High Point Market 2021 Do’s & Don’t’s
This June 2021, was my first trip to the High Point Market *HPMKT* in High Point, NC. Let me just say first off it was amazing! I attended with my sister Jean Marie. We made it not only a work trip but a Girls Weekend too!
My only other experience with a show open to the trades has been the NYNow show located in NYC at the Jacob Javitz Center. The first time I attended the NYNow show I gave myself a day to go around- I learned pretty fast that was not enough time. So the second time I attended I did an over night. Soo going into this trip, I knew, I would need at the very least 2 days to explore. Boy, was I ever right/wrong!
We arrived on a Friday afternoon with the thought we could explore the town – get a nice dinner & be ready to go first thing Saturday morning. What I didn’t realize is that some of the showrooms are open on Friday-if not all of them. I learned this when we checked into our hotel. By the way, I highly recommend you register on line before the show. Admission is free when you sign up in advance- if you show up at the door there is a processing fee & long lines for you stand on- especially if it’s busy. Once we were in our hotel room we quickly changed and then we drove to one of two parking lots located on the map. There are 2 free parking lots- where Trolley Cars offer free rides every 10 mins. They take you to the transportation terminal located in front of the International Home Furnishings Center (IHFC) and across from the Showplace.
So lets get to the good stuff….
Do’s & Don’ts
-Do wear comfortable shoes (maybe even bring a pair to change into).
-Do bring either a large bag or small rolling suit case. – I know sounds strange – Jean Marie kept saying to me- Why do all these people have these suitcases? I don’t understand! WELL- if you are anything like me- I love a good catalog to look through. Online is great but sometimes you just need to see items on paper. Thus the reason why all these seasoned professionals drag a tiny little suite case behind them. These catalogs are massive- I received a huge one that I carried around for hours! Needless to say I had an achy back & shoulder!
-Do dress semi professional. Most days I wore a suit jacket with neat jeans & nice shoes. The one day I wasn’t dressed as nice – it felt like we weren’t taken seriously. It is a little bit of a fashion parade with designer bags & shoes. Think Gucci bags & Golden Goose Sneakers.
-Do bring plenty of your business cards! I almost did not bring enough!
-Do plan on putting in orders at the show. The last day of our 2 ½ days I put in a few orders. I needed time to digest all that I had taken in!
-Don’t get overwhelmed – Enjoy the beautiful showrooms & nice salespeople.
-Don’t get intimidated – we are all there to discover new resources, make connections. No one has all the answers regardless of how long you have been in the industry.
-Don’t forget to have fun! It’s incredible to be surrounded by beautiful home decor, lighting & furniture.
-Do have a list of what you are looking for or a to do of vendors you would like to partner with. It’s very easy to get side tracked by all you are seeing. Having a list helped me to stay focused.
-Do give yourself enough time to explore- there is so much to see. Most furniture manufacturers have booths at the main showrooms with huge brick & mortar showrooms in the surrounding areas of High Point. Most offer free transportation- if they do not – the organizers of the market offer 2 free bus lines that shuttle you around the town.
- From what I understand High Point North Carolina doesn’t have much activity in the downtown area. Most show rooms remain relatively unused outside of these few weeks a couple of times a year. If you contact your rep you can get an appointment and someone can take you around during the off-season.
- In closing…I can’t stress enough the importance of taking the time to go and meet with your sales person for your geographic area. It made a huge difference for me. Now I have resources that were previously unknown or unavailable to me. Which in turn makes me a more diverse interior designer for my clients. Relationships➡️ relationships ➡️relationships is the key in most businesses. interior design is no exception. The pandemic forced a lot of people to stay home & re-evaluate what works for them most importantly what doesn’t -especially the home office. Interior design is exploding this year. Most of my reps told me that this year was unusual. The volume of visitors was way down which made it a great opportunity for people like myself. My reps are already telling me that they are filling up with appointments for the next High Point market in the fall.
Okay getting back to meeting your reps. I found that meeting a rep face to face was crucial for setting up accounts. I was able to explain who my clients are and what my needs were. This creates a partnership of sorts. I may not be able to meet their minimums but maybe I could – if I couldn’t they were willing to introduce me to one of their clients that can give Them the volume but pass the discounts onto me which I turn means I can do that for my clients. That’s a Win Win in my book.
Feel free to ask me any questions!
See you at the next Market!