Decoding the High Point Spring Market 2024: Here’s Everything We Observed

The glorious High Point Spring Market recently concluded on the 17th of April 2024. As usual, a 5-day extravaganza, the High Point Market set the stage for trends in the home furnishing industry that reflect the changing preferences and expectations of exhibitors and buyers. We saw a lot of exhibitors prioritizing engaging booth setups, unique products, and thoughtful technology integration to create immersive and inviting experiences for buyers. Let's take a closer look at what we observed and what it could mean for the future of the home furnishing industry. Whether you attended or not, you are curious about looking back at everything that went down. So, here we are with a condensed view of everything we came across that dazzled us. Ready? Let’s go!

The Crux of the High Point Market: Trends, Observations, and More!

1. Focus on immersive sensory experiences

We predicted an increased focus on sensory booth experiences: which means increased use of popping colors, strategic lighting, and experimenting with elements complementary to visuals to create a stunning display. 

At the High Point Market, we noticed exhibitors putting great effort into creating immersive and engaging booth experiences. We also saw branding integrated into wall accents, backdrops, and booth designs. Exhibitors used live music to enhance the ambiance, create a lively experience, and draw attention to the booths. This helped them create a memorable atmosphere that set them apart from other exhibitors. Look at this live music event at Hinkley’s booth:

There was a focus on thoughtful designs and maximizing the surface area for displaying products. The exhibitors optimized the display of art collections by playing with different sizes and setting up a gallery-like environment. Lighting was used creatively to, for instance, light up sculptures and art to highlight products and create a natural light ambiance indoors.

2. Creating a sanctuary

Instead of focusing on just displaying products, the focus was on creating a comfortable and inviting environment. Products were curated to show how they might appear in a home, including pairing them with appropriate lighting and other complementary items. Exhibitors grouped collections and color schemes to create a cohesive display. This approach enables visualization of a product prospects are interested in. This way, if a buyer is interested in one piece, they can easily see all complementary items nearby. 

As always, tropical themes and pops of color made an appearance now and then as we imagined (we like the validation.)

3. Unique Product Designs

We saw a trend toward fun wallpapers and abstract mirrors which added a playful touch to displays. These products captured attention with their bold and imaginative aesthetics, offering buyers a taste of the latest in design trends.

Another key focus was material choices, with many exhibitors incorporating raw wood, neutral colors, and textures into their products. This approach created a warm and inviting atmosphere, appealing to buyers who appreciate natural elements and a sense of authenticity in their purchases. Additionally, the use of brass accents added a touch of luxury and elegance, elevating the overall aesthetic.

Among the emerging design styles, we noticed cottage-core aesthetics (a style that idealizes rural life) and neutral modern (a blend of contemporary elements with a neutral color palette.) These styles blend the traditional with the contemporary, offering buyers a mix of nostalgia and sleek modernity. Additionally, the modern Mediterranean style made a strong showing, with its emphasis on earthy tones and rustic charm.

Looking ahead, we expect exhibitors to continue prioritizing innovative and sustainable materials and bold and striking designs to stay ahead of evolving trends.

4. More seating areas for conversations & exchanges

Before the High Point Market took place, we predicted a trend toward facilitating intimate exchanges about consumer preferences, trends in the home furnishing industry, product innovations, and so on. We speculated there would be a great focus on personalized engagement and designated areas to encourage conversation at home furnishing trade shows.

At the High Point Market, many exhibitors created welcoming environments with good seating, drinks, and other amenities to foster a comfortable and enjoyable experience for visitors. This focus on hospitality may have been driven by the desire to establish stronger relationships with clients and exchange meaningful conversations. A few exhibitors also had meeting tables built into the showroom to offer visitors privacy and an avenue to unwind. In the future, we see this trend evolving to include more personalized touches and tailored experiences for different buyer segments.

5. Increased use of technology

The rise of technology was bound to be big at the High Point Market. At the market, we observed a significant focus on technology as a means of streamlining operations and enhancing the buyer experience. Many exhibitors used product scanning to quickly and accurately capture product information and buyer-badge scanning to track booth activity for personalized follow-up marketing. Digital ordering using tablets allowed representatives to move around the room with clients, providing real-time ordering and consultation. This approach avoided the clutter of manual orders and offered a smooth, professional experience.

6. Focus on buyer engagement

Unsurprisingly, we saw exhibitors placing a strong emphasis on buyer engagement and creating welcoming, interactive, and memorable experiences for attendees. Exhibitors set up drink stations, offered refreshments, and snacks, and threw lunches and after-parties to increase engagement. We also saw games, branded giveaways, and influencer collaborations at the market.

a) Bar setups and drink stations within booths

Exhibitors at High Point Market provided a social element to their exhibits by adding bars and drink stations, encouraging buyers to relax and interact with representatives while enjoying beverages. Moreover, branding was advertised through drinks and food settings. Check out these High Point Market visitors enjoying a branded drink being served at Hinkley Lighting’s exhibit.

b) Booth lunches

Exhibitors also provided lunches to keep buyers energized and engaged during their visits. Check out Hinkley’s gorgeous spread and Eastern Accent’s donut station below.

c) After-parties

Four Hands Furniture hosted a grand after-party at their showroom. Check out the highlights:

d) Branded giveaways

Tote bags and branded cups were observed as giveaways. These items allowed buyers to carry products and refreshments from different showrooms. Imagine a buyer carrying around drinks in your branded cup. Cool idea, right? 

e) Games

Fun games also made an appearance at the High Point Spring Market. Eastern Accents organized a Raffle at their booth. Here’s how they teased it on Instagram:

f) Registration counters and greeters

Counters and greeters at booth entrances helped guide buyers to the right person for their needs and create a smooth, organized entry point. This proactive approach ensured buyers received personalized attention and assistance.

Exhibitors also engaged with buyers outside their main booths through small exhibits placed throughout the market. These displays directed potential clients to their primary showrooms and offered a preview of their offerings.

g) Influencer collaborations

Some exhibitors collaborated with influencers to boost their brand presence and engage with younger or trendier audiences. Influencers could share their experiences and promote the exhibitor's products to their followers, expanding the exhibitor's reach and credibility.

So, there you go. Take inspiration from these ideas and start prepping for the fall market.

Article published by
Shreya Srivastava
Content Marketing Associate
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