Course Descriptions


Course Descriptions

Mattress University:  “Think Outside the Mattress”Bob Muenkel, Director of Sales Education & Development, Serta Simmons Bedding
Monday, 10:00 AM – 10:45 AM 

Today’s retail environment requires a laser focus on maximizing each client opportunity.  Selling mattresses is profitable but selling the “Sleep Experience” requires one to “Think Outside the Mattress.”  This session reveals the current consumer trends, selling strategies and sales techniques for sleep essentials and motion bases.  There are only two choices: Raise your ticket by 20%-30% or give that $$$ to your competitors.

Mattress University:  “Industry Update & Trends: Discover developments  in the bedding industry”
David Perry-Executive Editor for Furniture Today
Monday, 11:00 AM – 11:45 AM

We will take a look at industry trends emerging from Las Vegas Market.

A Team that Collaborates is a Team that Wins! (And Produces More!)
Kris Kuester
Monday, 10:00 AM – 10:45 AM
Tuesday, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

The old saying “2 is better than 1” isn’t always true.  The reality is that “2 that collaborate will dominate 2 that don’t! “. Is your team working together for a common purpose and goal and if not – why not? Most organizations struggle to create environments where collaboration blossoms. In this class, you will learn how to effectively collaborate and build teams that produce more and truly want to do more! Increase your team’s production, effectiveness, creativity, innovation and joy!

Ask yourself if you want more out of your team.  If “YES” don’t miss out and join Nationwide’s Human Capital expert Kris Kuester, author of the “People Principal” and “ReDefined”, in this dynamic class.

Digital for Dummies V1.5
Rick Weinberg, Doug Marsh, and Amanda Evans
Monday, 11:00 AM – 11:45 AM

In this session with Nationwide’s Amanda Evans, Rick Weinberg and Doug Marsh you’ll find Digital Marketing, and it’s place in your Marketing Mix, made easy. For many business owner’s Digital Marketing presents a unique challenge. Often, with technology terms swirling about, and the difficulty of sorting through all the various platforms and methods of digital advertising, it’s impossible for the less “tech savvy” to leverage this ever-growing and powerful marketing channel. In this session, Digital Marketing will be presented in an easy to digest manner, allowing any business owner to leave the session equipped to find their own perfect omni-channel marketing mix. This session will also shed light on lessons from some of Nationwide’s most advanced digital marketing Members, with each lesson made simple to understand and execute. Today, it’s all about mobile, and you’ll learn how to have a bigger potential impact on your business by leveraging these small screens! Further examined will be the website as your digital storefront. Learn to successfully connect with all generations by using cutting edge web strategies to showcase innovation, energy efficiency, and being first to market! Lastly, we will show you where on the Prime Time show floor to visit to seize the low hanging digital fruit and to find some extra Bonus Marketing Dollars to use to execute your next digital campaign.

The Marketing Make or Break – Your Website
Mike Whitaker, Nationwide PrimeMedia
Monday, 11:00 AM – 11:45 AM

Your website will touch more of your prospects than any other marketing channel in your arsenal.  Today, over 70% of consumers entering the durable goods market are turning to the web as they search for both products and places to buy them.  Gaining awareness with the consumer is no longer enough to generate a store visit.  To win the customer, you’ll have to have a world-class website.  In this session with Nationwide’s Mike Whitaker, we’ll examine both nuts and bolts of what makes one website stand out, while others fall behind in search rankings, and we’ll discuss the user experience, and why some websites succeed at engaging the consumer, while others fail.  We’ll also cover Nationwide’s Baseline Advanced Website Analysis, a complementary tool for all Nationwide Members to measure and improve your website, search rankings, and digital presence.  If you’re looking to win more customers digitally in 2018, you’ll want to plan on attending this information rich course.

Digital for Dummies V 3.0
Doug Marsh, Nationwide Marketing Group
Monday, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Today, there is no business that is not impacted by the power and reach of the Mobile web. Did you know most people never have their smartphones more than three feet away from them? It’s the most intimate and individual piece of personal technology that most people own, and if you want to know your customers, serve your customers, and sell to your customers, it’s critical that you get a grip on mobile. Through our NMG preferred web providers, our dealers have optimized their websites for the Mobile Boom, but many small and medium sized businesses are not aware of all the many ways Mobile can help their business or do not know how to effectively leverage the many Mobile services that are available. In this session, we will take some of the learning’s of our most advanced digital marketing dealers and show you some practical takeaways, from making sure your Google search page is current to showing the opportunities in location based advertising, SMS marketing and live social media.

Furniture 101
Jerry Epperson
Monday, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Tuesday, 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

You can buy a sofa for $299 or $12,000 and similar price ranges hold true for the vast array of furniture categories from bedroom, dining room, office furniture, entertainment cabinetry, living room tables, recliners and stationary chairs and all the rest. On top of this vast price range, you have all the styles, colors and sizes. The consumer can personalize their home in an infinite number of ways, with your help. We hope to share some of our enthusiasm and experience from more than 40 years in the furniture industry—and we learn more every year. There are new ways to reach the consumer, new products that are very exciting like powered recliners and motion sofas or powered mattress bases, new brands and features, and a new generation of furniture buyers. You can do the same thing as the big stores, or you can create something new and exciting for your customer. It is up to you. And Nationwide has done most of the work for you!

Reputation Management / Review the Store 101
Mike Whitaker
Monday, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Tuesday, 9:45 AM – 10:45 AM

This session from Nationwide’s Mike Whitaker will help you better understand the influence of consumer reviews on your business today, as well as (and more importantly) what you should be doing about it!  The latest industry-specific data is in, and the implications are clear:  if you’re not building a robust portfolio of reviews on the most trusted sites on the web (Google, Facebook, and more) then you’re missing out on far too many consumers who would shop with you.  Learn how your team can generate more reviews than ever, and learn how effective management of these reviews can help you attract more customers, and have them enter your store with confidence.  This must-see session can be the biggest impact you’ll find at the lowest investment in your marketing mix in 2018!

A New Age/ A New Customer/ A New Opportunity
Jerry Epperson
Monday, 4:00pm-4:45pm

The long, deep, unprecedented 2008-2009 recession has created a clear divide between the old ways of retailing and addressing the consumer. Since then, so many changes have occurred that many do not fully recognize why we live in a promising new age that offers not just new merchandise and new methods of retailing, but new levels of profitability as you embrace the technology and advances available to you as a Nationwide Marketing Group member.  And now we have a growing economy and millions of new customers, too.

Nationwide 101
Jeff Knock, Mike Whitaker, and Kris Kuester
Monday, 4:00 PM – 4:45 PM

New to Nationwide?  Maybe a bit overwhelmed?  Trying to figure out where to start?  Think about Nationwide like a Super Fitness Center (like LA Fitness).  Every machine imagionable, any program to get in shape, courses, activities, classes, diets, trainers and more.  Problem is, everyone is unique with different needs and cannot possibly use them all.  That’s how we feel about our members!  Every business has different opportunities, challenges and needs.  We want to help you focus on the programs, assets and tools that best fit YOUR needs.

Problem is there’s too much to do and I need help in removing the clutter!

We get it! It begins with our overall strategy and mission.  Put simply…you need to gain market share by helping streamline the path to owning customer relationships for a lifetime.  You need to attract consumers, creat an over-the-top experience for them and execute with simplicity.  We got you covered.  The key is to prioritize and organize, remove the clutter (or the non-essential activity) that doesn’t matter, focus on the critical things that attract consumers to you and do fewer things better.  The things that do matter.  The rest is nice, but it can wait…

Our ________ Are Our Most Important Assets
Steve Bryant, Nationwide  Marketing Group
Monday, 4:00 PM – 4:45 PM

Is Your Company Living Team Improvement or Just Talking About It?

As an owner or manager, you have a job that can be rewarding, challenging, and even frustrating at times, but never boring.   The fact that you’re on the scene observing your Team’s behaviors in real time, gives you an unmatched opportunity to impact the performance of your company’s most valuable assets; its people.

For most, the initiation into the role of manager tends to be focused on managing “things” such as inventory, cash, and facilities, rather than leading a Team.  This session could be the beginning of a path to improved performance for your people and your company. We won’t show you how to complete a bank deposit, count your inventory or get your paperwork done.  Instead, this program will help you make the most of the people who work with you every day.  You’ll see examples of effective leadership skills and behaviors that can help your team perform at a higher level and enjoy their work more; so you experience less employee turnover and reach your goals and objectives more consistently, evolving from a mere manager into a Team Leader.

Selling Online
Jennifer Danko, Site On Time, Chief Technology Officer
Monday, 4:00 PM – 4:45 PM
Tuesday, 1:00 PM – 1:45 PM

How important is a shopping cart on your website? Already have a shopping cart? It’s time to take it to the next level. Learn more about eCommerce and online shopping and why it’s important to your business. We will cover the key features required for any shopping cart experience and how you can recreate much of your in store sales experience, online. The process of setting up and maintaining an online shopping cart is much easier than you might think. We will discuss the steps to getting your shopping cart up and running. You will get answers to many of the common questions related to online shopping such as, how to price your website, online MAP and shipping policies, fulfillment, live chat, support, sales tax, extended warranties, payment options and reviews. You will learn about common mistakes and how to avoid them when preparing for and setting up your shopping cart. Every store should allow their customers to checkout online. Without a shopping cart, you are missing out on key sales opportunities and limiting customer interaction with your business. If you already have a shopping cart we will discuss some key features that can improve your overall conversions and user experience.

