9 of the Most Essential Details to Know about the NEXT Conference

In July 2016, Furniture Today announced its agenda for the NEXT Conference. Formerly known as the Future Leadership Conference, NEXT will take place in Savannah, Georgia, starting September 14, 2016. The two-day event includes educational forums made possible by an advisory board. The board consists of home furnishings professionals from Ashley Furniture, Colfax Furniture, and Wolf Furniture, among others. Find out what you should know by reading further.


The NEXT Conference caters to innovative professionals within the home furnishings industry. Expect to meet individuals who are quick to adopt new trends and think outside the box. Up-and-comers will also be present to learn how to make their mark on the industry.


technologyProgramming focuses on the future of retail, so there will be no shortage of technology discussions. In fact, of the five NEXT ideas presented as breakout sessions, number four is Take on Tech: Content, Commerce, Curation. The session includes experts from MicroD, Inc., the Design Network, Amber Engine. Other NEXT ideas slated for presentation include Leading through Times of Change, the Home of the Future, Retail Experiences, and Industry Innovators. Keynote addresses from sponsor Surya will kick off the event, while Dot & Bo representative Anthony Soohoo will close. Make sure to also attend the brainstorming lunch and networking breaks, sponsored by STORIS, to create valuable connections. At the conclusion, event hosts will celebrate with a cocktail party in the Harbor Ballroom.


Separate from the hotel fees, registration is $295 per retailer, through August 5th. Afterward the fee rises to $550, so make sure you obtain the best price possible by registering early. If you are a manufacturer or supplier, or another professional in the industry not considered a retailer, the fee is $995. No special rates apply.

NEXT Recognition & Awards Program

To avoid registration fees and highlight your expertise in one of the five NEXT focuses, consider entering the NEXT Recognition & Awards Program. The video contest is NEXT’s way of soliciting the best examples of its core subject matters in action. Through your video submission, you must demonstrate leadership, retail experience, technology knowledge, innovation, or home environment expertise. Leadership relates to how a person manages and guides a team and company through generational and transitional challenges. Retail experience pertains to creating excitement that encourages more consumers to shop. Specifically, judges will look for a person who successfully implements a strategy that is different from the norm. Technology knowledge fixates on commerce and content. Innovation is driven by new business models and entrepreneurism. Finally, home environment expertise will judge entrants on smart home and sustainable solutions, as well as interior and lighting design. If you are chosen among the top five in one of the categories, you will win free registration to the conference. Further, the NEXT committee will integrate your video into the programming to show other professionals how to excel. If you feel inclined, you may also use the contest to nominate a colleague for the award and prize.

Social Media

To stay current on conference news, follow Furniture Today on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Likewise, the hashtag #PBMnext has been designated for the event. Use it to tag your posts while partaking in the event and to track what others are sharing.

Location and Accommodations

The event will be hosted at the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa on 1 Resort Drive. Attendees can book a room at the resort at a rate of $192 per night through August 10th. Thereafter, fees may change. To ensure the lowest rate possible, call (800) 228-3000 or visit to secure the hotel special. All rooms are 100 percent smoke-free and include a turndown service, express checkout, and a fully integrated multimedia connectivity system. Around-the-clock room service and the signature Heavenly shower and bath are included for a more comfortable experience.


A one-way transportation service to the airport is available with advance reservation, which is accessible through the resort’s website or by calling (912) 201-2000. Mercedes Airport Shuttle departs daily and costs $25. If you have others joining you, you will need to pay $15 for each additional person.


The conference is in a great location for exploring local restaurants. Find 11 recommended dining establishments, ranging from classic American to Jamaican, on the website. Those featured include the Green Truck Neighborhood Pub, Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room, and Sandfly Bar-B-Q. For something sweet, head to local bakeries Maté Factor or Joe’s Homemade Cafe.

Contact Information

For additional assistance, the senior manager of conferences and events at Progressive Business Media is handling all inquiries. Heather Thompson, located in Greensboro, North Carolina, will respond to messages left at (336) 605-1061 and