138: Retail Trends and More With Furniture Today Editor-in-Chief Bill McLoughlin

Written by Rob Stott

September 27, 2022

After spending a few days with us in Orlando for his first-ever PrimeTime show, Furniture Today Editor-in-Chief Bill McLoughlin recaps his time at that show. We also dive into FT’s upcoming Leadership Conference, furniture retailing trends and more.

Rob Stott: We are back on the Independent Thinking podcast and real cool opportunity today. We are not too far, well, I guess a little over a month at this point off of PrimeTime. It feels like yesterday, some days it feels like yesterday. Other days it feels like it was half a year ago, but Prime Time in Orlando. And while we were there, we had the chance to have Bill McLoughlin, the editor in chief of Furniture Today there with us. And Bill, now you’re taking some time and chatting about Nationwide a little more here on the Independent Thinking podcast. So appreciate you joining us.

Bill McLoughlin: Absolutely. Glad to be here. Enjoyed Prime Time and enjoy talking about it.

Rob Stott: We will definitely dive into that in a little bit. But I want to give you, for our audience, our furniture and bedding dealers probably recognize the name as they’re looking at this podcast and diving in with us. But for the rest of our members and listeners out there, tell us a little bit about yourself, your background and path to being editor in chief there at Furniture Today.

Bill McLoughlin: Sure. Well, I have been covering retail for about 30 years. So I’ve been in B2B media since the late 1980s. There’s giveaway my age, but I’ve always covered retail in one form or another. So for 20 years it was big box retail and writing about the housewares, it’s vacuum cleaners, frying pans, knives, that kind of stuff. And then about nine years ago, I got a call from Ray Aligreza who was at that time, the editor in chief of Furniture Today. And he said, “Hey, I’m thinking of retiring. Do you know anybody who would be interested in the job?” And my first thought was, well, no. Everybody I know is in the housewares business. And he was like, no, no, dummy. I meant you.

So Ray and I have known each other since the early 1990s. We worked together a couple other places, was one of the best people I’ve ever known in the business. Just really knows the business well, a great human being. I came down, I met the Furniture Today team, I got to know the industry a little bit, and I fell in love. It has just been a really, really great, this is eight years going on nine years and the furniture industry people are just lovely. They’re just such giving people they, they’re so willing to talk and excited to talk about their business.

What’s really fun too is even in the time that I’ve been here, you notice people move around but they don’t leave the industry. It’s one of those things. Once you’re in, you stay in. The big name on your business card may change, but the business you’re in stays the same. So it’s a really great business, it’s very personable, relationship oriented. So every time you go to markets, trade shows, whatever, it’s kind of like a family reunion. You always know familiar faces, you always go and see people you know. It’s a chance to catch up, hey, how are the kids? So yeah, it’s a great business.

Rob Stott: The fun thing is too, and I got a chance to talk about this every once in a while in this podcast, but my background, I don’t have the length in the B2B trade media space, but I came from dealer scope, the CE retail side. So how you’re talking is exactly, you’re putting words to things that I know and what that space is on the CE side of the business. And it’s all the same, whether it’s the furniture industry, appliances to CE, the names might change on the business card, but it always is like that cozy family. And I think you describe it perfectly that all those trade shows and conferences, which we didn’t have for a while, they are like those big family reunions and get togethers. And it’s always nice to be able to get back in front of people and see them and just shake hands and see what’s up.

Bill McLoughlin: My first beat was actually covering consumer electronics and my first trade show was CES.

Rob Stott: They threw you.

Bill McLoughlin: Back when fax machines were a new thing.

Rob Stott: They threw you right into the fire then. That’s got to be, you’ve seen how that show has changed over the years. What was it like back then?

