What You Need to Know about the HFN Total Home OmniChannel Summit

OmniChannel Summit LogoAmong conferences worth attending in 2016 is the Home Furnishings News (HFN) Total Home OmniChannel Summit. The event will cover a range of topics related to omnichannel shopping and digital commerce. Learn what to expect from the event and how you can participate below.

When and where does the conference take place?

The HFN Total Home OmniChannel Summit kicks off on Tuesday, November 1st and ends on Thursday, November 3rd. The three-day event takes place at The Whitehall Hotel at 1700 Smith Street in Houston, Texas.

Who benefits from the event?

Professionals who want to improve their company’s omnichannel shopping experience should attend the conference. Specifically, professionals in the home furnishings industry and those who provide technical services to the industry will benefit. Likewise, research companies, financial firms, and retail strategy consultants will gain valuable information.

What will I learn?

A variety of speakers and presentations are on the agenda to engage participants in discussions about supply chain integration, online marketplaces, omnichannel enhancements, and specific technologies. There will also be a session dedicated to virtual and augmented reality. Led by experts from Marxent and Loft & roOomy, the session takes place on the second day and analyzes the impact of digital retailing on brick-and-mortar retailers. Attendees will learn how virtual and augmented reality can benefit or negatively affect physical retailers.

Other sessions to consider attending include “Furniture Ecommerce Benchmark Study” and “Creating and Measuring Impactful Home Digital Marketing Campaigns.” The former presents a research study conducted by Blueport Commerce to provide insights on how to compete with companies that focus solely on ecommerce. “Creating and Measuring Impactful Home Digital Marketing Campaigns” is intended to help retailers stay competitive in the industry. Presenters will shares tools and resources crucial for developing targeted digital marketing programs that grow a customer base.

Upon completion of the conference, attendees will walk away with a better understanding of how mobile apps engage consumers, how vendor direct and drop shipping programs work, and how online fulfillment expenditures can be reduced.

Who will give the keynote address?

Antony Karabus, an expert in increasing retail profitability, will give the keynote speech, following opening remarks on the first day. Chief executive officer of the firm HRC Advisory, he will address the challenges of digital commerce and competing against digital pure play enterprises like Amazon and Wayfair. He intends to provide actionable advice that can assist in developing and executing a successful digital home retailing plan.

Are there other speakers that may interest me?

Yes. Carl Prindle and Stacey Renfro are two of the event’s other featured speakers. Mr. Prindle is the president and CEO of Blueport Commerce, and Ms. Renfro heads the ecommerce division of Pier 1 Imports as senior vice president.

What networking opportunities are available?

On the first day, participants will get to meet other attendees at a networking cocktail reception in the Bayou Ballroom. The gathering starts at 5:30 p.m. and continues until 7 p.m. The following day, there will be two networking breaks in between the breakout sessions, as well as another cocktail reception. You may also utilize the lunch hour and the break at 4:30 p.m. to mingle and talk. On the final day, there are no specific networking events scheduled. However, breakfast would be a good time to chat and meet with new contacts.

How do I register?

Reserve your place at the summit by visiting to register. If you are registering with a group, there is an option to add additional people to your registration.

What fees should I expect?

If you are attending as a retailer, a registration fee of $395 applies. As a supplier, manufacturer, or other industry professional, you must pay an $895 registration fee. In addition, you may invite one non-industry affiliated guest for a fee of $200. Your guest’s admission covers receptions only. Registration fees do not take into account hotel and transportation expenses. If you require a hotel, consider staying at the same location as the conference for ease. Until October 3rd, The Whitehall offers a special rate of $179 per night.

In terms of transportation, you may opt to use a taxi or shuttle service from the airport. Prices vary, but expect to pay about $47.50 for a one-way trip from the George Bush Intercontinental Airport and $25 from the William P. Hobby Airport. Renting a car at either airport is another option. Set aside $29 each day you intend to use the hotel’s valet parking services.

What if I have questions?

For hotel inquiries, call The Whitehall to speak to a representative. The hotel phone number is (713) 739-8800. Questions about the summit can be directed to Heather Thompson, senior manager of conferences and events at Progressive Business Media. You may contact her at (336) 605-1061 or