Mega Group Conference Slated for October

Mega Group will bring its members together for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared when it opens its 2022 National Convention at the Airport Hilton Hotel here next month.

Under the theme Reconnect: Building Together, the event will kick-off with a welcome reception and vendor dinner on the evening October 12 followed by two days of networking and education sessions capped off by a keynote presentation from Doug Stephens, the Canadian retailer guru and author of Resurrecting Retail: The Future of Business in a Post-Pandemic World.

“It has been two-and-a-half years since we’ve been together,” Mega’s interim president and chief executive officer Kevin Leier told Home Goods Online, “and the members are looking for an event like this. After all, networking with like-minded retailers and vendors is one of the key benefits of belonging to Mega Group.

“We’ve also been hard at work fine turning our services and building new programs, so there isn’t a better time than the present to introduce them,” he continued, adding, “The independent channel has also gained market share and is looking for these new opportunities to consolidate their growth.”

Leier will start the conference portion of the event on Thursday (October 15) morning giving members his traditional overview of the Canadian economy and the key points of interest for the independent furniture, mattress and appliance retailer.

The rest of the day will be consumed with a variety of panel discussions and plenary sessions, including one on the current state of e-commerce. Attendees will also be updated on improvements to the group’s Alta web site series as well as the latest digital marketing strategies being employed by AVB Marketing, the operators of the BrandSource banner in the United States.

As part of the event, Mega will also host a vendor exposition that is expected to fill most of the exhibition space within the Toronto Airport Hilton.

Thursday will end with the group’s always popular Stampede, a collection of product opportunities from a considerable number of approved Mega Group vendors.

That evening, the group will hold a gala dinner for all conference attendees which will feature a keynote address by Matt Havens, a U.S. based retail speaker known for present real-world solutions to a variety of business issues in a humorous way.

Friday will offer members a selection of break-out sessions covering a number of topics including accounting and door design. The day will end with Doug Stevens’ keynote presentation on the future of retail.

Don Burnett, vice president of retail sales and services, believes the Reconnect event will be well attended. “It’s off to a rolling start and out members will reap the benefits of unparalleled vendor participation,” he said. “Retailers are coming from across the country to participate in every aspect of the gathering be it social, business, educational or inspirational.”

Luc-André Cormier, executive vice president of marketing and digital business, said the event is also designed to help members gauge the post-pandemic realities.

“While the theme revolves around reconnecting with each other, it also looks at the ‘next normal’,” he said. “The pandemic has changed retail in so many ways and we’ll capture this throughout the convention, especially from the member and vendor panels.”

Reconnect will kickstart our 2023 objectives, in which we focus on being more inclusive in our approach and incorporate more feedback garnered from member input,” Mega board chairman Richard Wall added.

Members are urged to register to attend the conference – planned for October 12 to 14 – before September 16, 2022.

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