I am so excited to be named a High Point Stylespotter for 2014 and with the upcoming market October 18-23 I have had several notes from friends who are attending for the first time. My first response is YAY! But they want to know what to expect. I love that people are hearing how awesome High Point Market can be for designers. So here are my Top Ten tips for how to conquer High Point Market.
1. Follow #hpmktSS so you can see via Instagram, Facebook and Twitter what all of the great Style Spotters are seeing. We will also be pinning our finds to Pinterest and this will give you great tips for what showrooms and manufacturers you may want to see.
2. The SHOES! Honey if you pack a pair of heels, they may see daylight once. Other than that, you will be walking LOTS and all day and into the evening. Make sure you have the most stylish and comfortable shoes around. And shop for them now and start breaking them in. Bring large size fabric bandaids for those shoes that were so comfy and then after an entire day turned on you and gave you massive blisters. Day 2 shoe choices are always so much for comfy than Day 1.
3. Your hotel doesn’t matter. I know my hotel snob friends (you know who you are) will disagree with me. I stay in High Point and drive/ride into Greensboro for dinners and any other requisite meetings but since I like to start my day super early, I have to stay in High Point. I also don’t rent a car so parking doesn’t matter to me. I am there to work and if someone really wants me to attend a dinner out of High Point, they will drive me or let me hitch a ride. As long as your bed is comfortable and the bathroom is clean you are good. I don’t spend any time in my hotel. Share a room as well. Prices go through the roof for a not-so-great lodging experience during High Point so its a waste of funds since you won’t be there very often. PS – This is the only time you will hear me say the words : “Your hotel doesn’t matter.”
4. To rent a car or not? I don’t. I take the shuttle to and from the airport. Also, most hotels have daily shuttles to get you back and forth. Since I stay across the street from IHFC I don’t need a car and my roomie drives to market so she has a car when I definitely need one, which is rare. Parking can be a challenge if you don’t have special priveleges from a manufacturer lot, so plan ahead for where you park and have cash at the ready.
5. Plan your trip for this time and next time. When you leave market, see if you can reserve your hotel ahead of time for next market. Also, depending on how many days you will be there, plan which days you will hit certain areas. I always start in InterHall at IHFC and then go walk through Market Square. This gets my creative juices flowing and I love seeing all the great new introductions from the smaller manufacturers.
6. Schedule everything. You will get a ton of party invites, education opportunities and much more as market gets closer. If you want to have your rep walk you through a showroom, plan with them ahead of time. They hate people who don’t schedule appointments and they have to sprint across High Point to get to you because they didn’t know you were coming. Also, the weekend is super full with events and parties, so expect you will have several events all at the same time. Often. Do what you can and don’t get stressed over it.
7. Bring more than enough business cards. I print “Market Cards” and bring a smaller amount of my letter press cards. I use the market cards for vendors and letterpress for other design friends, editors, etc. You will go through a lot of cards, so bring enough.
8. Check locations of showrooms. I know that several manufacturers have moved their showrooms for this market, so make sure you are checking locations before you make your schedule. Nothing like spending 30 minutes on shuttles to get where you need to go and realize the showroom isn’t located there anymore. Wah-Wah-Wah
9. Educate. I mentioned education earlier, but take advantage of as many breakfast and lunch educations classes as possible. You have to eat to keep your energy level pumping and you might as well learn at the same time!! Check out all of the classes and learning options HERE.
10. Make new friends. I have met so many of my good friends through High Point Market. Introduce yourself and be open to meeting new people. Its so important to get as much out of your time away from the office and I love seeing all of my HP friends every six months.
I hope this helps us all prepare for the upcoming market and over the next few weeks I will be elaborating on more of these tips to give you great scoop on events, secrets of High Point and more!