ISPA’s biennial trade show was the largest in its history—and here’s why it matters to you.
While many readers of Sleep Savvy didn’t attend, the three-day event did include elements of relevance to retailers. Attendance was strong, orders were being written, and a spirit of energy and enthusiasm was palpable. For producers to be buying, new orders have to be coming in from retailers.
Here are a few highlights:
- Largest show ever: ISPA EXPO 2016 was the largest and most successful in the association’s history with a record 4,330 attendees—a 22% increase over 2014—from 72 countries visiting 242 exhibitors covering more than 137,000 square feet of exhibition space. “I think our record-breaking numbers reflect the enthusiasm and optimism that’s been building throughout the mattress industry,” said Ryan Trainer, ISPA president.
- Introductions: Sleep Savvy editors noted a variety of new technologies and trends. For example, ticking suppliers showcased fabrics that were not only beautiful but also designed with a host of health benefits in mind. Some fabrics were infused with minerals to help sleepers feel more refreshed, while other products were inspired by the breathability of performance fabric. And, no surprise that cooling continues to be a big emphasis, as well. (Check out video tweets on the website of our sister publication BedTimes at http://bit.ly/1Mx8OUd.)
- Honored: During the Industry Breakfast Friday, March 11, ISPA recognized retailer Dale Carlsen, founder of the retail chain Sleep Train, and now executive vice chairman and chief philanthropy officer for Mattress Firm, for his outstanding service to the mattress industry. In addition to creating the Sleep Train Foster Kids program, he also played a leading role in establishing California’s mattress-recycling program.
- Vision: Also during the breakfast, Kathy Roedel, chair of ISPA’s board of trustees, outlined the association’s new strategic plan, which includes making it the home of collaborative industry interaction and inclusion. Citing the blurring lines between supplier, manufacturer and retailer, she said: “As the market changes, and as the roles of individual companies change, we need to consider how ISPA membership should evolve to best serve the greater sleep products industry as an organization with the resources and influence to make positive change for all constituents—members, consumers and the global community.”
Stay tuned to Sleep Savvy as ISPA’s vision for the future—and innovations shown at EXPO—takes shape.