10 of the Most Helpful Facts about the Furniture Today Leadership Conference

Furniture Today Leadership ConferenceOne the best educational events to attend in 2016 is the Furniture Today Leadership Conference, occurring at the end of the year. Read on to find out everything you need to know about the forum.

What is the Furniture Today Leadership Conference?

An annual event, the Furniture Today Leadership Conference gives visitors the opportunity to hone their business knowledge by learning from and networking with influential members of the home furnishings industry. The conference includes a powerhouse panel of speakers discussing a range of topics, from business development to industry issues.

When and where does the event occur?

This year’s event kicks off on Tuesday, November 29, at 4:30 p.m. EST and ends Thursday, December 1, at 11 a.m. EST. It will take place at the Four Seasons Orlando Resort at 10100 Dream Tree Boulevard, Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32836. The venue may be contacted at (407) 313-7777.

Who can benefit from the conference?

The event was made for professionals on both the retail and manufacturing side of the furniture sector.

What will I learn?

Bill McLoughlin

Bill McLoughlin | Image from Twitter

The theme for 2016 is “The Transformation Imperative: Leading Change in a Volatile Marketplace,” with the evolution of the home furnishings industry as the main focus. The educational component starts on November 30 and continues through December 1. It begins with a welcome from Bill McLoughlin of Furniture Today, followed by a keynote address by real estate consultant John Burns, who will share insights on how the real estate market will influence the future of home furnishings. From that point, participants will join other professionals in breakout sessions that cover a variety of topics. Subject matters include culture change, sales technology, workplace growth, and design processes. The conference concludes with “Generational Transformation: What is the Future of Home Furnishings?” in the Grand Ballroom. During the session, visitors gain insight about the next generation of industry leaders.

Will I have time to network?

Yes. Furniture Today and Progressive Business Media have dedicated times for business networking and socialization. In terms of the latter, attendees can start their conference experience with the golf scramble, held on the greens at Tranquilo Golf Club. The event is optional but serves as an opportune time to get to know other professionals prior to the start of the conference. The retail store tour, breakfast, and dinners are other chances to socialize, and participants will also have free time on Wednesday from 4:15 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

For building and fostering business relationships, attendees can take part in the networking cocktail reception on the first and second days as well as the designated networking breaks. There are two breaks planned on Wednesday and one on Thursday, all of which occur in the Grand Ballroom Foyer. The cocktail receptions, meanwhile, will be hosted on the King Meadow Lawn. The first cocktail hour, sponsored by Serta, will commence at 6:30 p.m. on the opening day. The second reception occurs at the same time, on Wednesday. It is made possible by Agio.

Which organizations support the event?

The event is sponsored by AICO/Amini Innovation, Corp., Surya, Genesis Credit, Agio, Blueport Commerce, MicroD Incorporated, and Ashley Furniture Industries, among others.

How do I stay updated on event happenings?

The team at Progressive Business Media reserved the hashtag #ftleadership for social media posts pertaining to the conference. The hashtag can also be used as a search function for related news and updates.

What fees should I expect?

Event runners recommend reserving a room at the host venue for easy navigation to and from the event. A special rate of $225 per night, plus taxes, remains valid through November. Be advised, the hotel requires a deposit equivalent to one night’s stay once the reservation is made.

Visitors flying in should expect a one-way taxi ride to cost approximately $50 to and from the venue. Another option is Mears Transportation, a shuttle service with a one-way fee of $23 and a round-trip fare of $37. The airport also offers car rentals, with parking available at the hotel at a reduced daily expense of $16.

Set aside funds for registration fees as well. Conference coordinators will open up registration in the near future, which will outline associated expenses.

Where can I find more information?

For more details about the event, including registration, visit

Whom do I contact with questions?

For questions concerning the conference, Heather Thompson serves as the contact for the Furniture Today Leadership Conference. The senior manager of conferences and events at Progressive Business Media in Greensboro, North Carolina, she can be reached at or (336) 605-1061.