The Innovation Event

September 9-10, 2022

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The Innovation Event: Home Furnishings 2030 and Beyond

Welcome to The Innovation Event: Furniture 2030 and Beyond, brought to you by Furniture Today, creators of The Leadership Conference, the industry’s largest and longest-running educational and networking event.

Premiering September 9th and 10th in Winston Salem, N.C.’s Innovation Quarter, this first-of-its-kind event will explore the technologies, strategies, trends, and people that will shape the home furnishings industry in the decades to come.

  • Will consumers buy, sell and furnish homes in The Metaverse? If so, what does that mean for furniture companies?
  • Where will tomorrow’s workers come from and how many of them will be robotic?
  • How will self-driving vehicles reshape the movement of furniture from factory floors right to consumers’ homes?
  • How and where will those consumers shop and what will motivate them to buy?
The Innovation Event will address these and many more questions that will shape the future of furnishings. It will also honor some of the people who will shape that future with an inaugural Furniture Today 40 Under 40 awards program. Join us in celebrating the next generation of furniture industry leaders as we look at what that industry will look like in the decades to come!

First 75 Retailers can register for free using discount code “2030”

Photo courtesy of Innovation Quarter

Join us this September as we explore the future of home furnishings.

Our host venue will be the Wake Forest Biotech Place, a former tobacco manufacturing facility, now drives technology and medical innovation. Home to Wake Forest School of Medicine research labs and Innovation Quarter offices.

Register today!

Meet The Keynote

Leslie Carothers

Leslie Carothers, CEO of Savour Partnership and named one of Home Furnishing News Magazine’s Top 40 Most Inspiring Women in Home, pioneered the use of social media marketing within the home furnishings and interior design industries.

Featured in Forbes and named as one of 2022’s Top Influencers in Interior Design, she’s a well-known speaker and writer on digital marketing, 24/7 online wealth creation, online community building, and the metaverse.

In 2020-2021, she was co-principal in the world’s first virtual designer showhouse, built entirely in the virtual world – a collaboration between 15 sponsoring brands and 11 interior designers and owned by Seasonal Living.

Her company’s clients have included brands that represent the full spectrum of stakeholders in the home-related industries including retailers, manufacturers, interior designers, tradeshows, software developers, and raw material suppliers, giving the unique insights that enable her to propel her clients’ businesses powerfully forward, strategically, and quickly.

She owns a Facebook Group for interior designers, #DesignWealth, where 1600 of the country’s top interior designers discuss issues of the day, and her business blog is widely read for the education it provides.

She has been a long-time volunteer board member of the Bienenstock Furniture Library and was honored to receive WITHIT’s President’s Award for her service to that organization and to the industry.

In her spare time, she loves to be with her family, read, and encourage and mentor others through her many online interactions.



  • 2:00 p.m. EST – Welcome

  • 2:15 p.m. EST – Keynote: The Metaverse : Community Building and Monetization for retailers and manufacturers in 2023 and beyond

  • 3:15 p.m. EST – Networking Break

  • 3:30 – Learning Labs – Attendees will rotate through Three different learning labs.

  • 5:00 p.m. EST – Cocktails & Cammaraderie

  • 6:00 p.m. EST – Dinner on Your Own


  • 8:30 a.m. EST – Breakfast

  • 9:30 a.m. EST – Welcome

  • 9:45 a.m. EST – PANEL: Building Blocks of the Metaverse: How do we get from here to there?
    A panel of industry-leading AR/VR specialists will explore the future of merchandising technology, including the steps retailers and manufacturers must take today in order to maximize the opportunity presented by the emerging Metaverse. If you thought the emergence of the Internet was disruptive . . . just wait!

  • 10:30 a.m. EST – From A to Gen Z: A demographic deep dive into tomorrow’s consumer
    In 2030, Gen Z will be hitting its stride as an economic power, while Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers will see their influence as key shoppers diminish. We’ll help you decipher the nuances of mercurial Gen Z as its members enter their 20s and 30s and provide insights into where the other cohorts still hold sway.

  • 11:15 a.m. EST – How To Get Millennials and Gen Z in your store

  • 12:00 p.m. EST – 40 Under 40 Lunch and Awards Program

  • 1:30 p.m. EST – Learning Labs – Attendees will rotate through three learning opportunities.

  • 3:30 p.m. EST – Networking Break

  • 4:00 p.m. EST – PANEL: The Technological Imperative: 5 Things That Could Make or Break Companies in the Coming Age of Technology
    Retailers and technology experts sit down to discuss the key technologies that will drive or derail businesses in the coming decade. Can we get there without standardization? Is technology the differentiator or connector? How can smaller companies compete in the technology race? The answers to these questions and many more will be revealed

  • 5:00 p.m. EST – Closing Remarks




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