Bill McLoughlin: Well, there used to be two of them. One in Las Vegas and then there was a summer one in Chicago. At that time, back in the late eighties, early nineties, companies would spend enormous amounts of money on promotion and advertising. Video games were becoming popular. Nintendo would take an entire floor and set up 10,000 video games all over the place. And there were athletes. Every athlete was getting a video game. John Elway, Herschel Walker. And so you would see, I’m a sports guy, love sports growing up. For those of you who ask, I’m a Knicks, Mets and Jets fan. One of the three might actually make a playoff. But for somebody who likes sports to be around that kind of thing where you get to meet all of these folks that you got to watch growing up, take a picture, get an autograph, hear a story. That was a fun business to cover.

Rob Stott: Well, and just to flash forward to just a few years ago, that now they’re doing sports still has a big part of that show. And I think they take over the sands and there’s an entire sports track of things that go sports technology and stuff. But the first CES I went to, I’ll never forget it was one of those sports events, but they had the NBA on TNT crew there. Ernie Johnson, Shaq and Barkley, and they’re doing the show from CES, one of their NBA on TNT Wednesday night. As games are going on, you think of the halftime show that they do. That was happening from CES. So sports still has a big thumbprint on what goes on there and it’s cool to see, just think of how it’s evolved and all trade shows have evolved. So we’ll talk about Prime Time in a second. But in your kind of history of covering the space, how has the experience changed you think, whether it’s the markets or other shows that you go to? Have you seen a lot of evolution in this space?

Bill McLoughlin: Well, what for me was the biggest change, you know going to CES, it’s one large building, temporary exhibits. Now you come to the furniture industry and you go to High Point. And that just makes any and every other trade show. I mean, I’ve covered trade shows in half a dozen countries around the world. There is nothing like High Point, North Carolina. It’s two and a half square miles, it’s 10 story buildings with showrooms from top to bottom. You really need to have to be in shape. You need comfortable shoes. We tell all of our rookie editors don’t buy new shoes, break in a good pair of shoes. Trade shows, the one thing that I think the pandemic really showed is that in-person trade shows matter. It really does make a difference. And I can say just about every event I’ve been at in the past year, and this includes Prime Time.

People are so grateful to be back together. I think we sometimes forget human beings at heart are social animals. They like to be around other human beings. And this is great talking on Zoom and it’s nice technology gives us some opportunities, but there’s nothing that beats a one-on-one conversation, casual conversation, whether that’s in the office or whether that’s at a trade show. And the furniture business and the mattress business in particular, it’s a high touch and feel category. You want to sit on that sofa, you want to push on the mattress, you want to sit on it, see how it feels. And it doesn’t matter how much business gets transacted or how much people use the internet. There is still a certain and very significant portion of customers, they want to touch. They want to feel, they want to pick it up. The material matters. So I think if anything, the pandemic has showed us that in person really, really does matter. And people like that.

Rob Stott: Right, we even think you talk about the shopping experience and there’s data to back it up. You can look at how yeah, e-commerce boom during the pandemic because people were kind of forced to go that route in terms of shopping and things like that. We were just digging through some stats here not too long ago about the percentage of total retail sales that were e-commerce. And it has always been on the rise up until the last couple of quarters. That percentage of total sales that are part of e-commerce of the whole pot has actually declined a couple maybe half percentage points here orthere, but it’s never dipped down. It’s always been on an upwards trajectory.

And that’s because people are excited to get back out and shop in person. And especially in these categories, like you mentioned the high touch categories and wanting to test out a piece of furniture. It’s a big commitment to buy for if you’re going to make that kind of purchase. So you’re not going to want to not know what that feels like, that chair feels like that couch, that bed, that mattress before committing that much money to a product. So to your point, you need that in person, whether it’s at a trade show or in a retail store.

Bill McLoughlin: And I think in the long run, you’re going to see that commerce is going to be some combination, because there is nothing as convenient as having the World Book Encyclopedia, every newspaper ad you’ve ever seen, every book ever written right there on your phone. I can find out more in five minutes today than I could have in six weeks of study. So it’s changed the consumer’s journey the way that they shop. But it doesn’t eliminate the value of the store. It doesn’t eliminate that in person experience. So it just changes it a little bit.