Digital Marketing /Boost /Web Services 101
Doug Marsh,Nationwide Marketing Group
Tuesday, 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM

From Websites, to email marketing to SEO, Nationwide Web Services brings the products and services you need to improve your digital presence.  The Web Services team is there to help you find the right digital marketing services. Two amazing programs exclusive to Nationwide are Just Say YES! and BOOST Digital Video.  Just Say YES! partners with our preferred website providers to put relevant content on your website with promotional and informational banners and Landing Pages.  BOOST digital video is based around our strong digital video presence from PrimeMedia.  Roughly 1/3 of internet activity is video and Members have a real opportunity to use Video to create Brand Awareness quickly and drive new traffic to their stores and websites. Boost Digital Video is Nationwide’s exclusive program created to help you simply navigate that landscape and connect with consumers in your market using the power of Video.

Getting the most out of your 4K HDR TV w/certified HMDI cables
Joe Perfito, Tributaries Cable, President
Tuesday, 8:00 AM – 8:45 AM 

The session will present:

  • HDMI cable conductor functions
  • How the source and sink communicate
  • Discussion of Resolution, Wide Color Gamut, Color Depth, Color Space, Color Sampling & Color Volume.
  • How Data Rate ties all the terms together
  • The requirement of 18G cable performance
  • ITU Recommendations 709 & 2020 setting the specs for HDTV and UHD TV
  • HDMI revisions from 1.0 to 2.1; in depth Rev 1.4, 2.0 & 2.1
  • HDR description and examples
  • What’s a nit?
  • Fiber Optic HDMI cable properties and performance
  • New designs of Long distance copper 18G HDMI cables properties and performance
  • HDMI Cable Testing Methods
  • Review of Tributaries HDMI cables
  • Dynamics of setting up a UHD Blu-ray Player and TV to ensure best picture quality


How to STRESS Yourself Out, Be LATE for Everything, and DIE YOUNG!
Andy Masters, MA, CSP – Masters Performance Improvement, Inc.
Tuesday, 8:00 AM – 9:15 AM
Tuesday, 3:00 PM – 4:15 PM

Tired of the same old time management and work-life balance messages?  Dread no more.  International Author/Speaker Andy Masters shares his humorous but thought-provoking spin on life-changing principles by presenting through his unique “What not to do” theme.  Principles include over-commit to everyone, “multi-task-to-the-max”, don’t delegate, procrastinate, eat poorly, and don’t sleep.  Andy helps audiences across the country become “MASTERS” of prioritization, time delegation, and work/life balance—allowing you to control your schedule, and not allowing your schedule to control you. Andy’s positive and entertaining program provides specific tools you can apply immediately so you can get MORE done, in LESS time, with HIGHER quality, and LESS stress in your career and your life.  Recharge and refocus NOW….before it’s too late!

Lead Me Now!  Leadership Skills for the Modern Workplace
Kris Kuester
Tuesday, 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM

Real leadership is the ability to get other people to perform at a level they wouldn’t ordinarily perform at in order to achieve the organization’s goals and/or vision. However, leadership is more than that; it also gets people to perform at that level because they “want to” not because they “have to”. Become the leader you have always wanted to be by learning the do’s and the don’ts of real leadership. In this session, you will leave with the tools you need to lead in the modern workplace and truly lead!

If you want to start working on being “That Leader” don’t miss this class with Nationwide’s human capital expert Kris Kuester; author of the “People Principal” and “ReDefined”.

Leveraging Premium Brands for Greater Sales and Profits
Bob Sherman, CEO Visionary Sleep, LLC. dba Restonic Mattress Company
Tim Rosebrock, The Biltmore Company, Vice President & General Manager, Licensed Consumer Products
Tuesday, 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM

Join us for an informative session with Bob Sherman, CEO Visionary Sleep, LLC. dba Restonic Mattress Company and Tim Rosebrock, Vice President of Licensing at The Biltmore Company to learn about an exciting new and exclusive branded mattress program available to Nationwide members.  Insights will be shared on Restonic’s 80-year history, award winning products, and their effective approach to crafting high-quality and high-profit margin luxury sleep products as well as the story behind the iconic Biltmore lifestyle brand.  Biltmore is George Vanderbilt’s magnificent North Carolina estate that welcomes 1.4 million annual guests and is a recognized brand that reaches consumers across the country with lifestyle products and wine.  Attendees will hear highlights of a successful Biltmore branded product case study and take away ideas to drive store traffic and high-margin sales leveraging the Restonic and Biltmore brands.  All attendees will be automatically registered for a special giveaway of a one-year membership to the Vanderbilt Wine Club, or to win $150 Biltmore Gift Card and 4 daytime tickets for entry to the Biltmore Estate.  Winners must be 21 years of age and present to win.

Magical Moments in Service
Louie Gravance
Tuesday, 8:00 AM – 9:30 AM

ALL organizations are constantly engaging their internal and external customers in a NARRATIVE of sorts. Regardless of what anyone is selling or providing, a story is conveyed through every single transaction, involving every single sense we possess. This narrative drives everything from customer expectations to employee satisfaction and even your very BRAND ESSENCE.

  • What do we look like?
  • What do we sound like?
  • What do we feel like?

Since all of your team members are telling a story with every transaction, shouldn’t it be the story you want to convey to your customers?  Every day?  Every transaction?

For over 40 years I’ve appeared on radio, network television, film, stage, in theme parks, as well as worked with corporate trainers in medicine, retail, foods, manufacturing, auto makers, insurance companies to name just a few. They are all, at their core, show business.

pureWash Pro- Untapped Retail Profit – RTO Gold
Allen Johnston and Peter Harris
Tuesday, 8:00 AM – 8:45 AM

Allen Johnston (aero-space engineer, founder of GreenTech and inventor of pureWash Pro) along with Peter Harris (President of GreenTech and former CEO of FAO Schwartz, the San Francisco 49ers, West Marine and Net Jets) will help you understand and motivate you to sell pureWash Pro.

PureWash Pro saves money and helps washing machines do a better job. Attached to any washing machine it uses only cold water and requires no detergent and no fabric softener. The average household will achieve an average annual savings of over $600 which is more than enough to pay for the unit in less than the first year of use. As important as the money, pureWash Pro kills the germs and bacteria 3000 times faster and 50 times better than detergent or chlorine. Good for the laundry and good for the washing machine (no more musty smelling washers). Safe and easy to install, pureWash Pro is a clever and unique adaptation of how hospitals and big hotels have done laundry for decades, so the technology is proven.

Tens of thousands of pureWash Pro units have been sold through appliance stores and is quickly emerging as a Rent-to-Own success story. It is a perfect ticket builder. Allen will provide some user-friendly technical notes needed to effectively sell. Peter will focus on sales tools and success stories The forty-five-minute program promises to be as entertaining as it will be educational. Don’t miss it!

Recruiting, Hiring and Finding the Right Team in 2018
Mike Whitaker, Nationwide PrimeMedia
Tuesday, 8:00 AM – 9:30 AM

In today’s Independent Retail world, many dealers find themselves challenged to find the right folks to add to their teams.  From sales to delivery, management to technicians, and many more, the competitive market for qualified candidates has never been more intense.  If you’ve ever wished there was a path to finding the right people to add to your team, this session is for you!  Join Nationwide’s Mike Whitaker for an exciting journey to a place where you have more great candidates than you could hope to hire!  You’ll learn to leverage today’s technology and best practices to generate more interest in careers with your company while controlling your investment, and reducing your turnover.  If you want to hire better, retain great employees longer, and make the search for your next superstar easier, you can’t afford to miss this course!

Synchrony HOME Network
Rob Krause, SVP-GM Sales Synchrony Financial
Ammeta Patel, Vice President Client Marketing, Synchrony Financial
Tuesday, 8:00 AM – 8:45 AM

Want access to more customers with established buying power ???

Synchrony Financial is introducing an innovative program to Nationwide members that will bring thousands of retailers together to provide more opportunities for cardholders to purchase what they need for their home – The HOME Network – scheduled to launch in 2018.

Join us in this informative session to learn –

1.) what is The HOME Network, including the success Synchrony has had with Networks in the Healthcare and Auto industries;
2.) the short-term and long-term benefits to a NMG member of inclusion in The HOME Network; 3.) best practices for utilizing the increased buying power included in The HOME Network, including marketing; 4.) Open dialogue and Q&A around The HOME Network concept and benefits.

Bedding 101
Jerry Epperson
Tuesday, 8:30 AM – 9:30 AM

Don’t know ticking from a ticker? Bedding 101 is meant to introduces the fundamentals of selling mattresses, or better yet, a better sleep experience. Consumer awareness of the health issues that surround a good night’s sleep has never been higher as research continues to show new benefits. At the same time, new technologies are allowing the mattress manufacturers to make a better product with more features, at a value price. From a retailing perspective, mattresses are often the most profitable sale on the entire floor not only due to the good profit margins, but also because of the high product turnover and the minimal inventories required. We have consumer- known and respected brands and strong advertising and promotional support to help you. In reality, all the mattresses are the same sizes and the consumer cannot see what is inside that pretty outside cover.  They must rely on the knowledge and credibility of the retailer as to the quality and true features that are inside the mattress that allow the best night’s rest possible.  Once again, Nationwide shows you how to have the competitive advantage!

