IHA To Hold 2016 Global Forum

The International Housewares Association will hold its 2016 Global Forum, June 8 to 10 at the Warwick Allerton Hotel in Chicago. It is open to both housewares suppliers new to the international arena and veteran sales executives looking to grow their global business.

The meeting will feature overviews by key housewares buyers covering China, Denmark, Honduras, Indonesia, Norway and Sweden along with sessions on critical international business issues and networking opportunities. The Global Forum is sponsored by the International Business Council (IBC), a special interest group of IHA members dedicated to increasing international business. It is open to IBC and non-IBC members.

Highlights include “IBC 101: International Essentials” on June 8, which will provide an overview of the international marketplace, including brief discussions on market selection, export mechanics, distribution models, international pricing and INCO terms.

The main program opens on June 9 with an executive education session, “Pragmatically Approaching Western Europe” by Francois Boutet of Start Home, a consultancy specializing in European market strategy. Boutet will explain the nuances of several Western European markets, including Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain, providing pragmatic best-practices for these key regions.

Ambrose Thomas of the U.S. Commercial Service in Lagos, Nigeria, will provide an overview of how to use Africa to reach other export markets. He will explore using Africa as a thoroughfare for exporting to other markets that have a demand for home and housewares.

Representatives from key retailers and distributors in China, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, Honduras and Indonesia will discuss their markets and explain their goals and strategies for working with housewares suppliers. The retail update sessions cover:

China: Tony Shun, head of business development and merchandising for VIP.com, will explain how to sell directly to their 180 million registered Chinese users.

Denmark, Norway and Sweden: Linus Kolmevik of Hippie De Luxe will discuss this home and housewares distributor’s approach to product distribution, key retailers to target and the three Nordic markets.

Honduras: Carlos Zelaya, commercial manager of Lady Lee, a department retailer with 20 stores in main Honduran cities, will present their strategies for success within the home and housewares market and how to enter this key Central American country.

Indonesia: Nana Puspa Dewi, marketing director, and Donny Prayoga, head of purchasing, Ace Hardware, will offer perspectives on the growing Indonesian market and how to work with Ace in the country. Ace Hardware Indonesia has 116 stores and plans to add up to 10 more in 2016, targeting mid to high-level consumers.

The Global Forum registration fee includes the educational program, continental breakfasts, lunch, reception and dinners. For more information or to sign up for the Global Forum, visit www.housewares.org/members/global-forum.