I recently asked this question to the WithIt LinkedIn Group in the hopes of discovering the tips and tricks of the women of WithIt who have paved the way in the Home Furnishing Industry.
Here is some great advice for your first trip to #HPmkt
Margi Kyle says simply “ Wear comfortable shoes and one bite at a time. Enjoy” and I have to agree – sexy shoes look great in photos but can make your experience miserable.
Terrie Silver offers the following advice –
1) Women, leave your heels and great 6 inch boots behind if you plan on doing a lot of walking. Stuff your heels in your bag that I am sure you will carry to the venue, anyway. This way, you can change shoes for an evening event.
2) Make sure you know your vendors – where you want to go and PLAN AHEAD. Use the planning guide … (Strategically). It’s a long week or weekend, so look at your book and if you can, make your appts ahead of time.
3) Bring a fold-up umbrella JUST in case.
4) Park in the FREE parking next to the train station lot and walk just a bit to the buildings if you are a buyer. (Parking is fee and I have never had a problem parking there.)
5) Shuttle in. (not my first choice) eewww.
6) Make sure you eat at Natuzzi for lunch. (if you know the right people to get in)
7) Don’t forget to stop at the shop that sells bags and jewelry and such in your spare time.
8) Trade secret – Wachovia (Wells Fargo Bank) allows you to park on the side of the building after 5PM for those “special events.”
9) Know your customer, know your style for your shop or for merchandising. Makes planning your day(s) easier.
10) You don’t need to stuff every magazine in your bag. Read one during breakfast or lunch and chuck it out. Or rip out a single page. No need to carry every periodical around. Too much baggage and you can get it online anyway.
11) Look for colors and taste for your age-appropriate geography.
12) Be specific if you are “negotiating.” Ask for delivery times.
13) Obviously, wear your “Buyers” badge.
14) See as many of the buildings that you possibly can during your visit – go through your guide, as there are outlying properties that are way cool that you might want to venture into for a tour.
15) Watch for new/outdated colors or patterns.
16) Don’t be pretentious. Just be yourself!
17) Make a note of places to sit in a massage chair for at least 10 minutes!
18) If you have not registered, make a note to bring your biz card, it makes getting in the front door much easier to get your badge.
19) Make sure you NETWORK with anyone. Put your game face on and have fun.
20) If you want to buy a sample, there are a lot of vendors that will tag or give you things on the spot as these vendors DO NOT want to ship a lot of this stuff back from when they came.
Stephanie Lowder suggests:
1. Know that one person could never see all HPMKT has to offer, nor all you specifically would like to uncover, in a week.
2. Plan – upfront – accordingly.
3. Make Approintments with resources likely to offer what you seek. I know, you hate appointments & want to roam freely. You can certainly do that. But schedules fill quickly, the pace is brisk, and resources want to give you the attention/answers you need and deserve.
4. Take advantage of the planning/managing tools & educational/creative resources that the official #HPMKT offers. They know what visitors want & need, and they work to give you just that.
5. No, you cannot wear those killer shoes that are likely to get your photo snapped and posted onto a wonderful Fashion-I-Saw-In-HighPoint blog. Ok, you can wear them. But you will regret it. Just ask my visiting publishing friend who 1.had to take off her shoes in a very chi-chi locale and walk barefoot and bloody the rest of the day. Remember – brisk pace, huge town.
6. Expect to find more Creativity than you imagined.
Sara M Lyke shares the inside scoop on #HPmkt
1. The most valuable badge is Press. It even trumps buyer.
2. Do your research. There are great places to eat in High Point and they are all in showrooms.
3. For those who care – this also is where some fine libations happen
4. Best candy jar for energy – Adesso showroom
5. Best big porch to relax on – red egg
6. Clearest mobile reception – outside the HP borders.
7. Need to buy some bling to brighten your day – Suites at Market Square and It’ s the Thing.
8. Feet tired – Go anywhere shuttle – the best
9. Want to play hard – Four Hands Party
10. Start the market right – WithIt President’s Reception at Drexel Heritage on Friday night before market starts.
What are some of your tips? Share them in the comments below or if you are a WithIt member join the discussion on LinkedIn!