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Mattress industry executives gather in Florida for ISPA industry conference

* Event filled with educational sessions & 100th anniversary celebration

Yet another snow storm on the East Coast didn’t stop more than 230 mattress-industry professionals, including manufacturers, retailers and suppliers, from coming together for education, celebration, networking and a little rest and relaxation at the International Sleep Products Association’s 2015 Industry Conference March 4-5 at the Vinoy Renaissance Resort and Golf Club in St. Petersburg, Florida.

The conference offered attendees timely and relevant educational sessions geared specifically toward the interests of the bedding industry. Bill Taylor, co-founder of Fast Company magazine and author of “Practically Radical,” delivered a thoughtful opening keynote presentation that challenged professionals to become leaders who create meaningful change and long-lasting value in the sleep products industry.

Other conference speakers included:

  • Phil Johnston, senior vice president of Cleveland-based marketing communications agency Marcus Thomas LLC, who explored how technology is reshaping today’s consumer in a two-part session.
  • Emily Holdman, vice president of venture-capital firm, who advised the audience to inject entrepreneurial thinking into how they approach their jobs.
  • Business trainer John Spence, author of “Awesomely Simple,” who distilled the wisdom of top-thought leaders into actionable steps any business can take.

When attendees weren’t learning from leading business strategists, they were golfing, networking and reconnecting with colleagues during one of the conference’s many receptions, including a special event for the ISPA Women’s Network, during which guests mingled with other like-minded women in the mattress industry.

The conference concluded Thursday evening with ISPA’s Centennial Celebration in the elegantly decorated Vinoy Grand Ballroom. Attendees enjoyed dinner, an entertaining retrospective of the association and an informal after-party with the mattress-industry band the Insomniaczzz.

“This Industry Conference was an exceptional networking event for both vendors and customers alike,” noted Steve Angelone, vice president and co-owner of Bruin Plastics Co. Inc., with headquarters in Glendale, Rhode Island. “The speakers were quite insightful, and the golf and social events were fantastic. Being from New England, the great weather was highly appreciated as well!”