Going to the High Point Market can be a fun and exciting experience. It can also be boring, long and dull. With close to 180 buildings, 11.5 million square feet of exhibit space and 2,000 showrooms, the High Point Market can put just about anybody into shock. So, here are six quick tips that I use to make sure I have a stress free and enjoyable time in High Point.
1. Bring a portable charger for your phone/tablets – You will be surprised how quickly your phone battery drains while walking around High Point. Especially if you are in the bigger more centralized buildings. Your phone will be working super hard to try to find data and phone service. By noon, you could already be actively working to save as much precious battery juice as possible. So, simply bring a portable charger for your phones and other mobile devices. I have really enjoyed my portable charger as it is very small and flat. It will give my phone one complete charge.
2. Be friendly and kind to those around you – Often times, people at market are walking so fast and working so hard that they forget to be courteous to those around them. I have found that I often get lost or need additional service from the reps, front desks or people that I run into. Be kind! You will receive better service if you are kind and courteous with those around you. Don’t get so lost in getting to your destination that you forget about the journey. There are fun things to do and people to interact with all the time. Some of my favorite people to interact with are those directing traffic. Say hello and be friendly with them. They will often give you a nice smile and a warm greeting as well.
3. Bring plenty of business cards – Nothing frustrates me more than asking for a business card and hearing that they just ran out. When you don’t have a business card, it usually means one of two things: One, that you aren’t a professional business person or two, that you don’t really value our conversation and don’t want to waste a business card on me. Those are not the impressions that you want to give. So, bring plenty of business cards and be ready to give them out as needed.
4. Come to market with meetings already scheduled – I always feel bad when I see a client walk into a showroom only to be turned away because their rep is too busy with other customers. You have invested too much time and money to let that happen to you. Schedule appointments with your manufacturer reps 6-8 weeks before market starts. Some manufacturers open on Friday rather than Saturday which can be a nice way of avoiding large amounts of traffic and people. With just a little bit of planning, you can make sure that market is successful for you and your team.
5. Take some time to visit the Bienenstock Furniture Library – By the time you have been shopping or showing furniture for a couple of days, you are likely ready for a short break. I suggest taking a nice walk to the Bienenstock Furniture Library. Mr. Bienenstock began collecting furniture and design books in 1922.
Now, the collection is used by schools, designers and furniture experts from around the globe. You should know that he library is on the National Register of Historic Places. Plus, there is a ton of fun art at the library as well (image to left is a little sneak peak)! If you haven’t already, give the library a call and schedule a time to tour and gain an even deeper appreciation for the amazing industry that we are in.
You can learn more about the library at http://www.furniturelibrary.com/
6. Don’t miss the HFA’s Retailer Resource Center (RRC) – The Home Furnishings Association provides a great opportunity for retailers and manufacturers to meet with top industry vendors. I won’t endorse any vendor here, but I know many of the folks that show in the RRC and they are upstanding people with great products. If you haven’t visited the RRC or talked with the HFA before, I invite you to visit them on the 1st Floor at the Plaza Suites. Plus, they offer free breakfast, lunch and drinks most days of market!
I hope that you are able to use some of these hints to find success during your upcoming High Point Markets.