appointments we’d generated, but also to many other dealers coming through. We saw dealers from large to small and all in between. Our follow up list is tremendous and we’ve enlisted the help of many new reps. This could not have been a better show! Thanks for the SSA in changing the showroom and keeping this concept alive!” said Mark Dentale of Caber Sure Fit.
“The advantage of having everyone in the same room is hard to beat, and the retailers know it. They come year after year to see what we have to offer and now that the IMC has created a bedding floor, we are truly a destination,” shared Pascal Roberge of Beaudoin Ltd.
Since the opening of the first World Market Center Las Vegas market, the non-profit SSA has been serving as a ‘show within a show’, ‘advocate and incubator’ for small to medium size emerging and innovative mattress, bedding and top-of-bed companies. “Many of the permanent Las Vegas mattress /bedding and accessories showrooms started out in our show space,” said Dale T. Read, President of the SSA. “Under the slogan ‘The Future of Sleep’ we have provided flexible and high traffic show space for companies with new product ideas, emerging technologies and huge growth opportunities.” Read noted that the original owners of TempurPedic showed in an SSA show space in the mid-1990’s. “I first saw ‘Gel’ from a Utah-based company in 1995 here in Las Vegas at an SSA show. Many of the accepted technologies we embrace today were first exhibited years ago as a new idea at an SSA show,” said Read. “With this new show space, it is exciting for us to renew our commitment to being a platform for ‘The Future of Sleep’”.
For more information, visit www.sleepinformation.org.
About Specialty Sleep Association: Founded in 1995, the Specialty Sleep Association is a national, not-for-profit organization created to facilitate the growth and positive awareness of the specialty sleep category. Its members develop or sell specialty sleep products including natural/bio-based and organic bedding, latex, memory foam, air, gel, water, adjustable, new spring technologies and related products. SSA membership includes more than 100 manufacturers and retailers ranging from small, family-owned businesses to large corporations. SSA has showrooms in Las Vegas and High Point.