This past April I attended my tenth High Point Market. My first “Market” was in 2012 when another designer asked if I wanted to join her – she told me: “it will change your business”. And she was right.
High Point Market is the largest home furnishings trade show for retailers and design firms in the world, with 2000 exhibitors spread throughout 180 buildings.
So why do I attend attend this show annually?
Reason #1: Streamlining Selections
Attending Market allows me to streamline the choices that I present to my clients, and as a result saves us both valuable time. I’m able to see almost every piece that I specify in person. There’s no substitute for seeing pieces first hand – particularly finishes that rarely translate properly online. I’m also able to discover which vendors to steer clear of! I’m meticulously examining details like fine scratches on tables because I know that if I spot scratches in a showroom, there’s a strong likelihood that they might surface in a client’s home.
Half of my time is spent “sit-testing” sofas and chairs and taking a ton of notes to reference at a later date for future projects.
Reason #2: Continuing Education
While at Market, I focus a quarter of my time attending educational seminars with topics such as how to run a smoother business, what’s trending (a topic for another day??) and, of course, wellness in your home.
Reason #3: Finding inspiration
I spend another 25% of my time walking through the antique and vintage markets, an education in itself. This is where I find one-of-a-kind pieces that add an invaluable layer of interest to any design.
Reason #4: Deepening relationships
Attending Market demonstrates that we are serious about creating relationships with our vendors. Making a connection with our sales reps puts a face to the voice! We know that they’ll go the extra mile for us if and when something goes wrong.
I’m also meeting up with other designers; sharing what’s working in our businesses and what’s not.
I started this blog post with the intention of sharing trends that I spotted at Market, such as wicker and saturated colors, particularly green.
I quickly changed the topic because when I do spot trends, I’m often tempted to run the other way.
And Not focusing on trends is truly what keeps me challenged and my design projects energized.