Tuesday, October 8, 2013

High Point Furniture Market Tips

Let's face it, High Point Market is huge!  The market occupies over 11 1/2 million square feet, in over 180 buildings and has over 300 product categories. Over 75,000 people visit the market each April and October. The task of planning a maiden voyage to High Point Market in hopes of seeing all the showrooms you need to visit, partaking of fun events and then scooping up the latest and greatest trends to bring back to your clients is daunting to say the least.  I have been going to High Point Market since 1998 as a professional, but I remember my first trip to High Point as a design student and let me tell you I was overwhelmed to say the least.  When I returned years later I knew I had to have a plan in hand.  Over the years that plan has evolved as the market as evolved.  Today, I have a very strict itinerary to make the most of my market days.  I have had several people email and ask me how to tackle market, so I decided to write a few posts with my best tips.  I am going to attempt to cover need to know info in a few post which I hope will prove helpful. Here are a few preliminary suggestions on planning your first market trip. 

[continue reading after the break.....]

1) Your best resource is the High Point Market Website!  Make sure you utilize the website to plan your trip!  There is a My Market planning tool and Plan Your Trip that makes planning so easy! It  has everything you need to know.  There are videos to explain everything you might have questions about.

2) Pre-register - Dont' wait til you get there to register for market.  You can register here! The lines can be long.  Time spent in registration = time loss at market.  You will be glad you did. When your passes come put them in a safe place so you know where to find them
  when you need them!

3) Decide how many days you will be at market- This can be determined by how much
you need to see, your budget, or how many days you can be away from your work, but it 
is the first step in laying out your plans for your trip.  I suggest at least two days and more if you can manage it. 

4) Book your hotel as soon as you know when and how long you will be at market.
Good hotels fill up quickly so this is really important!  Some people book at the end of market for the next market. (for the Oct. market this will be difficult now, but there are hopefully there are still some options available, if not ask around you may be able to share with a friend who has already booked a room. )

Sign up for the High Point Market 

5) Make a list of the exhibitors you want to see at market.  There are many companies that will visit you in between markets.  If it is a company you know well or has a showroom that you can see between markets don't put them high on your market priority list.  However, if it is a company that you utilize as a major resource or if they create "must see"  show rooms for market, by all means make a point to visit during market week.  Keep a little flexibility in your schedule for new resources.  

6) Make a list of the invitations / social & educational events you would like to attend - Click here for the events being offered during this October market.  If you login to the website you can click on the events and add them to your My Market Tool  (Some of the event require Rsvp's or money, so respond as soon as possible to be guaranteed a spot.)   

7) Map out a pre-market plan- The High Point Market website offers a great map of High Point as well a listing for all the exhibitors.  Use your anticipated
 exhibitor list (made in step #5 to arrange in groups according to the building or districts of locations.  I typically plan to hit the various districts/buildings on designated days. (i.e. IHFC building on Saturday, Design District on Sunday, C&D on Monday, etc...) Once you know the exhibitors you plan to visit you can plan your day based on the shuttle route and stops to be the most efficient. 

8)Make an Email Folder labeled " High Point Market" - label all incoming emails from showroom invites to any market updates easy access.

9) What to take to make your market day great!

Comfortable shoes - During the day think comfort, throw in the heels for the night events.  
Tote bag/briefcase - for collecting market brochures or catalogues (However, I have learned since growing monkey arms from carrying heavy catalogues to have them mail when possible. Will save your back) (I'm taking a small roller bag this time)
Business cards- Perfect for giving to new resources or acquaintances you may want to have your number. (What if you run into HGTV and they want your card!)  I actually have two kinds of business cards!  I have a heavy stock card for people I want to give a good card to and then I have market cards which are a lot cheaper that I don't mind giving out in masses.
(Ok, so I totally gave myself away here.  If I give you a thin card, could be I ran out of my good cards, so just don't assume you were slighted.)
Camera - Lots of people like to use their phones which is totally fine, but I like to take my big camera.  Gives me lots of my own photos that I can use for my blog. I also like to snap photos of price tags of items just before taking the picture of the item, so I know where I found the item and the details.  Total time saver later! 
Dont' forget your market passes! - Speaking from experience here folks!
Snacks - I like to throw in some granola bars or a piece of fruit, just in case I get caught
somewhere without food.  It will keep you from eating the cupcakes.
Personal supplies - Bandaids, Tylenol, hand sanitizer, lip gloss,etc. (often showroom bathrooms are well stocked with these items but to keep from taking time out to search come prepared)
Extra phone charger/morphie pack/phone charger
Extra camera battery - if you are like me and plan to take a lot of pictures.
Have your entire calendar downloaded on your phone for easy access
A lightweight sweater or jacket if wearing short sleeves/sleeveless it gets cold in some showrooms.(for April Market)
Folding Umbrella- never know when you might need this
Your own small Tape measure - Prevents time waiting for sales people to find you one.
Pick up a market map once you arrive at the information booths- This will show you the lay of the land as well as show shuttle routes and stops.

10) Arriving in High Point - If driving to High Point, I highly  suggest checking into your hotel first, before going to the market district.  If your hotel is on the shuttle route, taking the shuttle is so convenient. If not, there are park and ride shuttles, the lots are here Free shuttles to downtown showroom district.  If you are flying and don't want to go straight to market  there are a luggage checks in the Commerce Lobby of IHFC and in Showplace.  If you want to know about the shuttles click here!

If you did not pre-register prior to market you can do so at in the Commerce Lobby of 
the IHFC building as well. You can also pick up maps, market guides, etc here.

Make sure to attend one of the orientations for new buyers held from Saturday thru
Tues. daily at 10 a.m. in the High Point Theatre.  Lots of helpful tips and info.

Note: For international buyers there is an international check in in High Point Theatre.
There you will be able to exchange foreign currency, have concierge privileges, eat complimentary meals, find interpreter referrals and travel services.

11) When getting around at market make sure of the shuttles. There are three  downtown shuttles which operate on a continuous loop to take you to showrooms.  These are great to save your feet as well as keep you out of the elements if needed. If you don't want to wait for a downtown shuttle, you can call  Go Anywhere shuttle. Make arrangements for pick by dialing (336) 887-7433 or simply flag one down.  (They will go anywhere in High Point within a 3 mile radius) There are also private shuttles available. 

12) Sign up for the High Point Market e-newsletter on the official High Point Market
Website here when you register.  Also, sign up to follow High Point Market on twitter here.  Get in on the High Point Market twitter conversations at #hpmkt and "Like" High Point Market on Facebook to keep abreast of market happenings prior to coming. 

 Watch the video my friend and fellow Style Spotter Stacy Naquin made
"A Day in the Life of High Point Market"


I hope this helps get you started on planning your trip!
Tomorrow we will talk about "How to tackle the market and
what I consider must visit places at market".  Then we will discuss
the various buildings and what they hold.  Don't miss events & more!!!

If you can't come to market but want to stay in the loop of what's happening make sure to follow me on instagram here or Facebook as I will be posting daily about new trends, great finds and exciting events,as well as posting some behind the scenes

I am also going to give you my "Top Ten Names of Who to Follow
at High Point Market" if you want to be "in the know"
Pin It!


  1. Such a great post, Lisa. I'll be following along on Instagram and want to know what's in and who to follow!

    xoxo Elizabeth

  2. This was so helpful. I think I need to come in April because I have a lot of planning to do.

  3. Hey Lisa! So glad we got connected through Liz! I love keeping up with you via twitter and your blog!

    I just nominated you for a Versatile Blogger Award -- check out A Southern Style to find out more!

    xo, Zelle
    A Southern Style

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