Rob Stott: Absolutely. Well, talking about Prime Time and that in person experience, you were in person with us in Orlando and I know you had quite the experience from being on a panel at part of I think it was Mattress University or Furniture Forum, one of the two. And just being able to walk around the expo hall and see what was going on. So kind of recap it for us. What was it like being there in Orlando with us?

Bill McLoughlin: So we put on our conferences and events ourselves. So anytime I go, I go with two purposes. There’s networking and education, but then there’s also kind of looking and saying, oh well I like that idea or that idea. And there were some things that I thought Nationwide did really exceptionally well. And this is inside baseball. I’m not sure your audience really cares about your signage, but the Gaylord in Orlando is a huge facility. It’s really easy to get lost, but it was impossible not to know where Nationwide was when you were in the building. And I think people sometimes underestimate the importance of signage. Like go here, go there, go down this hallway. The other thing I thought that your team did exceptionally well was there were folks who are identified, easy to recognize the Nationwide team, they have blue polo shirts.

So I need help. Where am I? I’m lost. You know exactly who to ask. You go up and you ask. People were trained in advance, they knew how to answer the questions. All of those things that I’m not sure people always weigh them. When you evaluate a conference after, you tend to think, was the content good? Did I meet some people I wanted? You don’t necessarily think about the little almost hidden details that just make your stay more pleasant, that just make it a less… And it’s funny, we talk about this in retail, eliminate friction. Anything that’s a point of friction makes your customer less happy. And the same thing is true when you have an event. And I think that was a really, really good thing that the Nationwide team did exceptionally well. No friction.

Rob Stott: The funny part is too, it’s one of those things you mentioned that it may not get a light shined on it too often. It does though when it’s the opposite and you have that bad experience of the person that you asked didn’t know the answer or the checkout process, the card reader machine didn’t work and you want to go and talk about how they didn’t make it easy to pay for the product. So it could have that opposite effect too of the attention to details and stuff like that. But that’s cool to hear. Cool to hear that got called out. Talk about your panel. For those that weren’t in attendance that didn’t get to sit in and see what you talked about, what was the topic and what was that conversation like?

Bill McLoughlin: It was Mattress University, so obviously we’re talking about the buying and selling of mattresses. And it was interesting to hear some of the stories of how the pandemic affected people’s business. How you have to handle things differently in the store. How you have to be able to reach out to people outside the store. As interestingly, I thought it was fascinating to talk about how supply chain issues have reshaped product assortments. There’s a whole level of mattress, that opening price point that’s kind of been pushed a little bit out of the marketplace. And whenever I talk about a segment going away, I don’t mean things disappear. A market is never monolithic. Any market is made up of various segments, and those segments expand or contract as people move in and out of them. So I don’t want to say opening price points have gone away, they haven’t.

But a much higher portion of the business seems to be pushing up into better price points. And I think that’s a function of inflation. Costs are going up. It’s a function of financing and interest rates going up. So everything gets a little more expensive. Availability, I mean, we know that there were some issues around dumping in the mattress category out of China and Vietnam. So all of that has served to push price points up, which candidly, I think that’s good for the business. I have never been a proponent of just too much opening price point product. I think the furniture industry in particular has a challenge in this. And people use the term all the time, the race to the bottom. Once upon a time you could buy a $399 sofa. Today, you can still buy a $399 sofa. You can’t name another consumer product category where that’s true.

It doesn’t happen. I can buy a bedroom suite of furniture for less than I can buy an iPhone. Explain the logic, explain the value proposition to me. I understand what an iPhone does, but you’re talking about something you’re going to fill up your house for the next 20 years. Your phone’s going to be obsoleted in 18 months. So anything that I think supports the value proposition of the furniture business, of the mattress business, I’m very much in favor of that. It was interesting to hear the stories from the retailers themselves.

