Stunning Howard Elliot mirror wall

When I found out that I was going to attend my first High Point Furniture Market as apart of the Design Blogger’s Tour, I did what any self respecting blogger would do and Googled “tips for my first time to High Point”. I wasn’t sure what to wear, how the days would be laid out, what I would see or the best way to document it all. Google left me struggling a bit so I set out to document my best tips and strategies after surviving (and dominating!) my first trip to Market.

Design by Made Goods

5 Tips to Survive Your First Trip To High Point Market
1. Rides and Shuttles
When snagging a place to stay for High Point, make sure you factor in the shuttle aspect. Many hotels in surrounding areas like Greensboro will provide shuttle service to and from the market – and trust me, you’ll want to take advantage of that! I wanted to attend a few events outside of my hotel’s shuttle schedule and needed to Uber back and forth a few times and the price point is steep. Depending on the time of day/peak usage times, my Uber rides ranged in price from $40-$75. Ride services are also incredibly busy so the wait time for pick up might be longer than you’re used to. To be honest, I knew that I would need to utilize both the shuttle and a ride service but I was definitely surprised at the rates and wait time for an Uber ride during Market.

Design by Sarah Richardson for Palliser via 220 Elm
2. The Gear + Garb
Ok, you know you’ll be walking a ton at Market so you’ll plan your shoes accordingly but don’t forget to consider the bag you’ll be toting all day. Many people bring a small rolling suitcase instead of a traditional purse and I spotted rolling back packs as well. I wore a small cross-body that could hold the basics but not much more, which might be an issue if you’re planning to bring home press/media kits or materials from each showroom you visit. Make sure whatever you wear has padded or comfy straps, is easy to tote while being accessible in a pinch.
When packing your day of bag, don’t forget the following things, all of which I grabbed over the two days of market:
A change of socks/back up pair of flips flops if you don’t trust your shoe choice
Rain gear if the weather calls for it (I rocked market in the rain, showrooms wait for no one, even mother nature)
Tech accessories
Business cards
Advil, Band Aids, hair ties and such
Quick snacks/granola bars/bottled water
Be sure to leave anything that isn’t mandatory behind, you definitely won’t want to tote it!

Spotted in the CosmoLiving showroom for Dorel Home

3. Power Up
Let’s talk about those phone batteries. Between using the High Point app as a map, taking one million photos of all of the gorgeousness you’ll see and messaging friends to meet for drinks, you will drain your phone battery faster than you can imagine. Be sure to pack a portable, fully charged, battery bank in your bag. Also, keep an eye out for charging spots in various showrooms. My personal favorite was in the Universal building – they have an entire space dedicated to charging your cell and your feet (next to the beauty bar!). While you’re charging your phone, plug in your battery bank too – the Universal charging station comes complete with chargers of all makes and models but you’ll want to have your cables on hand.

Spotted in the Universal Furniture showroom

4. Pics, Pics, Pics!
I shocked myself with how many photos I took during my two days at High Point – looking back on the photos, I wish I had been more strategic with both my phone memory and how I differentiated between show rooms and product lines. What did work, and my best photo tip, is to take a clear photograph of the front of the building or signage of each show room as you walk in – that way, you’ll have a marker between each set of photos that identifies their location and maker. Now that I’ve been home for a bit, I’m sorting through thousands of photos and am grateful for any step I took to keep them all organized while I was on the ground!

As a side note, all of the showroom lighting is overhead and artificial, if you’re looking for true tones and bright photos, you may want to bring a clip on ring light (otherwise known as a selfie light) for your phone.

Styling in the Rawan Isaac space via IMC – Interhall

 5. Seek The Experience
Without a doubt, there will be showrooms and teams that stand out as true experiences and I highly encourage you to seek them out. The Bank on Wrenn, the new location of Made Goods, stands out in my mind as a true immersive experience that shouldn’t be missed. The products are stunning but the attention to detail in every inch of the display space is worth an hour or two of your time. Visit the vault, make a wish in the fountain, sneak into the retro ladies room and soak all three floors in. 

Design by SONDER Living 

SONDER Living will swing in the opposite direction of cool, with sleek lines and modern spaces, their approach to living is another that I would suggest immersing yourself in. SONDER Living also has an amazing space to regroup and gather your thoughts, and the team is like no other in hospitality and vibrancy. Universal Furniture is another space that is a must – and in fact, was my very first ever showroom experience, which is setting the bar pretty high. They’ve thought of everything to make your market a memorable experience from a stunning breakfast menu to a lounge stocked with desk spaces and hand mixed martinis, perfectly laid out product experiences (Spaces was my personal favorite)

Crypton Home Fabrics in Lee Industries 

And while I’m at it, don’t miss the spaces that are small in square footage but huge in personality – some of the most memorable products for me came from these spaces. The milkmaid stools in Mally Skok and the violet marble accents in Rawan Isaac are elements spotted at Market that I am bringing home my designs, 
If you’re headed to High Point for the first time, you’re in for an amazing, overwhelming (in the best way), exhausting experience that is unparalleled. Enjoy!