Appliances – Why You Should Participate in the Whole Home – RTO
Kyle Phillips, Whirlpool Corp.
Tuesday, 9:00 AM – 9:45 AM

Whirlpool has been in the appliance industry for over 100 years, and we started out as a laundry company. While laundry is a central part of our company’s history and identity and vital to our ongoing success, it is only a fraction of our overall business. Whirlpool understands the volume and profit available in the kitchen. Whirlpool has also committed to a focus on RTO. We want you to be successful and push your businesses to new heights because if you do we also succeed. In 2017 laundry products were 85% of Whirlpool’s sales into the rental segment, but only account for less than 25% of the overall appliance industry. By only focusing on the laundry room, you are missing out on 75% of appliance sales and the profits that go along with those sales.

In this session we will provide industry knowledge that backs up the decision to focus more on kitchen appliances. We also want to get your feedback on why you aren’t selling kitchens and provide you with the tools to get started. As a bonus, we will offer to any dealer that attends the session a $100 discount when you purchase a kitchen suite to include at least 1 refrigerator, range, and dishwasher.

Growing the Retail Basket™ From Accessory to Necessity!
Keith Mackey, Senior Vice President of Sales for Protect-A-Bed®
Tuesday, 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM

In this session you will learn about the complete way of having success in selling add-ons for any product category. Electronics accessories, appliance add-ons to Top of Bed for your mattresses, customers want, need, and deserve to have them presented to them as options for the complete sale. When properly merchandised and marketed on the floor, the RSA can improve not only their own bottom line, but the bottom line of the entire company! We will walk through a “widget” exercise that starts with planning out your category merchandising matrix, establishing a proper value assention story, then moving onto creative ways to market the products whereby the customer only has to say which one… not yes or no! Once we have properly aligned our merchandise plan to our product assortment, we will then discuss how to turn an unknown want into a definite need! Last, we will delve into the RSA dynamic of getting them to show and tell! We will also discuss the idea of “bundling” and how you can create a system of asking only once for 3 products!

Prepare for Share 101
Jeff Knock, Nationwide Marketing Group
Tuesday, 9:00 AM – 9:45 AM

Three years ago, our Prepare for Share (PFS) strategy came to life as a means to better prepare our members for local market growth opportunities.  Several predictions were made, such as an escalated Sears decline, HH Gregg crash, changing consumer trends, generational differences.  Since then, those predictions have come true and preparation for them has allowed many Nationwide members to capitalize on them.  NMG has been helping members gain local market share using simplified wholesale programs and turnkey retail programs.  The idea was to help members create more awareness in their marketplace (through help with NMG retail programs), create a better purchase experience (through help with NMG product advantages and exclusive offers) and help members execute on a simpler level by honing in on fewer (but powerful) SKU’s and creating multi-media campaigns that are much easier for members to manage.

Add Profit to Your Bottom Line by Regulating Outdoor Living Environments
Josh Rookstool, SUNHEAT International, Director of Sales
Tuesday, 9:15 AM – 9:45 AM

Join SUNHEAT International, the family owned and operated, “Concept to Market” juggernaut for an inspiring look at outdoor heating and cooling. SUNHEAT has introduced such revolutionary products as The Original SUNHEAT made in USA infrared heater and CoolZone by SUNHEAT Ultrasonic Dry Mist fan with built-in mosquito repellent and Bluetooth Speakers to the furniture and appliance markets. SUNHEAT will share secrets on how to send tens of thousands of dollars direct to your bottom line by carrying exclusive products only available through the SUNHEAT Dealer Network. With as little as four square feet, you will learn how to turn your appliance, bedding, RTO or other customer into an outdoor living customer. As more and more families spend their leisure time in their backyard, they too are spending more money on what has become their second living room. Your customers are buying outdoor heating and cooling products from someone. SUNHEAT will show you how it should be YOU with superior products with a quality brand and full support backing every one of the items you carry.

RetailDeck® User Meeting
Jennie Gilbert, Retailer Web Services, COO
Tuesday, 9:15 AM – 10:15 AM 

Over 7,000 appliance store owners and employees use the RetailDeck® app to close more sales with quick access to competitive pricing, product images and videos, rebate forms, current and future MAP information and more. NEW: create professional quotes and send them by email or text message. RetailDeck even sends alerts when quotes are being opened so your team can prioritize and follow up with the hottest prospects.  Current users will learn how to use these exciting new features. Not using RetailDeck yet? Come see for yourself and learn how RetailDeck can help you sell more.

Measuring your Marketing with Google Analytics
Jeffrey Niederauer, NMG Member Western Appliance
Tuesday, 9:45 AM – 10:45 AM

Do you have a website setup with Google Analytics, but don’t know what to do with all the different reports and data? Come to this member-led Learning Academy session and learn about some favorite reports and metrics, and how to customize them to pull information you can use to inform your marketing efforts. If your company has a dedicated digital marketing department backed by a national advertising agency, you probably don’t need to attend this session. But if you are bombarded by “digital marketing” pitches from your newspaper, cable, TV, and radio reps who themselves don’t know a bit from a byte, come learn and discuss with other members how to evaluate options, what’s working, what to track, and what makes sense for our stores.

When your rep comes to you and says, “We did a great job for you this month, we got you X many clicks!”, do you know if all those clicks are really from people around your store area? Do you know if your banner ads are bringing in visitors who engage with your website, or simply click away? Do you know which of your ad vendors are sending you users who are browsing multiple pages and contacting you, versus which vendors are just sending you empty clicks? Are you spending time setting up custom landing pages, and is that improving your results over just linking to your homepage? Are your time-sensitive ads starting and stopping on the right dates, and are they delivering consistently throughout the whole promotion period? If you’re running multiple creatives, do you know which ads are drawing the most clicks and which messages are bringing in the most engaged visitiors?

Get answers to these questions and more when you learn how to create tagged URLs to track different campaigns, creatives, ad types, and ad vendors. Then examine your results with the relevant built-in reports, and learn how to add secondary dimensions and segments to drill down into your results. Go one step beyond “Cost-per- Click” and “Bounce Rate” by calculating a custom metric that combines the two. And find out how your metrics stack up with other stores like yours. Be sure to bring your laptop and be logged in to your Google Analytics account to get the most out of this session.

Conquering Delegation-Phobia
Joe Milevsky, CEO and founder of JRM Sales & Management, Inc.
Tuesday, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM 

Successful businesses limit stress in order to raise growth potential, lower profitability risks, and increase their value.  Small businesses can only grow by delegating responsibilities the way successful larger businesses do. Management processes can be learned!

In most cases, the owner or manager is simply afraid to hold their people accountable.  The fear is usually based on a desire to not lose employees.  However, if you are unwilling to do so, they will hold you accountable by leaving the company anyway, or worse – staying and not allowing you to delegate to them.

During this workshop you will discover:

  • Why your company will either continue to consistently move from fire to fire, or become mission oriented.
  • How to change your culture to make that happen.
  • How to develop and respect proper lines of communication.
  • How to overcome your fear of holding people accountable.
  • What job descriptions should look like as well as why they are extremely valuable.
  • How to get your employees to tell you what areas of their job performance need improvement and to participate in the improvement process.
  • How to positively communicate employee performance as well as coach improvement.
  • How to make a great workplace environment for you, your team, and your customers.

Google 101 – Grow Your Business Online with Google
Tuesday, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM (Pamela Starr, Google)
Tuesday, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM (Pamela Starr, Google)
Tuesday, 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM (Pamela Starr, Google)
Wednesday, 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM (Matt Weber, Google)

Wednesday, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM (Matt Weber, Google)
Wednesday, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM (Matt Weber, Google)

Join the Google Team, along with Nationwide, to learn more about growing your business through the wide array of programs and platforms available from Google.  In this session, we will cover the basics on harnessing the power of Google to help your business get noticed and grow!  You’ll learn more about the wide array of options at your disposal, how to become a more savvy digital marketer, and how to leverage your opportunities through Google to drive more customers into your stores than ever before.  This can’t miss session could be the single best hour you spend at PrimeTime!

Great Service Serves the Server First
Louie Gravance
Tuesday, 10:00 AM – 11:15 AM

When a WOW moment in customer service takes place it doesn’t happen only for the customer, it occurs for both, simultaneously.  Inspiring your team to make that connection is the single, greatest tool for maintaining a culture of service excellence.  This power-talk explores what a WOW moment looks like, sounds and feels like and why delivering them is good for everyone involved.

Occasionally employees will ask themselves, “What’s in it for me?” and it’s not a bad question.  During this session…I answer it. Every participant will come to understand that an investment of themselves is an investment in themselves and that every customer interaction is an opportunity.  An opportunity to define, not just what they’re willing to do, but what they’re willing to be.

More than that; every second is the “moment of truth” in the world of customer service.  I’ve learned a lot about maintaining a consistent service culture that delivers “magical moments” from my years at the Disney University, Disney Institute and the cultures I’ve been involved in shaping at such companies as Bank of America, SkyTouch Technologies and ING Financial.

