I recently returned from the High Point Furniture Market after a 2 years absence. While I was on the plane, a woman next to me asked if I had any tips for her for the market as she was attending the market for the first time.
I have attended the High Point Furniture Market twice a year for almost 30 years. During this time, I have learned some of the best ways to attend the market, and what first-time or any market attendees should do. If this is your first time at the High Point Furniture market, most people do not realize how huge the market is, so you need to plan, be prepared, wear comfortable shoes, and know what you are looking to buy or accomplish at the market.
Here are some of my top tips for attending the High Point Furniture Market.
Prepare Ahead Of Time
The High Point Furniture Market is not a market you can go to and then try to talk to people without a plan. Your market experience will be much better if you have an idea of who you’re going to talk to and about what. First of all, the market is huge. And when I say huge, it would be almost impossible to see everything in the market.
Also, many suppliers are not in the main building or can be in outlying buildings, so you need to understand who you want to see and why.
Here are some things that you need to understand before going to the market.
- Price Points – You need to understand what price points you will be paying for your products as there are so many different suppliers on the market with different price points. Understanding this will help you know who you should talk to.
- Product Categories – High Point has many categories and types of products; you also need to know what categories or products you will be buying.
Before you attend the market, you should have a list of people you will visit. It would be best to contact them ahead of time to make an appointment and let them know what day and time you would be coming to visit them.
Suppliers in the market are very busy, and almost all of them have a front desk, which will scan you in before you can enter the showroom; you cannot expect to walk around the showroom and walk anywhere you want.
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Register Ahead Of Time
The High Point Market is a business-to-business market. Not everyone is allowed in the market, and to enter any of the buildings, you need to have a badge.
The market just started a policy if you do not register ahead of time, you need to pay when you get to the market. If it is your first time, then you need to make sure you register ahead of time and that you are allowed and qualify for a market pass.
Have a Plan
I can not emphasize enough how big the market is and how far going from one location to another can take time. It is a market that is best to plan out.
The High Point Market has an app that you can download to help you navigate the market and help you plan your market. Use the app as it will help you to save time.
You can download the MyMarket Planning Tool app ahead of time by clicking here.
Bring Lots Of Namecards
The High Point Furniture Market is about making many connections at the market. Be prepared by bringing lots of name cards to the market. You will need to give out name cards to every showroom you visit, and also, you will give out name cards to people you may meet along the way.
Try to remember to bring enough name cards.
Wear Comfortable Shoes
Also, many suppliers are not in the main building or can be in outlying buildings, so you need to understand who you want to see and why; wearing comfortable shoes is highly recommended.
My first tip to attend the High Point Furniture Market is to wear comfortable shoes. You will do a lot of walking. Whether you were walking outside or in the buildings or standing to look at furniture, High Point means a lot of walking and standing.
One of the biggest mistakes I see for newcomers is trying to dress up, so they put on their 3 or 4-inch heels. By the end of the day, they can hardly walk at all, and, in some cases, they have taken off their shoes they are in so much pain.
Use High Point Transportation
As the High Point Furniture Market is such a huge market, it can take a lot of time to see everything, especially if you need to carry around papers and other things to decide what you will buy. I always bring a roller bag with me to carry around the things I need.
There is a lot of free transportation at the market for all market attendees.
Here are some of the local transportation I have used:
- Buses From Parking Or Hotels – There are a lot of free buses that can take you from the parking lots or the hotels to the show. I have used these a lot, and they are a great and convenient way to visit the show. Most of these buses will drop you off right in what is known as the main building or the IHFC or International Home Furnishing Center.
- Red Or Green Bus Lines – There are also red and green bus lines that go to the many outlying area showrooms. These buses are also a great way to get around the market and see showrooms that are not in one of the main buildings.
- Go Anywhere – The market also has smaller shuttles called “Go Anywhere.” The shuttles will take you to showrooms within a few miles of the market area.
- Airport Shuttles – If you are not planning to rent a car, you can also take a bus from the market to the airport. The shuttles go to a few different airports, and they also offer a great way to get back to the airport.
Attending the High Point Furniture Market is a great experience. But like major markets, you need to be prepared and know why you are attending and what you hope to accomplish.
The main thing to know about this market is that this market works on connections and appointments, so for you to have a successful market, you should have connections and appointments already set up before you attend the market.
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