I’m started writing this on the eve of my last night at the Fall High Point Market 2023. Being my first time attending, I had no idea what to expect. I knew it was a significant event in the world of furniture and interior design, but I had no idea just how significant.
Before I came, I knew it was 11.5 million square feet of furniture and home furnishings showrooms, 2,000 exhibitors, and that roughly 75,000 people in the trade attend.
While I don’t know how many people attended, it was a lot. High Point and the surrounding area, especially Greensboro, NC have been packed with people. Packed hotels. Packed shuttle buses. Packed restaurants.
Who attends High Point Market and why?
To be eligible for a ticket, you must be in the trade. That includes interior designers and furniture buyers. Generally, anyone who buys furniture as part of their business.
Why we attend varies by person and company. I attended primarily to see in-person furniture and accessories I buy as well as to learn about suppliers I may want to buy from. For me, it’s mostly for learning with a smattering of networking and of course having a good time (which I did). Others attend to actually place orders, network, meet colleagues and perhaps as an excuse to go on a business trip lol.
I loved High Point Market for Many Reasons… These Were the 5 Highlights
Being my first time, I wasn’t sure what to expect.
1. The thousands of stunning showrooms and displays
Show, don’t tell is the writers maxim. The same applies to selling furniture by way of showrooms. Specifically, various furniture layouts and configurations within the showrooms. While not all exhibitors at High Point had the space or took the time to create stunning room designs, many did. I sure appreciated those. In fact, I sought them out. These weren’t merely opportunities to learn about furniture but get ideas for assembling a room design.
In fact, some of these exhibitors hire talented interior designers to put together the designs. It showed because so many were stunning.
Check out some examples… just a few of thousands I got to see:
2. Seeing, touching and sitting in the latest and greatest furniture in person
This is a terrific opportunity to gain firsthand experience with all kinds of furniture and accessories making it easier to help clients choose the best furniture and accessories for their homes. There’s no
3. Discovering new furniture suppliers
With 2,000 exhibitors at High Point this year, I was bound to discover some new suppliers, which I did. As an interior design firm owner, it’s
good great to add suppliers to my rolodex at all price levels. I found several new suppliers for upholstered goods, case goods, lighting, art and accessories. For this reason alone, the trip was a huge success.
4. Meeting interior designers and others in the trade
I made an effort to introduce myself to as many interior designers as I could. We rode shuttles to and from the market from the hotel which was a good opportunity for this. One nice thing about being owners of locally-based businesses is we aren’t competition. I found every designer I spoke with to be forthcoming and generous when talking about their business. I thoroughly enjoyed that.
5. Meeting reps in person
In our digital age, most communications are via email and sometimes phone (I prefer email lol). Thanks to High Point Market I was able to meet many of my reps in person. It’s always nice to put an in-person face to the people I’m dealing with.
Some work travel is fun
I know I said five favorite things but I’ll add a sixth and that is I enjoy traveling now and then for work. I have to admit High Point was a whirlwind; nonstop showrooms 10 hours per day. I had to continue working at night because after all I have a business I’m running. While I don’t travel frequently for work, I pepper in a handful of trips throughout the year.
I can safely say that at least one visit to High Point will be added to my annual repertoire of business trips, maybe two. I gained so much from the Fall High Point Market I’m likely to go in Spring as well.
I understand now why High Point is the global furniture event of the year
I was there four days and didn’t come close to seeing all it offered. You must pick and choose. It’s not just one conference center; High Point Market is a conference city dedicated to home design. That blew my mind.