Kiss Your Customer: Why Sales & Service Are Just Like Dating & Relationships!
Andy Masters, MA, CSP – Masters Performance Improvement, Inc.
Tuesday, 10:00 AM – 11:15 AM 

Andy’s flagship keynote program is based on his award-winning book “Kiss Your Customer: 77 Reasons Why Sales & Service Are Just Like Dating & Relationships”. Andy’s “business humor with a purpose” philosophy provides the ultimate “learn through laughter” experience for attendees.  Andy takes attendees on a journey through the highs-and-lows world of relationship-building, utilizing the clever irony between business and romance.  He also shares examples from Fortune 500 companies to entrepreneurs on how to make amazing connections, drive repeats & referrals, and implement memorable strategies to overcome that one dangerously dissatisfied customer.  Andy’s creative approaches to proven principles impact sales and improve customer loyalty immediately, while also leaving a mark on our personal lives.  Enjoy this entertaining, inspirational, and impactful program!

Must See: Consumer Electronics show special merchant top picks, key vendor updates and a look into 2018 (CE/eXchange/HTSN)
Dean Sottile, NMG, VP Distribution; Doug Wrede, NMG, Director of CE; Hank Alexander, NMG, Director of HTSN;
Ryan Calacci, NMG, eXchange Manager
Tuesday, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Join your CE team for a 1hr jam packed session covering all topics tied to your CE business.  During this course, you’ll get insight into how the industry is performing including areas of opportunity for growth and profit in 2018.  We’ll review our vendor partners and what we see in them for our group and how they can support your initiatives.  Learn how eXchange has grown since its inception and what it can do for you today as well as a tech roadmap for what’s ahead.  HTSN will also outline its goals and objectives for 2018 and has great plans in-store to support the CI channel including a 1st ever Spring Conference bringing the best-of-the-best together.  We hope you’ll join us and see you in Orlando!

Speed Queen – The Lowest Cost of Ownership for RTO
Chad Yanzito, Speed Queen, Regional Sales Manager
Tuesday, 10:00 AM – 10:45 AM

This Learning Academy presentation will be centered around an introduction to Speed Queen which features true commercial quality washers and dryers that offer an RTO store a: 5 year fully transferable parts and labor warranty; industry low failure rates; and unique traditional wash system. The introduction will be followed by a discussion focused on how Speed Queen can earn more RTO business with a quality proposition and increased profits with a lower cost of product ownership.

Connecting your point of sale software to your website
Jennifer Danko, Site On Time, Chief Technology Officer
Tuesday, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Connecting your customers to your store through your website is more important than ever. How do you bridge the gap between information on your website and the information in your point of sale program?  Leveraging your point of sale/inventory data for a better customer experience is easier than you might think. Learn how to maximize any point of sale and inventory data that you have available to you for use on your website. Use this information to not only help customers find products you have in stock but also to help automate the process of merchandising products on your website. Connecting your point of sale and your website can be much more than just providing in stock information. There is valuable data in your store software that can easily be used to promote featured specials, hot buys, best sellers and more. It is often times a manual process to update your website, but by connecting your store retail software to your website the process can be automated. Customers can be funneled to your in stock and higher margin products. Learn which business rules you should be setting up on your website using your point of sale data. If your software does not allow for a direct connection, there are often pre-built exports that you can use to export the information you need. We will discuss the information you need and how you can request this information from your point of sale provider and also some tips on how you can automate these processes.

Driving MemberNetTV: Make Your Digital Signage Work For You!
Cristal Willcox, Nationwide Marketing Group
Tuesday, 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM 

The beauty of Nationwide’s exclusive digital signage system is that the machines are delivered directly to you ready to “plug and play,” with content preloaded. But, we’d like to help you get hands-on by customizing your playlists to your store’s dynamics. Let’s ensure you’re getting the absolute most out of your subscription by showing videos in your stores specific to you and your customers! This class will equip you with training on how to 1) set up your media players in your store on TV walls or individual monitors, and 2) log in to MemberNet and create playlists, find the best content for you in your library of thousands of videos, and how to send us any of your own content to display. From enhancing the customer experience with high definition in-store advertising to bolstering your sales staff with training opportunities and an On Demand sales tool, and more, come learn exactly how to manage the system and make MemberNet TV work for you.

Ashley Furniture Training – RTO Focused
Gary Jones, Ashley Furniture, VP of Rental Sales
Tuesday, 11:00 AM – 11:45 AM

This session will be focused on the RTO channel. We will go through features and benefits that will save you money and how those same features will be good reasons for your customers to say “yes’ to renting it from your store. We will discuss ways to differentiate your stores from others. We will also discuss “what is working in the RTO world” along with any current trends that seem to be on the horizon for the dealers.

Google –
Sharing Your Story Through Video
Tuesday, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM (Pamela Starr, Google)
Tuesday, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM (Liz Olinger, Google)
Wednesday, 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM (Liz Olinger, Google)
Wednesday, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM (Matt Weber, Google)

Best story always wins.  That’s the easy part.  However, only stories that are effectively told get to compete.  In this impactful session, presented by Google and the Nationwide Team, you’ll learn how video presents the best avenue to tell your story to consumers, attract their attention, and position your company as the consumer’s top choice.  Discussed will be the power of digital video in today’s marketplace, as well as how online video can help your business, regardless of your company size.  Companies from the most modest single store business to the largest multi-store operations are winning with digital video.  We’ll show you how to create videos that people will watch, and we’ll also show you paths to success advertising on YouTube – the most-used video platform in the world.  The session will conclude with creative ways you can leverage your Nationwide Marketing Group resources, including Nationwide PrimeMedia, to tell your best story through video!

E-Mail Marketing – Maximizing a Powerful Marketing Tool – A Member to Member Session
Leon Barbachano, Allen and Peterson Cooking and Appliance Center
Tuesday, 11:15 AM – 12:15 PM

Join Leon Barbachano, CEO of Nationwide Member Allen and Peterson Cooking and Appliance Center for a unique Member to Member session focused on Email Marketing.  If you have not yet embarked on E-Mail marketing because you don’t know if you should or you don’t know where to start, you won’t want to miss this session!

This course will answer the following questions:

  1. Should I use E-Mail Marketing
  2. How do I collect E-Mail addresses?
  3. How should I manage my E-Mail List?
  4. What should I E-Mail my customers?

After this course you should be able to begin simple E-Mail Marketing campaigns (later courses will help you take this to the next level – but this course is the first building block).

From Consumer Impressions to Customer Invoices
Let Nationwide’s PrimeMedia Center Provide the Messages, Media and Knowhow to Help Your Company Grow
Steve Bryant, Nationwide Marketing Group
Tuesday, 11:15 AM – 12:15 AM

Nationwide PrimeMedia our job is to make your job easier with Information, Content and Delivery of that content.

Information: Nationwide Consumer Insights research division conducts studies that ask consumers their opinions on a wide variety of shopping experience, product selection, and messaging topics and uses that information strategically in its advertising and educational programs. Nationwide also provides deep dives on website and social media performance through an array of exclusive data-driven services.  There’s Nationwide’s Baseline which measures a site’s speed, efficiency and search engine optimization.  Nationwide’s Google Analytics Benchmark compares members’ site performance with the sites of other like-sized and like-merchandised members; while Nationwide’s Facebook Insights Benchmark also helps members evaluate their social media engagement and presence compared to like members.

Content: In marketing, content is king, and each year Nationwide PrimeMedia produces thousands of television commercials, web videos, social media messages and digital signage assets are provided to members in support of group-created events and promotions. All are based on the latest consumer research, produced to the highest standards, and then seamlessly customized for any member, manufacturer or offer.  .

Nationwide also provides an impressive line-up of print circulars, in-store point-of-purchase signage, web banners and more.  All have been developed to present our members’ brands, their promotional offers and their vendor partners in the most persuasive and impactful light possible.

Delivery: Of course, Nationwide provides seamless delivery of all produced assets directly to any broadcast, cable or print media outlet that the member uses.  We also deliver all member-customized, product-focused and offer-based content to Members’ showrooms via independent retail’s most advanced, and only 4K, digital signage system, MemberNet TV Ultra.  Whether through a pristine 4K TV-wall solution; a high impact multi-screen solution; a vertical, horizontal or an interactive micro-solution, MemberNet TV Ultra transforms average showrooms into content-rich buying zones.

Web videos are housed and delivered via the Nationwide Digital Video Warehouse, where members and their website providers can choose from the group’s huge selection of web videos. Nationwide also provides members with their own private channels so that they can use this platform to upload and host their own content for safe and secure implementation of their digital marketing strategies.

Google 201: Reach New Customers with Google AdWords
Tuesday, 11:15 AM – 12:15 AM (Liz Olinger, Google)
Wednesday, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM (Liz Olinger, Google)

This powerful session, presented by the Google Team and Nationwide, is designed for dealers already utilizing some of Google’s tools to drive their business.  In this course, you’ll learn how to improve your current efforts, as well as discovering how to be more effective with your spend through combining Google Search Engine Optimization and Google AdWords strategies.

Using Technology to Drive Productivity in Appliance Repair
Alex Hallmark, Fred’s Appliance Academy, Instructor
Tuesday, 11:15 AM – 12:45 PM
Wednesday, 11:00 AM – 12:00 AM

Let Fred’s Appliance Service share the tips and tricks they use on a daily basis to drive a stellar customer experience with every appliance repair job. To grow the industry, Fred’s Appliance Academy recognizes that we need to grow together.

