If you’re planning to attend High Point Furniture Market (HPMKT) this fall, here are some essentials that will make your trip much more enjoyable — and help to keep you safe.
1. Comfortable shoes are a MUST! I have a few Skechers brand shoes that are as comfortable as sneakers. I pack two pairs and trade on and off. I also recommend packing Band-Aids and Moleskin pads, in case you get a blister.
2. Travel size hand sanitizer, hand wipes and a few face masks. This may go without saying at this point but it can’t hurt to remind people.
3. Dress in layers, because it will be cold in some areas and warm in others. That means cardigans and scarves are your friends. It will rain at least one afternoon — and I mean downpour — so a lightweight umbrella is also a good idea.
4. Everyone will have their preferred bag preference, but to cover all your bases, consider bringing a “Wheeled Business Tote Bag” (rolly bag), a regular tote bag, and a small shoulder bag for essentials. For first timers, I really think the rolly bag is a life saver. If you’ve already been to HPMKT a bunch of times, a tote or small shoulder bag should be enough. The less you carry around all day, the better.
5. Get a good back-up charger for your cell phone and tablets. I have one called “Adventure” by My Charge. I like this one because it has 2 USB ports and can hold a charge for months.
Getting Around While You’re There:
The shuttles and buses got you covered and they even add extra so crowding shouldn’t be an issue. They pick you up from the airport for free, take you to and from your hotel every day, and get you all around Market. This is covered in depth on the HPMKT website, so consult the “Plan Your Trip” tab. However, I’ve been surprised to learn that some seasoned designers don’t know about the “Go Anywhere Shuttle.” This shuttle is great way to get to out-of-the-way showrooms, plus it will take you anywhere within five miles of market. You can find these shuttles at the end of the main transportation terminal. They’re big white vans that say “Go Anywhere” on the side.
Food is normally everywhere at Market but this time will be a little different. There will be food but instead of big buffets they will be opting for boxed lunches and packaged items you can take with you. I was also informed there will be more food trucks available on site. This time around plan to spend more on food and having to find some local places and/or packing more snacks to bring around with you.
1. Make sure you bring a lot of business cards. They should have your mailing address on them so that any catalogs you request can be sent to you.
2. Bring at least one copy of your Resale and EIN certificates so you can open accounts right then and there, and/or place orders at Market.
3. Plan your day by building or area — that way you’ll see more and won’t have to run around so much. The MyMarket app is also a must-have, so get that on your phone. It’s free.
4. Make appointments to see your top must have vendors! This is normally a good idea to make sure you get to talk to your rep but this time maybe necessary as walk-ins may have to wait a lot longer than usual.
The events at HPMKT are some people’s whole reason for attending. This time they do have some in person events, but no big music concert and less of all the events you might normally see. What they will do is space out seating and limit attendance. It would be a good idea to RSVP if there is something you really wanted to attend. The Events page on their website has a list of everything available.
HPMKT can be overwhelming in normal condition and this will be no exception, so try to pace yourself and have fun. No one can see everything in one week, so make sure you know what your top must-see’s are, and allow yourself time to explore. Be safe and enjoy yourself.
P.S. High Point Market’s website has tons of great info: https://www.highpointmarket.org/