Networking with a twist. And for a good cause.


May 2017—

Networking means interacting with other people to exchange information and develop contacts, especially to further one’s career. Most people who attend conferences say it’s for the networking or relationship building. We are, after all, in the business of relationships, right?

The Home Furnishings Association has a fun new networking event planned for this year’s conference, whether this is your first and you don’t know a soul or you’re a conference vet who hangs out with the same people year after year. We’re teaming up with The Leader’s Institute to bring the Build-a-Bike Team Building Workshop to the Home Furnishings Networking Conference.

What better way to get to know people than to roll up your sleeves and work side-by-side building a bike (20 inch, BMX-style to be precise) for a young child? For many of these kids, this will be the first bike they ever own.

This two-hour session (Sunday, June 4, 4 to 6 p.m.) will start with a facilitator leading an icebreaker challenge and then breaking the group down to teams of 6-8 people. That’s when the fun begins. Teams earn their materials through a series of challenges and puzzles that require cooperation and communication. Once your team earns all the parts, it’s time to build the bike.

The number of bikes we build will depend on the number of participants; all of the bikes will then be donated to the Boys and Girls Club of San Antonio.

Build-a-Bike team building exercises happen at hundreds of events all around the country every year.

You’ll have fun, brainstorm, problem-solve, communicate, and collaborate right off the bat with the people you’ll be spending the next three days with. AND…you might like the event so much you’ll want to host a Build-a-Bike workshop with your staff back home.

The Build-a-Bike event is included in your conference registration.

In the past decade, Build-A-Bike® programs have given away more than $2.3 million worth of bicycles to needy kids in cities all over the US, Canada, and Europe. More than 100,000 people—like you—have participated in these workshops.

About the Author

Lisa Casinger
Lisa Casinger is the government relations liaison for HFA and the editorial director for RetailerNOW. Contact her at