Come learn something new in running a successful field service operation at PrimeTime!

Wells Fargo Credit Connect
Kari Pecenka, Wells Fargo Retail Services, Business Development Manager and
Scott Eichmeier, Wells Fargo Retail Services, Business Development Manager
Tuesday, 11:30 AM – 12:15 PM

Say hello to Wells Fargo Credit Connect – The new consumer financing tool that frees you up to do what you do best.

Come see a demo and learn how you can go paperless.

Connected Home 201: Connected Home overview and complete turnkey strategy in partnership with Nest/Google
Dean Sottile, NMG, VP Distribution; Hank Alexander, NMG, Director of HTSN; Ryan Calacci, NMG, eXchange Manager;
David Stacy, Nest
Tuesday, 1:00 PM- 1:45 PM

Ready to jump into the Connected Home or looking to go beyond what you’ve started?  Join the Nest, Google, and your Nationwide Team will guide you through assortment planning, display options, and review all of the exclusive NMG promotions and marketing assets at your fingertips.  This is your opportunity to take a deeper dive into the Connected Home and learn the tools you’ll need to become your marketplace leader.  Nest and Google experts will also be there to walk you through line strategy and selling tips, while providing industry updates and insights for 2018.  This your chance to learn and ask questions to help your business grow within the Connected Home category.  Whether you are just getting started or already in the category, this is a must attend class if you want your business to succeed in the Connected Home!

Driving Your Sales with Video – On-line, On-air and In-store
Optimizing Nationwide’s Commercial Factory and Digital Video Warehouse
Steve Bryant, Nationwide Marketing Group
Tuesday, 1:00 PM – 1:45 PM

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video can be priceless.  In fact, in a 2017 survey 300 marketers and agencies credited television video ads and digital video ads with 63% of their total marketing media impact.  That’s why Nationwide Marketing Group creates thousands of web videos, television spots and in-store videos in support of members’ marketing strategies.

Nationwide’s exclusive PrimeMedia 4K digital production facility delivers a constant stream of new assets in support of members’ marketing and training efforts.  Its Nationwide Commercial Factory Includes scores of commercials for every holiday as well as off holiday promotions.  There are promotional branding spots that enhance your store’s brand while featuring high-impact offers that drive traffic. The Nationwide Digital Video Warehouse houses thousands of web videos that are provided to members at no charge.  All are hosted inn a Vimeo-based system that is compatible with websites, email marketing systems, social media and more.  It’s a powerful advantage that no other independents or national chain can match.

Nationwide Financial Services 101
Chris Kirk and Jason Kirk, Nationwide Marketing Group
Tuesday, 1:00 PM – 1:45 PM

Are you taking full advantage of your Nationwide Membership? Nationwide Financial Services 101 is a comprehensive overview of the financial services that are available to all Nationwide Members. Chris and Jason will review all categories with detailed explanation of our financial services available, vendors we partner with, how to enroll, training available, as well as on going account management and participation.

New Economy Leadership: Develop. Empower. Delegate. Accelerate.
Andy Masters, MA, CSP – Masters Performance Improvement, Inc.
Tuesday, 1:00 PM – 2:15 PM

This eye-opening, must-see program for all levels of leadership is based on the 5th book “Things LEADERS Say: A Daily Guide to Help Every Leader Empower & Inspire”, from award-winning author and international speaker Andy Masters. Leaders now face new pressures to produce more with less, which unfortunately leads many to fall into the “do-it-all-myself” trap. However, a “Control Freak” corporate culture is one of the most dangerous and damaging to any organization.  Leaders who don’t effectively delegate certainly bring about stress, burnout, turnover, and rising health care costs–not to mention taking time and attention away from the most important projects and responsibilities.  However, even deeper, a lack of leadership through empowering squelches employee development, negatively impacts succession planning, and even causes a direct “negative ROI” impact to each organization through an ineffective use of human resources.  Enjoy this powerful keynote or half-day program which illustrates what organizations should do to develop & empower millennials and all future leaders–and how to avoid the damaging impacts of organizations which don’t.

Roadmap for Succession Planning:  Are you prepared?
Key considerations if you are looking to sell and/or transition ownership of your business in the next 10 years
Phil Barbera, Wells Fargo, Senior  Commercial Credit Analyst
Tuesday, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

According to BizBuySell nearly 49% of business owners plan to sell their business in the next five years, but only 29% have started preparing. Planning 5-10 years out creates a greater likelihood for success. Secure a pathway for your company’s continued success with the aid of the CDFconnect™ succession planning session.

You’ll have two great opportunities to learn how to prepare your business:

Succession Planning Seminar
This interactive tutorial will walk you through the planning process, success strategies and best practices for transitioning or selling your business regardless of what stage of the planning process you are in. It will also provide you with the tips, tools and resources to determine the best exit option and other key considerations to help you meet your personal and business needs.

One-on-One Sessions
We recognize that you may have unique circumstances or questions specific to your business. Attendees of this session will also have the opportunity to have a one-on-one session with our team to discuss business specific needs.

Scott Warlick – National Account Director;  Darren Peterson – National Key Account Manager;
Josh Sowards – Sr. Customer Marketing Manager
Tuesday, 1:00 PM – 1:45 PM

Tempur+Sealy would like to invite our Rental Industry Partners to an informative session that will help you to drive your RTO Bedding Category with industry leading products, key bedding insights for you stores and provide an analysis of the new digitally savvy consumer.

Our 3 Member panel will introduce you to what Tempur+Sealy can do to drive your Rental business through exemplary products, best in class training and key advertising insights into today’s consumer.  Having the right product for your consumer is the foundation for your success in the bedding category.  RTO consumers are exposed to the same advertising that the traditional consumer sees, so they expect to see the same brands, products and messaging in your RTO doors.  Tempur+Sealy products are known throughout the bedding industry as the best in terms of quality, durability and brand recognition.  They command a premium price point, deliver on performance and quality to the consumer and perhaps most important of all for the Rental Industry, stay in the consumer’s home.  We will show you how to maximize your floor space with quality product your customers are asking for.

Training is another key element we will discuss.  Choosing the right product, getting your consumers to interact with the product and creating the need for that product helps to secure a satisfied closed customer.  Simple tips will be shared on how to correctly introduce your customer to the bedding category and how successful Rental dealers understand the benefit of a healthy bedding business.  You have to understand the product to sell the product…training is a cornerstone you build off your successful product line foundation.

The last part of our seminar will address the new Digital consumer.  Customer behavior patterns continue to change rapidly in our Digital Society.  We will provide key strategies on how to Drive that customer to your business, how to Convert them to be your customer and how to Engage them so they become your customers for life.  Traffic is a priceless commodity for your business, but how do we keep our traffic in our store?  Do not miss this insightful part of the seminar that will give you a leg up in the industry.

We look forward to spending some quality time with you at the Nationwide Learning Academy and appreciate your consideration for spending a portion of your afternoon with us!

WebFronts® User Meeting
Jennie Gilbert, Retailer Web Services, COO
Tuesday, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

More furniture, appliance and mattress retailers use the WebFronts solution from Retailer Web Services or All Your Retail for their web presence than any other provider. And it’s constantly improving. Come learn about everything that’s new like security enhancements, new product reviews and more. We’ll also cover how to get in line for your free upgrade to the new Socrates design platform and how to make the most of all those new features when your awesome new look is live. Not using WebFronts yet? This is the perfect opportunity to peek under the hood.

What’s New At Tempur+Sealy for 2018?
Corinna Ranweiler, Tempur+Sealy International, National Trainer
Tuesday, 1:00 PM – 1:45 PM

Tempur+Sealy National Trainer, will be introducing you to the newest most innovative collection Tempurpedic has ever launched. Corinna will be presenting the features and benefits of the new Tempurpedic & Sealy Hybrid Collections, along with a clear merchandising strategy to help drive your business in 2018.

How Do Customers Experience Your Store? In-Store Merchandising and Atmosphere in the 21st Century
Adrien Boudier (SES Imagotag), Timothy Jackson (Aroma/On-Hold), Cristal Willcox (Nationwide Marketing Group)
Tuesday, 1:15 PM – 2:30 PM

As the in-store landscape continues to change, Nationwide Marketing Group and various Member Service vendor partners want you to be prepared.  This course will acquaint you with the multiple options you have through your Nationwide membership that will help you promote the sale of goods by enhancing the presentation of your retail environment.  From installing digital price tags to effectively using digital signage, enhancing atmosphere with scents and music, and more, this course will focus on how you and your stores can compete with the big boxes in the 21st Century.

Marketing Solutions and Promotions 101
Rick Weinberg and Amanda Evans
Tuesday, 2:00 PM – 2:45 PM

It’s never been more important to “follow the Nationwide yellow brick road” to get on a path toward promotional solutions that can be easily found, executed well, and that can stretch your promotional budget awhile assuring your promoting your business, your local brand and driving consumers into your store.

At this session you’ll learn
o Where to find the Nationwide Membernet Promotional Section
o How to navigate the promotional section
o Where to find the promotional calendar of events,
o How to find the individual promotions and promotional details
o Where to find the list of participating Product Categories and Brands
o Where to find what consumer incentives are available to support you like Consumer Product Rebates, Interest Free Consumer
financing options, and much more….

