This year’s ART Conference was held May 7-10 at the Palms Hotel & Spa in Miami. The event is held each year by ART – The Creative Home Furnishings Network , a recent rebrand of the Accessories Resource Team, which is the only trade organization representing all segments of the supply chain in the home accessories industry.
ART’s Conference Committee, co-chaired by Cody Hutcheson of CODARUS  and Lee Hershberg of International Market Centers , raised a record $92,000 in sponsorships for the 2013 event, enabling some big-name speakers for this year’s agenda, most notably interior designer Alexa Hampton . Attendance, however, was slightly down compared to previous conferences with about 70 total participants.
Many of the sessions emphasized new ways of thinking about business and taking advantage of opportunities by not just embracing change, but instigating it. Formal presentations kicked off with Roy Spence , CEO and founder of advertising agency GDS&M , who spoke about using purpose as a competitive advantage. Another highlight was Jason Dorsey , known as the “Gen Y Guy,” who offered practical ideas for both marketing to and successfully mentoring Millennials.
Generous conference funds also allowed ART to make a $5,000 donation to Dwell With Dignity , a Dallas-based organization that designs and furnishes rooms for families affected by homelessness and poverty. Dwell With Dignity partners Lisa Robison and Kim Turner spoke at the event’s opening night dinner about plans to expand their concept to other cities and the funding, products and manpower it will take to make that a reality.
For more information about joining ART, visit www.accessoriesresourceteam.org .