The World’s Leading Home + Housewares Show

March 2–4, 2025 | McCormick Place | Chicago, IL

The World’s Leading Home + Housewares Show
March 2—4 | McCormick Place | Chicago, IL


Innovation Theater and Smart Talks Programs to be Presented Throughout May/June


ROSEMONT, IL (May 15, 2020) – Educational sessions planned for the Innovation Theater and Smart Talks stage at The Inspired Home Show 2020 will be presented as a series of webinars over the next few months, the International Housewares Association announced today. Two programs from the Smart Talks agenda will be presented next week. All webinars are free and because of the COVID-19 pandemic, some speakers have adjusted their presentations to address the issue within their topics. Most programs will begin at 12 p.m. CDT.

On Tuesday, May 19, Kathy Kimple, chief retail officer at FitForCommerce, will present “Digital Commerce Strategies for Surviving COVID-19 and Thriving Later.” The COVID-19 pandemic has forced retailers and brands to fully embrace and prioritize digital commerce and omnichannel services such as buy online/pick up in-store and curbside pickup, while navigating unprecedented waters. There is no time like the present to for suppliers and retailers to examine their digital strategies and omnichannel capabilities to meet customer expectations while preparing for what’s ahead. In this webinar, Kimple will share how retailers and brands are reacting, innovating and applying best practices to optimize performance. She will outline strategies and supporting technology solutions that should be on the housewares industry’s radar in next 3-6 months as well as ecommerce and omnichannel pitfalls to avoid, and share lessons learned from other retail verticals.

The next day, Wednesday, May 20, David Hernandez, president of Lotus823, will presentThe Importance of Having Flexibility in Your Marketing Plan.” In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have been affected across almost every vertical. With many brands unsure of where to turn amid the crisis, this is a good reminder of how important it is to have flexibility within your marketing strategies. While these strategies can be planned up to a year in advance, many efforts are no longer applicable due to the various restrictions that consumers are facing. When situations arise that are out of a brand’s control, it is vital to understand how to pivot the strategy appropriately, efficiently and effectively.

An Innovation Theater session, “How A Successful User Experience Can Turn Your Product Into An Integral Kitchen Tool” by Jane Freiman, founder of Smart Kitchen Insights Group, will be broadcast on May 27. The success rate of first-time use of a product by a consumer will drive brand satisfaction and will set the product up to be an integral tool in the consumer’s kitchen, resulting in driving brand loyalty. Knowing your target consumers and their kitchen realities is the foundation of this success. In this presentation, Freiman will explain how product suppliers can understand their target’s kitchen reality, the key principles of product testing and how to make sure they have product directions that will ensure a successful user experience.

Several Innovation Theater and Smart Talks programs are already posted on the Show’s website at and can be viewed at any time. A schedule of upcoming webinars is available on the Show website homepage at All webinars will be posted on the website after airing.

Euromonitor International, a global marketing company that was scheduled for a session in the Innovation Theater, is making available to Show exhibitors and attendees a report and webinar on COVID-19’s impact on housewares trends. Individuals can download a complimentary copy of “The Impact of Coronavirus on Home and Garden”. The company is also making available its webinar “How Is COVID-19 Affecting The Top 10 Global Consumer Trends 2020?”, which analyses the short- and long-term implications of COVID-19 on consumer behavior.

In addition to the educational sessions, photo galleries for the New Product Showcase, Trending Today Preview, Inventors’ Corner exhibitors and the IHA Global Innovation Awards for Product Design are posted on To learn about new products that were to be at the Show, visit the Show’s online directory, Housewares Connect 365 at, and select “Featured New Products for Media & Buyers.”