You’ll learn what digital and traditional media channel asset options you have to choose from like:
o Web Site Banners and Dynamic Landing Pages
o Digital Video Assets For Online Target Marketing , Social Media and Instore Presentation
o Print circulars,
o HDTV Commercials,
o Point Of Purchase materials,
o ROP Ads,
o Price tag options and more…..
o Which media assets are highly subsidized to stretch your marketing dollars,
o How to sign up for the individual media assets
o And how to sign up for a complete bundle solution delivering your promotional message across multiple media channels, with a consistent and effective message……..

You will also see where to find which consumer incentives are available for each promotion,
o Consumer rebates,
o Consumer interest free financing
o Gift with Purchase Program Options and more

Repair Your Furniture with Guardsman Furniture Pro Services-Focused on RTO
Sue Harman:  Furniture Care Expert; Kerry Lawless: Director of Sales; Dan Miller:  Regional Manager
Tuesday, 2:00 PM – 2:45 PM

Never was the saying so true as in the RTO channel-“nothing is broken, it just needs fixing!”.  We will show you ways to recondition product to get the most out of it and re-rent it faster!  Many stores use our products already; we hope to show you how to use our products more effectively.  We promise to be simple, quick and interesting!  Hope you will join us.

Each attendee will receive a variety of free products to go back and use.  BTW, if you give us your business card at the training, we’ll ship you the free products so you don’t have to lug them through the airport.

Understanding the Value of Your Business
Brad Stanek, Financial Advisor, Certified Financial Planner
Tuesday, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

By knowing the simple, yet effective formula most buyers use when valuing a business, you get an understanding of what your business may be worth, and clarity on what actions will have the biggest impact in increasing this value.  This applies to all exit strategies and time frames, whether exiting in the next 1 or 20 years, selling to a 3rd party, passing along to the next generation, or selling to employees.

Building Relationships with Prospects in a Digital Age
Jennie Gilbert, Retailer Web Services, COO
Tuesday, 2:15 PM – 3:15 PM

Most independent retailers are great at building relationships with people who come into their store. But in today’s digital age, customers interact with your business on their smart phones and the internet long before they ever call or come in. How well you connect and build relationships during these digital interactions determines if you’ll ever get the chance to win their business in person. Learn how to get to know your prospects, stay top of mind and demonstrate you are the most helpful option available before they decide which store is worth visiting.

Let’s Make a Click to Brick Marketing Plan
Tim McLain, Segment Marketing Manager, Netsertive
Tuesday, 2:15 PM – 3:45 PM

Today’s world of modern marketing has become quite complex as the Internet continues to influence more and more clients during the buying process. There are so many choices, channels and decisions to make when it comes to your marketing strategy it can be overwhelming to know where to start and what to implement.

Let’s take 90 minutes and work together on a 2018 marketing plan to attract today’s Internet-savvy shoppers to your digital door (your website) and your physical front door. In order to convert online research into in-store sales, customers need several engaging digital touch points with your business before they walk through the door.

In this session there will be no PowerPoint! Every member will get an easy-to-follow workbook to create a balanced marketing plan across traditional and digital channels, get tips for selecting and working with your website, conduct live research to see how your competitors are stealing your customers, track lead sources in your stores, generate positive reviews, measure the success and impact of your marketing, and leave with a big head start on a 30-day click to brick marketing plan that will help you meet and beat your sales goals this year. Bring a laptop, tablet, or smartphone and an eagerness to learn, digital beginners welcome!

MemberNet 101
Megann McDaniel
Tuesday, 3:00 PM – 3:45 PM
Wednesday, 10:00 AM – 10:45 AM

This course will cover both how to leverage MemberNet to provide solutions at your fingertips as well as MemberNet Rewards, Nationwide’s exclusive employee incentive program.

MemberNet is Nationwide’s primary communication tool.  Learn how to leverage MemberNet to provide the most efficient user experience for you and your employees.  In this interactive session, you’ll be able to identify information you need and learn how to use MemberNet to find solutions for those needs.  You will also learn how to find consumer financing codes, consumer rebates, marketing materials, vendor pricing and programs, and vendor contacts.

MemberNet Rewards
Have you and your salespeople done any free shopping lately?  If you haven’t, you and your sales associates are missing out on a great opportunity.  Learn how to motivate your sales associates to sell more every day with Nationwide’s exclusive MemberNet Rewards program.  MemberNet Rewards is a point-based employee incentive program offered exclusively to Nationwide Marketing Group members and is designed to help motivate employees and improve your company’s sales.

Taking Advantage of Group Insurance
Brett Cutchin, AAI,CIC,CRM
Tuesday, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Wednesday, 10:15 AM – 11:15 AM

There are so many pitfalls in coverage in today’s business environment. It is easy to look at reducing cost or coverage in an attempt to be efficient and the result is that we leave our businesses vulnerable.

Nationwide Marketing Group is developing a true, industry specific Business Insurance program. The program will feature any and all types of coverage that any business might need except health insurance, which is available but has limitations at this time. Business coverage includes but is not limited to property, natural occurrences (wind, flood, earthquake), fleet, general liability, cyber, workers comp, crime, and employment practices.

Lipscomb and Pitts Insurance, LLC (L&P) is a top 100 insurance company in the country representing over 200 carriers and is licensed in all 50 states. L&P is a member of Assurex, a worldwide group of insurance companies that work together to ensure that every client in every market gets the expertise needed to be fully covered.

L&P has it’s own claims staff and provides specialized loss prevention tools for all clients. They average a 25% reduction in cost while uncovering gaps in current insurance policies. L&P  will also offer specialized education for the members and develop specific loss control programs tailored to Member operations.

The biggest obstacle in developing a true program is information. L&P will be presenting their plan and opportunity, but dealers must be willing to provide some basic information about their business and property. This is not particularly sensitive information, generally the size of buildings, number of vehicles, number of employees and payroll and few other key insurance questions. Your RM or MDM may have already contacted you about this information.

The session will flesh out all the advantages of a group program and the reasons Lipscomb & Pitts is the provider that can bring these advantages to the NMG members.

The Elephant In The Room Won’t Bite:  Preparing Your Business for Transition
Steve Bryant (Moderator), Joe Milevsky (JRM Sales & Management), Brad Stanek (Morgan Stanley)
Tuesday, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM

Will you pass your business on to the next generation or will you sell? Come with an open mind/your prepared concerns about a subject that can be uncomfortable to face. This panel discussion is for business leaders who are – or one day will be – interested in becoming independent of their business. This is a process that can sneak up on you and you may not realize should be started now! It can, and usually does, take years to maximize the value of your business and prepare for transition — whether or not that’s to an outside party, employees, etc… Come hear and talk with the folks from Morgan Stanley, JRM Sales & Management, and one of our own Nationwide-family business owners, Steve Bryant, to discuss important considerations and how you’ll execute your move. This panel encourages you to submit anonymous questions to prior to the session, and to set appointments for free individual consultations with the panelists.

Before You Spend a Dime on Digital:  The Foundation of Your Marketing Story
Mike Whitaker, Nationwide PrimeMedia
Tuesday, 3:15 PM – 4:15 PM

In this session with Nationwide’s Mike Whitaker, we’ll take a look at your website as the cornerstone of your marketing story.  Today, research shows that over 70% of consumers will touch your website before they decide on a store visit.  In this course, you’ll learn how to measure your website for both performance and customer experience, and you’ll learn how to improve each with some simple steps using tools already available from Nationwide.  No matter what your marketing mix happens to be, your website is the centerpiece, and if you’re looking to improve the ability to get the attention of consumers in your market, and turn them into customers in your store, this is a session you simply can’t afford to miss!

Organic Ranking –
how to show up better in the Google search results, especially with the latest Google updates, and what to keep an eye on for the future
Olivier Bridgeman, Tailbase Inc., VP Web Development
Tuesday, 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Watch out for evolving ranking factors in 2018 and how it will affect all retailers. In this session, you will find out what Google has changed over the course of 2017 and what is most important for retailers to do in order to maintain existing rankings and how to increase them in the following year.

We will be discussing the following hot topics:
– GMB Listing Factors – Your Google My Business account matters but also what you link it to.
– Citation Factors – Are you BBB accredited? How consistent and complete are your listings?
– On-page Factors –  Aspects related to volume and quality of your content and the shift from HTTP to HTTPS
– Social media factors – engagement is the new metric that matters
– Link factors – Diversity of anchor text
– Behavioral/Mobile Factors – Time on site is important
– Negative Factors – Find out what can lower your rankings

Certain factors have been removed from Google’s ranking signals and others have been updated.  We will cover the most important ones you should know about.

Don’t miss this talk, as it will help you better understand how Google ranks websites and what actionable tips you can take with you to help you grow your business presence on Google’s search engine.

Shoring Up Your Site’s Security
Jennie Gilbert, Retailer Web Services, COO
Tuesday, 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM

For the second year running, every single one of the top 100 publicly traded US retail companies reported cybersecurity concerns as their business’s #1 risk. Popular internet browsers like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox have made recent changes that highlight security concerns and teach consumers to trust only the most secure websites and abandon the rest. Making sure your store’s website and backend systems are secure is more important than ever. This practical session will teach you what exactly needs to be secure, how to tell if it is or not and how to fix common security risks.

