Erik Qualman purchases furniture in the same way he urges businesses to operate in the digital age: by finding a balance between online and offline.
“It runs the gamut,” says Qualman, the popular speaker and best-selling author. “Sometimes we research products and buy online.”
Other times, he and his wife visit a store with the goal of finding a specific piece. They browse the showroom, compare prices on the spot to what’s available online and usually end up buying in the store, he said.
And sometimes they have furniture custom-made.
This multi-faceted approach to furniture buying fits in perfectly with the message Qualman will deliver at the October High Point Market.
“Technology changes every second, but human nature never does,” he says. While transformation is necessary in the digital age, businesses can’t forget the personal touch.
“It’s important to achieve this balance between the offline and the online. It truly is a balance,” he said.
Qualman will speak as part of High Point Market’s Keynote Series at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20, in the High Point Theatre. His talk will be presented by the Home Furnishings Association and High Point Market Authority and co-sponsored by Synchrony.
His books include “Socialnomics,” “Digital Leader,” “What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube” and “How to Sell on LinkedIn.” A former sitting professor at Harvard and MIT’s edX labs, he’s spoken to approximately 30 million people in 50 countries, addressing topics such as innovation, leadership, future trends and digital transformation. He’s also the founder of Equalman Studios, which has done film and animation projects for Disney, Chase, IBM and other major brands.
Qualman said the opportunity to speak to furniture market participants is “super exciting. I can’t wait.”
“During my keynote, I’m going to give them the habits that they can practice within the furniture industry to ensure they achieve this balance, to ensure that they aren’t disrupted, to ensure that they’re meeting their customers and clients and employees where they want to be met and when they want to be met,” Qualman said.
He’ll cover the concepts of Socialnomics, which he calls “winning customers’ hearts and minds at scale.” If word-of-mouth once was a key to success, businesses must adapt to a digital environment of “world-of-mouth.”
[View other association seminars at high point market here.]
“Organizations must learn the new rules of social, mobile and beyond or they will miss this once-in-a-generation opportunity to earn customers’ loyalty and drive long-term success,” Qualman said in a release promoting his presentation.
“We don’t have a choice on whether we digitally transform, the choice is how well we do it. The good news is that digital leaders throughout the organization are made, not born. The key is understanding and never forgetting the powerful harmony between the offline and online.”
“Like Erik, we are extremely excited that he’ll speak at the High Point Market,” Sharron Bradley, CEO of the Home Furnishings Association, said. “He’s a true visionary who will provide retailers with perceptive and innovative strategies to move ahead of industry trends and reach customers in new and effective ways. We are very proud to help bring him to High Point.”
“Accessing speakers of Erik’s caliber at High Point Market certainly enhances an attendee’s ROI for joining us twice a year,” said Tom Conley, president and CEO of the High Point Market Authority. “Erik will bring a vital message that our industry needs to hear, and respond to, so that we can remain relevant and stay forward-focused. We are thrilled to have him as a part of our Keynote Series.”