With hundreds of thousands of square feet of furniture showrooms, knowing where to go and explore can be a daunting task.
First of all, you will NOT see everything. It’s not humanly possible. Unless you stay for an entire week- which in my opinion is way too much time.
I’d first download the High Point App and “favorite” any places that you’re dying to see or any vendors you love.
Then look at the available speakers and parties that appeal to you. The app will filter your favorites to block out the noise.
You will need to register for Market on their website. It’s FREE. If you do it early enough your pass will be mailed to you but it’s not necessary to attend. Just head to the IHFC building right next to where the hotel shuttle drops you off when you arrive on the first morning and they will scan your email code, print your pass and give you a lanyard.
Insider tip: Keep your own business cards inside the plastic pouch for ease of access. You can also put any business cards that you get from other designers or vendors here too. Then, when you get home from market you can easily go through them.
Food & Drink
Then you’ll want to consider where you want to eat…
Almost every showroom has snacks and water. And many have full breakfasts, lunches, and open bars. The bigger brands will have bigger nicer spreads than small shops. If you’re like me and need to eat to survive, I’d recommend you map out where you can eat to make sure you don’t end up hungry and searching for food.
There are NO RESTAURANTS
There are, however, a few food trucks in the main square.
Insider Tip: There’s Free food & Booze everywhere. If you’re smart about it, there’s no need to spend a penny on food or drink while at market.
When planning out the showroom visits I suggest you pick one zone per day to avoid running around all over but take this advice with a grain of salt as there’s no one size fits all approach to visiting High Point Market.
Many designers will start in the main building called “IHFC”. I recommend a break for fresh air mid-day if you spend all day here. Sit and listen to live music on the square and put up your feet. Don’t overdo it on the first day. See the map of the market and any experiences per zone.
For getting around the market, all I’ll say is don’t be a hero. Take the free shuttle. Your feet will thank you.
I’m not saying don’t walk outside, I love walking but there are some distances that are better crossed by shuttle
Almost every showroom is open to everyone. And most don’t require an appointment. When you arrive at a showroom they will often ask you to check in which means that they will scan the barcodes on your lanyard “pass” (this allows them to page your local rep to come to greet you and it also gives them your email address ????) be warned some sales reps can be pretty persistent. Don’t be afraid to say, “I’m just looking for inspiration” if you aren’t planning on buying directly from that vendor or placing an order that day.
A note about pre-scheduled appointments… I had a few pre-schedule meetings this past trip and it was more of an annoyance than helpful.
Some highlights from a few key buildings and zone (See the map below):
- 200 Steele
- Market square
I hope this insight helps you plan so that you have the best trip and experience possible!