Stay connected with the industry through Connect SPRING virtual event

With the Inspired Home Show moved from March to August 2021, the International Housewares Show is introducing Connect SPRING, a virtual event to keep retailers and wholesalers connected on a global scale.

Starting on Tuesday 16 March till Friday 26 March, Connect SPRING will offer a mix of keynote and education sessions, virtual product demonstrations, IHA Market Watch trends and Ask the Experts consultations.

IHA created the event in partnership with The NPD Group and Springboard Futures.

“The primary goal of Connect SPRING is to connect buyers and sellers around new product innovations, education and expertise that address the evolving and emerging consumer needs from this unprecedented past year, providing direction for the road ahead,” says Derek Miller, IHA president.

“By the time the August 2021 Show is held, it will have been 29 months since the industry has been able to convene in a meaningful way. All of the retailers and suppliers with whom we regularly communicate are telling us that there is an immediate need to connect in Q1 of 2021 and we created Connect SPRING to meet this need.”

One of the keynotes will be Pantone Colourwatch by Lee Eiseman, which is always a popular presentation at the show in Chicago. This time she will talk about how the pandemic has affected consumers’ desire for colour in their homes and lifestyles.

Education sessions will focus on industry and consumer issues affecting retailers and suppliers. Topics include Post-Covid retailing―a look at the future of retailing once the pandemic has passed. Will online shopping continue and where will it peak? What is the role and future for brick & mortar retailing? What innovations were created during the pandemic and which will stick?

Material Matters will focus on sustainability―what is the now, new and next in materials? Each day’s schedule will also include virtual product demonstrations showcasing new and innovative products that address specific consumer-oriented themes.

Connect SPRING will also include a series on the trends examined in the 2021 IHA Market Watch report. The report’s authors, including Tom Mirabile of Springboard Futures, will provide an overview of four key consumer trends and present products that fulfill those needs:

Space—the pandemic has created an explosion in remote working and learning, which creates space challenges beyond just the size of consumers’ homes. Transforming space is now as critical as saving space.

Comfort—consumers miss their friends and family, and for the first time in over a decade are eating carbs and sweets again because they make them feel full and content. Cosiness, robust cooking and finding new ways to connect with loved ones are all top of mind.

Time—since the onset of the pandemic, ‘time’ as a trend means not only adding convenience or eliminating chores but also providing meaningful ways for consumers to spend the excess time they now have on their hands. Feeling productive, engaging in new activities and fulfilling personal and family ambitions for learning and togetherness are top of mind.

Safety + security—a global pandemic and civil unrest have contributed to heightened consumer anxiety. It is critical consumers feel protected in their homes and when they venture out, they are acutely aware of the risks that being in public present. Both home security and personal safety are at a premium.

For more information or to register, go to TheInspiredHomeShow.com/connect/connect-spring