Bellagio, a Bedtime Story
Bob Muenkel, Director of Sales Education & Development, Serta Simmons Bedding
Tuesday, 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM 

Bellagio by Serta is a much bigger opportunity than you think.  People don’t buy mattresses, they buy stories.  Once you learn how to tell the Bellagio story, you will smile all the way to the bank…and do so, exclusively.  This session will help you understand and tell the Bellagio story to the delight of your clients.

Bonus:  The Next Revolution in Hybrid Support

Hybrid Support technology is changing before your eyes.  If your clients seek innovation to solve every day needs, you must to be informed.  This brief session will reconnect you to the latest in hybrid support systems that consumers are paying BIG $$$ for.

MemberNet 201
Megann McDaniel
Tuesday, 4:00 PM – 4:45 PM

This course will cover underutilized assets of MemberNet as well as some of the more administrative & hands on elements of MemberNet.

Underutilized assets include:

  • Administrative functions of MemberNet: user usage reports, editing existing accounts, as well as adding and deleting contacts.
  • Quote Sheets and Product Data. Learn how to use the Product Data to find the products that meet your customer’s needs. Learn how to use Quote Sheets to provide professional quotes to customers and assist in closing sales with customers.

5 Steps To Better Facebook and Google Ads in 2018
Jared Stauffer, Digital Panda CEO
Jennie Gilbert, Retailer Web Services COO
Wednesday, 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM

There are more kinds of online ads and ways to run them than ever before. Consumers see thousands of ads and get pickier about which ones they will pay attention to every day. And your store has limited time, and budgets, to experiment with all this. So skip the guesswork and remove some risk by learning 5 ways to run more effective Facebook and Google ads in 2018. We’ll compare different types, contents and strategies complete with real case studies and tips on how to evaluate performance too.

Effectively Manage & Market to Your Open to Buy
Frank Sandtner with Amy Blessington (Wells Fargo Retail Services) and Rob Krause (Synchrony Financial)
Wednesday, 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM

This class is a panel discussion moderated by Frank Sandtner with top marketing talent panelists from Synchrony and Wells Fargo. Learn about the best ways to leverage special financing to attract and sell to customers in your market. This includes how and when to present special finance rates to customer through every marketing channel including your website, video, print, in-store, and digital marketing channels. Attendees will leave with impactful ideas that can be quickly implemented in your business.


What your accountant is not telling you
Tom Shay, Profits Plus Solutions
Wednesday, 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM

With the 2017 tax returns completed, the new tax code of 2018 will surely have all small business owners visiting with their accountant to learn how the new code will affect their business.

Perhaps this will be the most in-depth conversation many will have with their accountant and with the complexity of the code, owners are likely to lean on their accountant’s understanding and knowledge to guide them.

Unfortunately, this does not make for a solid relationship as the business owner is heavily relying on this help.

We will have 14 questions that we will suggest be posed to the accountant. They work toward making you a better business owner, however, only if you are using the information to enhance your ownership/management skills and your ability to improve your business.

The challenge presented will be to make a partnership from your working with your accountant so that the knowledge you have from the day to day operation of your business, and your instinct for making sound business decisions can be used with the expertise of the accountant.

We will look at where to ask questions, and question, the work of the accountant. Working together makes for a partnership that makes your business more profitable.


Strategies to win in a challenging economy
Tom Shay, Profits Plus Solutions
Wednesday, 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM

2018 has the economy growing at a never seen before pace. The stock market; unemployment and consumer confidence are each at record levels. Yet, as we look at the business environment something seems off balance; perhaps the customer is lost in a time warp of 2008.

This session will look at what has changed in the past decade and how these changes affect our businesses. We can listen to the media and economists who tell us that all of the world is becoming one giant online store. We can take a self-examination of our business, industry, and the economy to find opportunities.

Beginning with the media, continuing with our competitor, looking at our local business environment, and looking at ourselves, we will look for, and find the opportunities that others may be overlooking or seeing as roadblocks to their future growth.

You will be asked to look for that “gut feeling”; that instinct that all business owners should be utilizing. We will question your advertising and the usage of “Item and price” advertising. Your competitor is changing how they do business; we will look at their changes as potential opportunities for growth.

We will also look at components of our financial understanding and how we utilize that information in business decisions.

This information packed hour will have you looking at yourself and your business in a very different way for 2018 and beyond.

Tempur+Sealy Mattress Gallery Program
Michael Kirby, Tempur+Sealy
Wednesday, 8:00 AM -8:45 AM

The traditional retail model is broken and if we don’t evolve – we will be gone too.  We have to change the way we think about shopping and now more than ever it’s time to upgrade the retail experience.

Introducing ‘Sleep Elegantly’ – A proven, consumer insights-based Mattress Gallery System designed to elevate & simplify the mattress shopping experience. The Sleep Elegantly Gallery System helps guide shoppers to the right mattress, which will increase loyalty and spend. It helps RSAs meet their shoppers’ needs and ultimately sell higher tickets. Plus, it drives shoppers to your store, improves conversion, profits, and overall customer satisfaction. For your RSA, it’s a comfortable and easy selling environment and we provide the tools and support to help drive sales.

Understanding and Improving Your Digital Initiatives
Jennifer Danko, Site On Time, Chief Technology Officer
Wednesday, 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM

Digital marketing can sometimes seem impossible to track and the reports are often times confusing. How do you know where your funds are best spent and if you are getting a good return on your investment? There are many different aspects of digital marketing and each piece serves a specific purpose.  Learn how to understand and gauge the results of your pay per click campaigns. Find out where your advertising dollars are the most effective and have the most impact. You will learn the key terms used in digital marketing and what they mean. Understanding this information can help you to make more informed decisions regarding your digital marketing strategy.  We will discuss the different advertising channels available to you in digital marketing and how to gauge the effectiveness of each of those channels. You will learn why it’s important to connect your Google Adwords account to your Google Analytics account and what relevant information this provides. Learn to connect all the pieces of your digital marketing campaign and improve your results and maximize your budget. We will also discuss how you can play a more proactive roll in your digital marketing initiatives even if you don’t directly manage them. There is key information that you can provide to your marketing team that will help improve the performance of your campaigns.

What do all these numbers mean?
Brenda Strand, RevLocal, Sales Manager
Wednesday, 8:00 AM – 8:45 AM

Marketing analytics is the best way to track the success of your digital marketing efforts, from phone calls, foot traffic and scheduled appointments to the effectiveness of your website and much more.

You can use the information collected from your website and local listings to see the results of your digital marketing efforts in real, undeniable numbers. But how do you find those numbers, and what do all those numbers mean?

In this presentation, you’re going to learn what common analytics terms from Google Analytics and Google My Business mean and how to use those to improve your strategy. We’ll chat through happens when the numbers stop growing, how to improve negative trends in your analytics.

In-Store Video, Powerful Messages for the Last Three Feet
Let MemberNetTV Ultra Turn Your Showroom Into An Information-Rich Buying Zone
Wednesday, 9:00 AM – 9:45 AM
Steve Bryant and Chris Bryant

Your most valuable shopper is the one in your store at the point of a buying decision, and that’s why in-store video is such an essential part of a complete marketing strategy.

Reaching Your Most Important Shoppers: Everyday, retailers readily spend most of their marketing budgets on shoppers who will either never see their messages, visit their store or aren’t in the market for their products.  Yet, many fail to appreciate the value of persuasive video, played in their stores to shoppers standing in front of their products, who are motivated enough to visit their stores and are ready to make a buying decision.

Impact, Quality and Consistency: What if you had a master salesperson, who could perfectly articulate the features, advantages and benefits of your most profitable products.  What if every one of your product displays was pristine and perfectly staged so you could demonstrate your products effortlessly?  And what if this salesperson never had a bad day, was never at lunch, or late, or had a hair out of place.  And what if they would stand ready do all of this for hundreds of products, any hour of any day?  And what if they would work for $35 a month?  Welcome to Nationwide’s exclusive MemberNet TV Ultra.

Of course, MemberNet TV Ultra, can’t shake your customer’s hand or look them in the eye, or ask the right questions – you need great salespeople for that – but it can help your team create some of the most persuasive explanations and demos that shoppers will see anywhere, from anybody.  Find out how you can add in-store video to your showroom, learn how it works, what it costs and what it will do.

Reinvention Made Easy Change Your Results!
Jim Mathis
Wednesday, 9:00 AM – 10:15 AM

Any leader can reinvent themselves. Reinvention is easy if you ask the right questions and are prepared to take a hard look at your business from your customer’s and your competitor’s vantage point. In a common-sense, fast-paced discussion and interactive dialogue with participants in small buzz-groups attendees will combine their creativity to leave with step-by- step actions to take from the session.

Participants will answer Critical Questions dealing with how people feel “punished” for doing business with you; what policies, practices or programs have become your “dinosaurs’; how might a competitor take away your customers; what is the value or experience you offer to customers and prospective buyers; what has changed in your consumer base; why do people do business with you; and what is “kindling” your business are dealt with interactively with attendees in small buzz-group discussions.

How you will benefit: Actionable steps to initiate your own Reinvention Process.  “Reinvention Made Easy” is both a presentation and roundtable discussion for anyone in the industry to develop common sense ideas on how to serve and sell more effectively in a consumer-oriented market. They will learn easy repeatable methods to reevaluate their market focus, improve sales profits and enhance the customer experience of their organization and services.