Closing rates, closing ratios. Once upon a time, people would come, they would shop several stores and that was their education journey was the stores that they shopped. Now, and the retailers on the panel mentioned this, consumers often are more knowledgeable than the salesperson because they’ve already done their homework. They know the models that they want, they know the models they’ve rejected. They already have a very clear idea. So when they come in, they’re not saying, I’m looking for a mattress. They’re coming in saying, I want this brand, I want this firmness level. Can you show me these price points? It’s a different selling environment and I think retailers have to be prepared.

And Bob Monkel, who was one of the speakers at the event, he often talks about this. He calls it honoring the consumer’s journey. And what he means by that is if the consumer already has knowledge, if they’ve already invested time, effort, and energy to gain that knowledge, to walk into your store, prepared to have a closing conversation and you qualify them, hi Mr. Jones, hi Mrs. Jones, can you tell me why you’re here today? What can I show you? You’re in a different part of the journey now. You’ve negated all of their hard work and you are wasting their time because they want to start that conversation six miles down the road and you are making them go back, and that’s not where they want to be. So I think those things are important today in the selling.

Rob Stott: It’s funny to think about. I think it’s more, again, one of those things you might take for granted. You know that they’re coming in having done that research. So if they’re coming to your store, there’s a reason that they’re there most likely. At this point is that they’ve searched around, they’ve found the product or products that they want to see in person and narrow down or maybe they have that decision. They’re there, they might be ready to buy and it’s just because you happen to have it. So knowing how to approach the conversation. It’s different of how can I help you? Yeah, you’re still kind of doing that at heart, but what specifically can I help you with? Or what have you come in looking for today, as opposed to trying to show them everything. Because they’ve seen, probably seen everything at that point. They’re there and they’re ready to do business when they’re in your store.

Bill McLoughlin: I think that’s important. It’s a different qualifying conversation. What is it that you’ve been looking, tell me a little bit about your shopping experience. Tell me where you are. It’s not why are you here today? Obviously they’re here because they’re thinking about buying a mattress. And again, that also reflects with performance metrics. If your close ratio was, I don’t know, 20%, 15%, six or seven years ago, it might be 30 or 40 now because those people are coming in much more ready to buy. So it changes how you compensate or how you train your RSAs. It changes your expectations. It’s a very different business.

Rob Stott: The shopping experience is one thing. Any other stories of challenges or things that you heard from our members in Orlando that they’re having success with right now?

Bill McLoughlin: Having success, well, as I understand the attachment rates are up. Consumers that interest in the home, people are looking to have not just a minimalist experience, but what I will call an enhanced experience. The retailers who I hear are most successful are not selling a mattress. And this is what I hear over and over and over again. You don’t sell spec and tech. You’re selling sleep. And so the people who are having the most success are the people who are having a conversation about what does it take to give you a good night’s sleep? What role does sleep play in the total context of your health story? You don’t have a conversation about coil count, about foam density, about the different types of foam.

That’s not the conversation that you want to have. Conversation you want to have is how do you sleep at night? Tell me about your health regimen. Tell me about the things you do to improve the quality of your life. And now, we have products that can help you with that. You have trouble sleeping, do you sleep hot? That’s a conversation to have. It’s a quality of life conversation. And I did not invent the term spec and tech. A bunch of different folks in the industry use the term, but it’s not a spec and tech conversation.

Rob Stott: Well the other way to think about it too, you kind of mentioned it’s an experience talk, but it’s also, you kind of want to stroke that ego of the customer. You’re looking to find out about them and what their needs are, whereas the spec and tech approach is showing off what you know about a product and showing your expertise. You’re there, they know that you’re likely knowledgeable, your RSAs are up to date and understand what’s going on with the product. But really at the end of the day, the customer wants it to be about them. So being able to turn that conversation around and have it show that you’re showing interest in them and what their needs are is probably the better way to approach that conversation as opposed to trying to show off your own knowledge of what’s available.

