With the risks of attending in-person events still high, Serta Simmons Bedding (SSB) made the decision to keep its showroom doors shuttered for the rescheduled summer market—and instead host an all-virtual trade show of its own. The three-day online event, which took place in September, allowed the company to showcase new product launches and innovative technologies and directly engage with its retail partners in a safe way.
The event, themed “Leading the Way,” was hosted by celebrity chef and TV host G. Garvin and streamed live from SSB’s headquarters in Atlanta. It proved to be an excellent demonstration of the company’s ability to remain nimble, meeting both customers and consumers wherever they may be.
“In today’s environment, consumer behavior is changing rapidly and we have to change with it,” said Melanie Huet, chief marketing officer. “We were proud to be the first major sleep company to lead the way with a fully digital event that showcased our exceptional new product innovation.”
The virtual showcase far exceeded expectations, with attendance even outpacing the company’s 2019 Summer Las Vegas Market in-person showing. Participants got a chance to learn more about new collections and innovations across all of SSB’s brands.
“While our virtual market showcase was borne out of a desire to keep our employees, customer and partners healthy and safe during the pandemic, we were pleased with the overwhelmingly positive response we received to our newly introduced Perfect Sleeper, Beautyrest Harmony, and Simmons lines,” explained Derek Miller, chief sales officer.
Given the success of its September event, the company expects to incorporate more digital elements into its traditional strategy moving forward—including regularly scheduled virtual touch bases, video updates with consumer insights, interviews with key leaders and online showcases.
“I am constantly impressed by our people who have risen above and beyond to deliver in this challenging time,” Miller continued. “The team here at SSB has come together to problem-solve at a rate that is above the norm of the environment. Our digital capabilities have us positioned well for servicing our retail partners with insights, data, and support more than ever as we move forward.”