Navigating the High Point Spring Market 2024: A Guide for Exhibitors

What Is the High Point Market?

Owing to the massive popularity of the High Point Market, not a lot of people are asking this question, but we are happy to answer it for you anyway.

High Point Market is the grandest home furnishing industry trade show around the globe. It hosts two eminent shows every year, categorized into Spring and Fall markets respectively. 

Where Is the High Point Market Held?

The High Point Market takes place twice a year in High Point, North Carolina, USA

When Is the High Point Market Being Held This Year?

The High Point Market holds two major shows each year in April and October. They are widely referred to as Spring and Fall Markets, respectively. 

The Spring Market is being held between 13th April 2024 (Saturday) and 17th April 2024 (Wednesday.) The Fall Market will be held between 26th October 2024 and 30th October 2024.

Why Do You Need a Navigation Guide for the High Point Market?

The High Point Market is a massive affair, to say the least. The exhibit spans over 12 million square feet, with over 2,000 exhibitors participating. What’s more, 70,000-80,000 visitors are touted to attend the market annually! Needless to say, it’s more than natural to feel lost when preparing for exhibiting at this mammoth market. But don’t fret; we have a comprehensive guide for you to take you through the process so you don’t feel overwhelmed or end up forgetting important information. 

Pre-show Checklist: Here’s Everything You Should Have Done By Now

With less than 25 days left before the Spring Market, here’s everything you need to have already crossed off your enormous list of things to do. Let’s dive in.

1. Have clear goals, KPIs, budgets, and ROI- review them

Having clear, actionable goals is essential to streamline efforts and obviously, it makes determining the success of your efforts a breeze. Make sure your goals are aligned with your sales and marketing teams. While lead generation and sales are the two most common trade show goals, according to 85% of exhibitors, your key objectives could be anything from brand awareness to generating sales. Whatever it is, make sure you have clearly defined them. Review them with just a few days to go.

Similarly, it is essential to establish budgets months in advance and set the ROI you are expecting from your efforts. Make sure you have accounted for all the expenses including hotel bookings, dining reservations, booth set-up costs, promotional materials, giveaways, and so on. Having a budget planned helps keep things running smoothly.

2. Created targeted lists

Ensure that you have created lists of people you want to target at the High Point Market and categorized these clients into new, existing, and churned to create specialized efforts for each category. This helps your sales and marketing team streamline and focus their efforts. Determine which attendees are most likely to interact with you or place orders with you and go in with a personalized approach.

3. Booked flights and accommodations

Bookings for flights and accommodations need to be done 6 months in advance. If you have attended the High Point Market before, you know what the situation is like: everything gets booked up fast because of the huge crowds the market draws in. If you plan early, you can secure suitable accommodations well in advance to ensure a comfortable stay during the trade show. The best practice is to research hotels close to the venue and compare rates, amenities, and cancellation policies before making reservations. Also consider factors such as room availability, proximity to dining options, and transportation accessibility when selecting accommodations. Get confirmations on all your bookings to avoid last-minute hassle.

4. Studied the event location and floor plan

You should have already researched the High Point Market venue's address, layout, and surrounding area; this provides crucial context for planning logistics and navigating the event. Make sure you obtain a copy of the market floor plan in advance and familiarize yourself with the layout, including key landmarks, entrances/exits, and rest areas. Also, locate your booth on the floor plan, and identify the locations of competitor booths, restrooms, food courts, and seminar rooms.

Image reference: High Point Spring Market Floor Plan

Source: highpointmarket.org

                                                              

5. Planned dining options

Make sure you have already explored dining options near the High Point Market venue to plan meals conveniently. Consider dietary preferences, budget constraints, and the availability of nearby restaurants or food vendors when planning dining options. You should also have made reservations for larger groups or popular dining establishments to avoid long wait times and ensure a seamless dining experience. Double, triple check your reservations and confirm your bookings.

6. Reserved meeting rooms

If you think you need meeting rooms in addition to your High Point Market booth for further discussions with your clients, you should get those bookings done several months before the trade show. Confirm your bookings with just a few days remaining till the big day!