Bill McLoughlin: Well even think about your own experience on the consumer electronic side. It’s features versus benefits. I got a 10 inch subwoofer. Okay, why do I care? Why is 10 inches better than three inches, four inches, five? What does the subwoofer do? So it’s not what the feature is, it’s what the benefit is. And that’s the same thing. Don’t tell me how many coils it has or don’t tell me the density of the foam. What does that mean to me? And I think this is true of almost any sales situation that you’re in. You don’t sell features, you sell benefits. That’s what a consumer cares about. How does it make my life better?

Rob Stott: And you’ve mentioned the brand in passing, but I think the best brand example on the CE side and maybe all brands out there, Apple. And kind of how they sell their product. And it’s the experience of using an iPhone. If you watch their events and if you’re someone that tunes into those keynotes when they happen once a year for the iPhone and their other product launches and stuff, you probably care a little bit more about the specs and everything that’s inside and the GPUs and CPUs out there. But really, they talk about that. But at the end of the day, all their commercials and things that you see and that sort of stuff is about how it improves your life to have this little device in your hand. Well it’s getting bigger, but the device in your hand enables you to experience the world in a different way as they put it. So that makes a ton of sense.

Bill McLoughlin: It goes back to what we were saying before about segments. The annual Apple meeting is for the early adopter, that’s for the tech heads. That’s for the folks who really care about all those details. But then when you look at the average commercial, let’s take the camera for example. They’re not talking about how many they are. What they’re doing is showing people having an enormous amount of fun taking pictures. And this device, the implication is, look, you could be healthy and active and taking great pictures and going fun places. You’re not selling the camera, you’re selling the lifestyle. It’s no different with a bed. You’re not selling me a piece of foam. At the end of the day, it is a rubber rectangle and, all of the listeners out there, I’m simplifying the purposes of making a point, but at the end of the day, it’s a white rectangle or a gray rectangle.

That in and of itself is not something that is inherently immediately recognizable as value. However, what that delivers to, which is a great night’s sleep, more energy when you get up with the kids in the morning, more energy to confront your day. We all are working harder today. I think people are probably doing more jobs. Everyone I talk to at every company, everybody’s wearing many hats, doing multiple jobs. Well, you need a good night’s sleep to live through that day, to be your best self. And that’s what that mattress delivers. How do you be your best self?

Rob Stott: Oh, that’s awesome. Well, kind of shifting gears away from our Prime Time to your own event, the leadership conference is coming up and rather than steal your thunder, I want to tee you up to tell us all about it and set the table for what to expect for those either considering or that have registered already for what’s going on down there in Naples, Florida, right?

Bill McLoughlin: Naples, Florida. It’s at a little tiny hotel called the Ritz Carlton. The Motel Six wasn’t available so we had to take it to the Ritz. That’s a popular spot. We’ve been there for a lot of years and it’s a fun event. This will only be our second time live since the pandemic. Last year we were in Orlando because the Ritz was undergoing some renovations, and you want to talk about energy. Boy, people were happy to be back together. We have kind of a fun event this year. Our theme is called Stand Out. And the reason we picked that theme, our speaker is the owner of a minor league baseball team called the Savannah Bananas. And if you don’t know, go on YouTube, search Savannah Bananas. Basically the gentleman bought a minor league baseball team, basically bankrupt minor league baseball team, was not successful. And he is reinventing the game.

He’s turned them into the Harlem Globetrotters of minor league baseball and he’s done it by creating a show. One of the things about today’s generation of baseball, baseball is a very agrarian game. Grew up in times when life was slower, played in a field, standing outside, the whole pace. Today’s generation wants to move. So these games, two hours, first pitch, start the clock. When two hours is up, game’s over. There’s lots of fun. There’s energy. Before the pitcher delivers a pitch, you may see the entire infield do the Macarena. And then the pitch comes, you’ll see the catcher go between his legs, behind his back, and then down to second base. It’s entertainment. The games are sold out. And when he starts talking about how he did these things and the things that he looked at, these are a lot of things that are relevant to today’s furniture store, to today’s furniture or mattress retailer.

