The following is a guest post by Ryan Trainer.
The International Sleep Products Association recently adopted the tagline “The Voice of the Mattress IndustryTM” (as a “reformed” attorney, I trademarked it immediately!). I’d like to reflect on what that phrase means. A past ISPA Chair recently told me it means that “ISPA is here to do what we, as individual companies, can’t do alone.” I agree – collaboration and partnerships are often essential to achieving tangible success. Our industry has some of the most passionate, innovative, and industrious individuals found in manufacturing and marketing. When we all work together, we have the opportunity to accomplish things that benefit everyone.
ISPA’s journey began in 1915, when 41 mattress manufacturers decided they needed a national forum where they could discuss matters of common industry concern and the National Association of Bedding Manufacturers was born.
The world has certainly changed since then, but ISPA’s purpose has not. While our name and logos changed over the years, our mission remains constant: to protect and enhance the growth, profitability, and stature of the mattress industry.
What does that really mean? ISPA is about advocacy, education, and networking. It’s representing the industry’s best interests before regulators and the media. It’s industry statistics, the Better Sleep Council, ISPA EXPO, and BedTimes and Sleep Savvy magazines. It’s working together to create a sustainable future for our industry, our customers, and our world.
We’ve had a busy year. ISPA EXPO 2012 drew nearly 3,200 attendees from over 60 countries to Indianapolis to see the latest products and services offered by almost 200 exhibitors – an ISPA record. We’re already hard at work planning ISPA EXPO 2014 in New Orleans, and getting ready for ISPA Industry Conference in Orlando on March 6 and 7, 2013.
Since January, ISPA’s Government Relations team defeated costly and inefficient legislation in Rhode Island and Connecticut that would have made mattress manufacturers fully
responsible for recycling used mattresses. We’re still fighting similar legislation in California. For over 20 years, ISPA has supported the responsible recycling of used mattress materials, but these state laws would be bad for manufacturers, retailers, and consumers. Instead of exposing the industry to as many as 50 different and costly state recycling rules, ISPA urges Congress to pass less expensive and more efficient legislation that would create a uniform national mattress recycling system.
As our industry’s communications and consumer research arm, the Better Sleep Council’s biggest goal is to engage industry advocates who will spread the word that a “better bed = better sleep = better life!” Are you a bedding professional? Then you should consider incorporating the BSC’s messages into your marketing plans and help the industry connect better with consumers.
This year the Better Sleep Council’s “Stop Sleeping Around” campaign took a fresh approach to promoting the mattress-replacement message by poking fun at people who fall asleep in places other than their beds. Spotlighting sleep-deprived consumers that “cheat” on their mattress, the campaign asked consumers, “Are you nodding off during the day because you’re not getting 7-8 hours of quality rest on a supportive mattress? Then replace your mattress and ‘Stop Sleeping Around!’”
As ISPA’s President, I work hard to make sure that ISPA continues to serve its members. I encourage members to take advantage of the many benefits we provide. Become a more connected part of the bedding community by participating in our Cost and Wage Surveys; reading our weekly e-newsletter, the ISPA Insider; visiting the ISPA website; taking part in our committees; and attending our events. Not a member? Give us a try. Now is the time to stop sitting on the sidelines and become a part of our great association. Click here and check out the sights and sounds of ISPA – The Voice of the Mattress IndustryTM.
About Ryan Trainer
Ryan Trainer is President of the International Sleep Products Association (ISPA), a U.S.-based trade association that is dedicated to protecting and enhancing the growth, profitability, and stature of the mattress industry. Prior to taking this position in 2010, Mr. Trainer served as ISPA’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel.
Before joining ISPA in 2002, Mr. Trainer was a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Clifford Chance LLP, a global law firm, where he specialized in international regulatory, trade policy, product liability, financial privacy, and commercial matters.
After getting his undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado, Mr. Trainer received his law degree from George Washington University (Juris Doctor, 1981).
Mr. Trainer is married with two children and resides in Vienna, Virginia.