7. Decided on booth design and setup

How you design and set up your booth at the High Point Market is a HUGE exercise. With 2000+ exhibitors attending and doing their best to attract footfall, you need to put in a little extra effort to make your booth stand out. We are sure you have planned some truly creative stuff for your booth setup and design. Now, it’s time to make sure you double-check the specifics of your booth space, including dimensions, location within the venue, and any additional amenities or services included in your package. Make a checklist of all necessary booth equipment that has to be there like shelving units, lighting fixtures, flooring materials, and audiovisual equipment. Consider the functional requirements of your booth design, such as product display needs, demonstration spaces, storage areas, and customer interaction zones.

If you are renting equipment, get confirmation from your vendors about their availability. Whatever equipment you are shipping, check with your shipping carriers or logistics providers to ensure safe and timely delivery. Gather all necessary paperwork, permits, and shipping labels for transporting your materials to the trade show. Also, verify compliance with the High Point Market venue regulations.

8. Have your promotional materials and giveaways ready

Having attractive flyers, banners, and brochures with clear messaging about your product offerings is a great way to entice visitors. 88% of recipients of promotional products can recall the name of the business that supplied them, according to Promotional Products Association International (PPAI). Similarly, creative giveaways are a great way to build brand awareness and recall. You can give away custom-branded tote bags, t-shirts, mugs, water bottles, and so on. Whatever you have chosen to stand out at the High Point Market, make sure you have all your promotional materials and giveaways ready before the big day. 

9. Taken product inventory

You have already decided what home furnishing items you intend to showcase at High Point Market 2024 based on trends, popularity, seasonality, and relevance to the target audience.

Now, take stock of your current product inventory and make sure they are all in stock. Also ensure that if you plan to launch any new products at the market, they are ready to go. 

10. Assigned booth staff

Evaluate the staffing requirements for operating your booth effectively throughout the trade show. Consider factors such as booth size, expected foot traffic, and the complexity of interactions with attendees. Delegate specific responsibilities to each team member based on their strengths, skills, and expertise. Designate roles such as greeters, product demonstrators, sales representatives, and customer service assistants.

Provide comprehensive training and orientation sessions for your staff to equip them with the knowledge, skills, and confidence needed to represent your brand professionally. Review product features, sales techniques, and customer service protocols to ensure consistency across interactions.

Navigation Guidelines During Set-Up and Tear-Down

1. Booth setup and maintenance

Make sure to arrive early at the High Point Market venue and follow designated routes for unloading and moving materials to your booth. This will allow you ample time for final booth setup, ensuring everything is in place before attendees start arriving. 

Upon arrival at the trade show venue, familiarize yourself with key facilities such as registration desks, restrooms, and information booths. Obtain a map or floor plan of the trade show venue to assist with navigation and locate your booth's position within the exhibition hall. Also, download the High Point Market navigation app, MyMarket. It allows you to search exhibitors by category, price point, style, and building. You can browse educational and social events to find your favorites and add your showrooms and events to your personal MyMarket plan.

Use the High Point Market free shuttle services (which are available on priority for buyers, but also available to exhibitors). Make your shuttle reservations here. Or you can rent a vehicle or book Uber or Lyft when needed. You can also get car rental discount codes that can be applied to all three airports. Head to this page for more information and discount codes.

Test all equipment, including displays, lighting, audiovisual systems, and any interactive elements, to ensure they're functioning correctly. Regularly tidy up your booth throughout the day to create a welcoming and organized environment for visitors.

2. Engagement and interaction

Welcome visitors at the High Point Market with a friendly smile and a warm greeting to make them feel valued and comfortable. Initiate conversations with attendees by asking open-ended questions about their interests, preferences, and needs related to home furnishings. Conduct product demonstrations that highlight the features, benefits, and unique selling points of your offerings, capturing attendees' attention and generating interest.