Because if you’re just going to compete on price and convenience, then Amazon and Wayfair win. You have to deliver a great… People need to have a reason to come to the store. And it can’t be just to transact, because nobody transacts easier and better than Amazon. If you’re going to play that game, you lose every time. However, the experience of sitting on your phone is not the same as walking in and seeing a really fun, exciting store. And that’s another piece. We have an immersion experience that we’re going to unveil. For those of you who have never seen or who might have seen the Van Gogh exhibits that are going around the country, 360 degrees, we’ve found a company who’s going to show one that could be executed in a retail store. So you’ll see basic furniture and the environment around that furniture will change, the setting will change, and the furniture itself will change, although the furniture itself will be there, but the look, feel, texture will all change all through this kind of visual technology.

So those are just a couple of things. And for those of you who want to hear from retailers, we will always have lots of retailers on our stage. We always have a retail leaders panel. We’ll bring that back. So we’ll have some leading CEOs from some major furniture stores to talk about that. We’re going to be talking about the economy because I know everybody is concerned. What does inflation mean technically? The two metrics, they say two consecutive quarters of negative GDP. Well we hit that, although I don’t know yet technically if we’re in a recession on it. But I know that that’s a concern for people. So we’ve got someone to talk about the economy and kind of share insights on where we’re headed. And all of this is with the goal of helping retailers just be more effective in their business.

Rob Stott: Lots to unpack there because it is a packed event. But I want to start, who’s the target retailer for this to attend a leadership? Is it anyone in the business? Is it owners only or in between? What kind of retailer do you guys typically draw to the leadership conference?

Bill McLoughlin: We try to make it accessible and have content for retailers of all sizes. So I know there is this perception because you’ll see a lot of top 100, larger. I mean, furniture stores are our primary audience. So it is a furniture store event. It is targeted at folks who run, operate furniture stores. I won’t say it’s entirely sea level, but it’s largely sea level. So we get a lot of CEOs, presidents, senior executives, and owners. We do get some top 100s, but we also get lots of smaller retails. One, two, three stores. Sometimes individual stores. Right before the pandemic, we had a gentleman who operated one store in Atlantic City, New Jersey. It was so fun. He got up on the stage. The first thing he said is, I’ve never been on the cover of Furniture Today. I’m not the kind of person who, and well, you know what?

Now he’s been on the cover of Furniture Today, but it was a really valuable discussion. He talked about he draws a 50 mile circle around his store and he says, I want to own, I can’t compete against Amazon, I can’t compete against Raymore, I can’t compete against, but inside this 50 mile radius, I’m going to own my market. And he does lots of interesting things. During prom time, he has prom dress fashion shows in his store. What does that have to do with furniture? Absolutely nothing. However, the people who are coming in are potential purchasers. He involves himself in the life of his community. And so we have retailers of all sides. Last year we had a panel from three smaller retailers. I think the largest one owns two stores. So these were all one and two stores. And we talked about succession. These were all family owned businesses.

These were people who were bringing their children into the business in some cases. One of our speakers, Todd Layman from Interiors Home in Pennsylvania, he has a combination of family members and non-family members. He has some young people who’ve brought in. They want to be involved in the business. He’s created a path to ownership for them. So we talk about issues that are relevant to all sizes of business with the key focus on furniture. You’re selling CE all by itself, you’re probably not going to find what you’re looking for. If on the other hand, you’re selling appliances and furniture, we got your furniture side covered, you got your mattress side covered.

Rob Stott: No, that’s awesome.

Bill McLoughlin: That’s really our focus.

Rob Stott: And covers a lot too. Some really in interesting and important topics and highlighted as you mentioned this year by the owner of the Savannah Bananas. I don’t know if you’ve been online, if you’re someone that ventures onto social media occasionally it’s probably impossible that you haven’t come across them from the flaming bats and all of the themed things that they do, and I’m just waiting for some of their rules. I think each individual inning is a game in the way they play it. And whoever wins the most innings over the course of that two hours is who wins it, that sort of stuff. It’s just crazy to see how they’ve revolutionized and innovated the game. And I think that’s to your point about what he might be able to bring to the table and impart on these furniture and mattress dealers that will be there is just how to innovate and remain relevant and take something that, I love baseball, but something that is aged.