2018’s User Experience (UX) Trends Your Website Needs Now
Jennie Gilbert, Retailer Web Services, COO
Wednesday, 9:15 AM – 10:15 AM

Companies like Google, Facebook, Uber and Amazon are redefining what consumers expect when they interact with all types of businesses, including stores like yours, online. Changing trends influence where people look, what they click on, what they expect to happen next and how fast too. Learn which important UX changes your store’s website needs to incorporate this year – like mobile-first checkout, responsive design and rotating store hours – to keep prospects from leaving your site in frustration.

4 Simple Steps to Successful Online Marketing
Olivier Bridgeman, Tailbase Inc., VP Web Development
Wednesday, 9:15 AM – 10:15 AM

Interested in online marketing but unsure of where to start? This session will cover 4 steps that you need to follow to ensure that your online marketing initiatives are successful.

  1. Step one – Where to start?
  2. Step two – How to execute Google ads?
  3. Step three – What is the impact of mobile?
  4. Step four – What about social media & email marketing?

Tailbase has developed an expertise working with hundreds of retailers such as yourself, looking into trends and successful marketing strategies that have generated concrete results over the last couple of years.

Starting with market research and trends, we’ll build on this to show you how to make smart choices with Google advertising, mobile experience and social media & email marketing, according to what consumers are looking for and their purchasing habits.

We’ll also cover buzzwords like ad extensions, CPC, CTR, and conversions and discuss alternatives to Google AdWords that may be more appropriate to your business such as social media campaigns, SEO marketing and other new ideas that may be exactly what you need.

Also, we will discuss what to expect from online marketing, what are good results and how much should a retailer invest online?

Don’t miss out on this talk! This may be the game changer you need right now in your business.

Collaborating for Success: Deep Dive into Retailers Doing Digital Right
Tim McLain, Segment Marketing Manager, Netsertive
Wednesday, 9:15 AM – 10:15 AM

Over the next year, retailers in the United States plan to increase their digital marketing investments by 17% according to eMarketer. What changes will you be making to your marketing plan in 2018?

Join us for an interactive session where you will hear from store owners just like you who updated their marketing strategies to better reach today’s shoppers who have changed the way they research your products (On the Internet!). We will dive into the challenges these owners faced before implementing a fully optimized digital marketing strategy and how they overcame them to achieve sales success.

You will leave this session with a firm understanding of where should you invest more of your advertising dollars and what tactics bring the best return to your bottom line.

Learning outcomes:
– Understand how to overcome the challenges of putting together a successful digital marketing strategy for retailers of all sizes.
– Discover which digital marketing tactics savvy marketers are adding to their approach this year and how they work together to give you more exposure online and engage customers in your target market.
– How to measure marketing success from each channel and get more buy-ready shoppers through the front door of your store.

Digital Presence & Creating an ROI
George Avery, NativeRank
Wednesday, 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM

Studies have shown that consumers turn to Google 84% of the time for ideas on what and where to purchase from. Having a digital presence is now more important than ever as consumers are rapidly shifting to digital. Having a digital presence is about getting in front of potential customers throughout the buying process to increase your sales. It’s making sure you are being found for your store location, store information, and for the proper products offered at your store or online. This course will cover the essentials for digital presence which include your website, search engine optimization (SEO), paid advertising (PPC/SEM/Social), and business listings. You can expect to learn the importance of each, where your customers are searching, how to get in front of them, and how to create a measurable ROI from your digital marketing efforts.

This course will cover users, your digital presence, and creating an ROI. Users – how users are searching at a local and national level, how those users interact and engage online, and what matters most to them. Your digital presence includes your website, SEO, paid advertising, and business listings. Your website – what should your website be doing for you, what your website means to the business and to users, and how to make it your best sales person ever. SEO – what is SEO, what does it mean for the business and for users, and how to track success. Paid advertising – it’s more than just capturing clicks, where to get in front of your target audience, how to capture new customers, and how to measure an ROI. Business Listings – what are business listings, what do they mean for the business and for users, and how to use them to capture new customers at a local level quickly. Creating an ROI- most people don’t know if they marketing efforts are working towards a positive ROI. With digital marketing, all things are trackable and can easily be measured in terms of ROI and not just impressions and clicks.

How Connected Digital Campaigning Brings Shoppers All the Way to Your Front Door
Gary Galloway, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Netsertive
Wednesday, 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM 

Does your marketing have a one-track focus? Whether you’re only investing in search engine marketing online or newspaper advertising, single tactics won’t cut it with today’s Internet-savvy shoppers. Did you know that customers will engage with an average of 24 digital touchpoints before making they make a purchase decision? If you are only using one channel to market yourself, you may be missing out on business!

Join us to learn how new “connected campaigns” deliver more high-quality buyers by reaching them with the right messages at the right times across their path to purchase. See how search engine marketing pairs with Facebook, display banner ads, retargeting and your website to take your results to the next level.

– Learn what each digital advertising channel does best to engage shoppers at different points during their path to purchase.
– How the channels work together to save you money AND deliver more ready-to-buy shoppers to your store front.
– Which metrics are a must to pay attention to, and when to pay attention to them.
– The importance of having a targeting strategy and how to make sure that every advertising dollar counts so you avoid wasted ad spend.
– Specific messaging recommendations and the positive impact timing can have on each message.

Turn Website Traffic into Foot Traffic
Olivier Bridgeman, Tailbase Inc., VP Web Development
Wednesday, 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM

In order to attract the customers that visit your website and convince them to visit your physical store locations, it takes a savvy online strategy that will have this objective as a main goal.  There are clear and simple steps that all retailers can do to help drive new online visitors to their store location.

Tailbase has developed an expertise working with hundreds of retailers such as you, looking into trends and successful marketing strategies that have generated concrete results over the last couple of years.

In this session, we will cover the following topics:

  1. The must-have features for your website
  2. The synergy between an online and offline experience
  3. Promoting your website
  4. Tricks to driving customers from your website to your store
  5. Tracking your efforts to see what is working
  6. The essential store checklist for ecommerce sites

Most retailers know their customer base and have many years of experience in serving their offline customers, but driving new customers from online web visits to their store location is a challenge they face every day because of the complexity of technology and the fast pace at which things online evolve.

Don’t miss out on this talk as you will learn easy actionable tips to help you convert website traffic into foot traffic!

What is “Kindling” You? Change Your Strategy!
Jim Mathis
Wednesday, 10:30 AM – 11:45 AM 

Every leader can reinvent both their business and perspective in the face of economic and market changes.  This is an entertaining, energetic and interactive presentation that will engage participants in discussions for months following the program: Change is happening…!  Just as the Kindle has changed publishing, Netflix has changed movie rentals, Amazon has changed retail shopping, the smartphone has changed transactions, navigating, banking and personal information… the realities of your business climate have changed… permanently!  Attendees will answer interactive questions and hear stories about amazing turnarounds and reinventions from companies in an out of your industry who took advantage of a changing economic and business climate.

  • Where has your business climate CHANGED recently?
  • What do people VALUE MOST about you?
  • What is “KINDLING” our business model now?
  • How can we DOMINATE our local business market?
  • What is COSTING us more than returning to us?
  • Why is frequency PREFERABLE to loyalty in customers?

What’s in it for you?

  • Discover realities about your business and industry that you can’t see on your own
  • Develop a market-oriented action plan that brings you closer to your consumer
  • Market the value customers seek the most in your products and services
  • Become unique in your own region/industry

ocal SEO and Organic SEO, aren’t they the same thing?
Brenda Strand, RevLocal, Sales Manager
Wednesday, 10:45 AM – 11:45 AM

If you’ve been actively marketing your business online, you’ve probably heard of both local SEO and organic SEO. But you might find yourself wondering what the difference is between the two.

In this talk, we’re going to walk you through the difference between local SEO and organic SEO, as well as how they are related. Not only will we talk through what some basics of local search marketing, how to create results, and what things to monitor to measure performance – we will also discuss some causes of why your business isn’t being found online.

This is a course that will give you the essentials, and then some, to understand local SEO and how it can help you grow your business.

Interesting Facts I Bet You Never Knew About Leather, and How to Use Them at Retail
Mike Campbell, Owner & CEO, Leather Italia USA and Marshall Evans III, Vice President, Leather Italia USA
Wednesday, 11:00 AM – 11:45 AM 

Leather Furniture should be an important part of your retail product assortment. Retailers have to make sure they have the right variety of styles, colors, price points, etc. but most importantly you have to understand how to present the features and benefits of leather upholstered products to your customers. During our seminar you will receive valuable information to understand the process of how leather is made and the benefits this provides for the consumer. We will also highlight the assortment of product offered by Leather Italia USA through our domestic warehouse program with no minimum order requirements, allowing any retailer to make the Leather Furniture category an important part of your retail floor.

The Wealth Management Formula
Brad Stanek, Financial Advisor, Certified Financial Planner
Wednesday, 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM

All of us are looking to protect and grow our overall business and non-business wealth.  The key to getting consistent, excellent results is by having a proven, repeatable process.  This session goes over a very powerful wealth management formula and the five step process you can use to dramatically improve your wealth management plan.