3. Lead generation and follow-up

Use lead capture tools or sign-up forms to collect contact information from interested attendees, including names, email addresses, and phone numbers. Engage in meaningful conversations to assess attendees' level of interest, purchasing intent, and suitability as potential customers. Record specific details or preferences shared by each lead to personalize follow-up communications and tailor your offerings to their needs.

Discover how WizCommerce’s order management platform can help you streamline this process at the High Point Market. 

4. Networking and relationship building

High Point Market is home to 2000+ exhibitors in the home furnishing industry. Meaningful conversations with these exhibitors can be an invaluable source of knowledge, information, and emerging trends. Take advantage of networking opportunities to connect with other exhibitors, industry professionals, and potential collaborators at the High Point Market. Here’s a handy list of all the events at the High Point Spring Market 2024.

While you engage with attendees, distribute promotional materials, and generate interest in your booth. Wear branded attire or carry branded materials to attract attention while navigating. Maintain a friendly and approachable demeanor while navigating the market floor, and leverage casual conversations to promote your products or services.

   Custom-branded attire for trade show engagement

                                                                  

Exchange business cards and engage in conversations to establish rapport, share insights, and explore potential partnerships or collaborations. Participate in networking events, receptions, or industry gatherings to expand your professional network and foster mutually beneficial relationships at the High Point Market.

5. Conduct market research and competitor analysis

Take time to explore the trade show floor, observing competitors' booths, product displays, and marketing strategies at the High Point Market. Refer to the trade show map or mobile app for real-time navigation assistance and updates on exhibitor locations, seminar schedules, and special events.

Plan a route that maximizes your time and minimizes walking distances between booths of interest, seminars, and networking opportunities. Prioritize visiting booths and events based on their relevance to your business objectives and target audience.

Gather insights on emerging trends, consumer preferences, and competitive offerings within the home furnishing market. Identify gaps or areas of opportunity based on market observations and competitor analysis, informing your strategic decision-making and product development efforts.

6. Attend educational sessions and workshops

Attend relevant seminars, workshops, or educational sessions offered during the High Point Market to expand your industry knowledge and expertise. Listen to expert speakers, thought leaders and experienced professionals share insights and best practices on topics relevant to the home furnishing industry. Actively engage in discussions, ask questions, and take notes to deepen your understanding and apply learnings to your business strategies.

7. Implement real-time updates

Leverage social media! Share real-time updates, photos, and videos from High Point Market on your social media channels to provide followers with a glimpse into your experience. Utilize event hashtags, geotags, and mentions to increase visibility and engagement with attendees, followers, and industry influencers. Encourage visitors to your booth to share their experiences and photos on social media, tagging your brand for increased exposure and reach.

8. Evaluate performance and adjust strategies

Monitor key performance indicators such as booth traffic, leads generated, and engagement levels throughout the day to assess your progress and effectiveness. Solicit feedback from booth staff and attendees, reflecting on successes, challenges, and areas for improvement. Adjust your approach, messaging, or tactics as needed based on real-time insights and feedback to optimize results and achieve your objectives by the end of the show.

Navigating the Tear-Down Day

Here’s a quick checklist for your tear-down day:

1. Review tear-down procedures provided by the organizers of the High Point Market.

2. Gather necessary tools and materials for disassembly.

3. Protect valuable or fragile items during packing.

4. Disassemble booth components, starting with larger items.

5. Pack and label inventory for easy retrieval.

6. Safely dismantle technology systems and pack cables.

7. Remove signage and branding materials carefully.

8. Clean and tidy the booth area before departure.

9. Coordinate shipping and logistics for materials.

10. Conduct a final walk-through and inspection.

11. Say goodbye and thank you to fellow exhibitors.

12. Depart from the venue on time and reflect on the experience.

What Next?

After the mammoth efforts that went into exhibiting at the High Point Market come to an end, it’s time to implement a well-thought-out post-event follow-up plan. Prioritize follow-up communications with leads and contacts collected during the show, sending personalized messages and relevant information to nurture relationships and drive conversions. Stay tuned for a comprehensive guide on following up with your leads and prospects collected during the High Point Market.

Article published by
Shreya Srivastava
Content Marketing Associate
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