It’s an aged sport that isn’t really innovating and they’re trying things. You see the couple of rule changes if you follow baseball that they’ve instituted for next year from pitch clocks and banning the shift. I don’t know what your opinion is on that, but it’s happening. But they’re trying to innovate, but not at the level that specific team in Savannah is doing. And it’ll be cool to hear from him and some how he takes what he’s done for baseball and narrows it down to the furniture retail industry. But that’s one I’m looking forward to seeing for sure.

Bill McLoughlin: Well I think the most interesting thing and the most valuable lesson is probably the broadest, which is no sacred cows. Don’t be afraid to reinvent your business. And we’re all subject to this. Why do we do that? Because that’s the way we do it. That’s the way we’ve always, and that’s the first rule that he threw out. There is no that’s how we do it. It’s what do we need to do to excite people, to make them want to come out, to make them come back? And I think that’s a really important lesson for furniture and mattress stores.

You need people to come back. We don’t sell products that have a short shelf life. If you think about it, in the course of your entire life, maybe you’ll buy five, six bedrooms. If you think about let’s say you replace your mattress every eight years. You buy your first mattress at 20 years old. Do the math. That’s six mattresses, seven mattresses. So you need to give people the reason to come back for other things and you need to give them a reason to come into the store. Again, I said this before, I feel like I’m repeating myself, but if you play the transaction game, you lose. Amazon is the most convenient shopping environment that’s possibly ever been invented. They do everything but get inside my head and hear the things that I think about.

Rob Stott: They’re probably working on that as we speak.

Bill McLoughlin: Frighteningly, they might be.

Rob Stott: Right. No, but I think it’s an incredible point and an important one. And I don’t think whether you are repeating or not, it’s important for a retailer to hear it more than once because it’s true. And it’s a different game that they’re playing today than we were, not to keep making sports references here, but than they were years ago. But it’s something to that needs to be thought of now because not that time runs out or anything on you, but you can innovate at any point. You just have to make the decision to go do it. And sometimes maybe it’s that keynote kick in the pants that gets someone to go do it and they’ll have the chance to dive into it down there in Naples here. November 29th to December 1st, is that right?

Bill McLoughlin: 28th.

Rob Stott: 28th to December 1st.

Bill McLoughlin: The easiest way to remember, it is the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday after Thanksgiving.

Rob Stott: Awesome. And for more info, if people want to go register, they can just go right to, do you have a specific url? We’ll drop everything in the info below, but just to get you to say it.

Bill McLoughlin: Leadershipcon.com.

Rob Stott: Leadership con.

Bill McLoughlin: Leadership con as in conference, leadershipcon.com is the website. You can go, you can register. And I do advise people get your hotel right away because our rooms fill up and that’s the first thing. We do have overflow hotels, but if you want to be at the main hotel, that’s the first thing that happens is the room block fills up.

Rob Stott: Get in that Ritz. I imagine it’ll fill up rather quickly down there. So especially if it’s just been renovated as you mentioned. So they got some new amenities to take advantage of. So get in there and do that for sure.

Bill McLoughlin: Naples is not a horrible place to be.

Rob Stott: Yeah, right. That time of year, right after Thanksgiving, kick back and just soak up the sun down there while you sweat off the Turkey weight from the week before. Good timing. We love it. So Mr. McLoughlin, I appreciate it. This was a lot of fun chatting and hope to do it again soon. Maybe down there at the leadership conference, see what’s up.

Bill McLoughlin: Anytime.

Rob Stott: Awesome. We appreciate it and look forward to catching up again soon.

Bill McLoughlin: Thanks Rob. It’s great to be here.

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