August 28, 2017
GHTA announces 2017 conference keynote speaker slate, agenda

The Gift and Home Trade Association [GHTA], the industry’s leading non-profit trade association, has announced its three world-class keynote speakers and an overview of its full agenda for this year’s Gift & Home Bridgeway Collaborative Conference. The conference, which will run November 12-14, 2017 in Washington, D.C. at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, will feature Consumer Trend Authority, Tom Mirabile; Leadership and Communication Expert, Dave Mitchell; and Retail Junkie, Ryan Craver. The conference will also provide attendees with interactive and expert-led breakout workshops, networking activities, and social events. Individuals can learn more and register for the conference at the rate of $399 through August 31 on the GHTA website,


Conference Keynote Speakers

Opening keynote speaker on Monday, November 13, will be Tom Mirabile, currently Senior Vice President of Global Trend and Design for Lifetime Brands, Inc., as well as Consumer Trend Forecaster for the International Housewares Association and a Contributing Editor for Pantone. Tom will deliver his forecast and focus for the year ahead, and explore the key consumer and retail trends reshaping the gift and home industries. He’ll share important, new knowledge, providing a deeper understanding of the desires and expectations motivating today’s consumer. Attendees will gain a new understanding of what engages them, and how to survive and thrive in this dynamic and competitive marketplace.

Tuesday, November 14’s opening keynote speaker will be Leadership and Communication expert, Dave Mitchell. Dave founded the Leadership Difference in 1995 and over 350,000 people have attended Dave’s “enter-TRAIN-ment” seminars on topics that include leadership, customer service, selling skills, and personal performance enhancement. Dave poses the question “what is the single most important factor to being a more effective leader, having more success, experiencing more happiness?” Simple. It is the ability to develop more effective relationships. “The Power of Understanding People” provides the tools to understand each participant’s own unique communication style and develop the competencies necessary to build stronger and more effective relationships with others.

Closing the conference the afternoon of November 14th will be self-proclaimed Retail Junkie, Ryan Craver. Ryan is currently the leader Digital Sales & Operations for licensed brands including New Balance, Skechers, and Joe Fresh. Additionally, Ryan is the Founder and Chairman of Commerce Canal, a retail advisory firm driving $100 million in annual retail sales for some of the world’s largest brands in apparel, footwear, jewelry, and industrial equipment.

Ryan’s presentation will look at the intersection of retail and technology. Mobile, the sharing economy, social media, and location-based data – all are changing not only our lives, but also how customers engage in commerce within in-store retail environments, online stores, and marketplaces. Today’s consumer is the most empowered and connected ever. In a world where each customer has the potential to create “the next big thing” and disrupt your business and your industry, you need to understand why creating intrigue and delivering immediacy in a frictionless way will define your future success.

Additional Conference Agenda Highlights

Sunday, November 12: The conference will kick-off with a Welcome Cocktail & Networking Reception on Sunday evening, which provides everyone an opportunity to connect in a casual environment upon arrival. Attendees will be treated to cocktails, appetizers, and relaxed networking during the two-hour reception.

Monday, November 13: Day 1 will feature two blocks of breakout workshops covering topics such as: online marketplaces: what they are, getting involved, and how to manage resellers, philanthropic and cause-related marketing, sales generation, health and fitness of a company (financial), sales management, and more. A representative from the National Retail Federation will address General Session regarding what retail experienced in 2017 and what is expected in 2018. The day will close with the annual Evening of Celebration, held at the host hotel property, containing a cocktail and networking reception, a strolling dinner, and live and silent auctions.

Tuesday, November 14: The final day of content will include three blocks of breakout workshop sessions focused on: communication/relationships, branding through marketing initiatives and tools, supply chain, software, un-moderated networking, technology, the change in B2B buyers, and more. An “Ask the Expert” Roundtable Discussion breakout for new/young companies and professionals will provide participants an opportunity to ask industry experts questions in an informal, speed-dating type environment. A “Been There, Done That” panel will run concurrently for veteran companies and professionals looking to take the next [large] step in growth.

The 2017 Gift & Home Bridgeway Collaborative Conference will be held at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center with a significantly discounted room rate of $191 per night. The host location is accessible from three area airports: Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport [DCA], Washington Dulles International Airport [IAD], and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport [BWI].


75 Applewood Drive, Suite A
P.O. Box 128
Sparta, MI 49345
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