It’s that time again. High Point Market is right around the corner. If you are a first time designer and have never been to market or you haven’t been to market in a while, your first stop should be the High Point Market Insiders Tour. The market changes so quickly so attending the Insiders Tour will bring you up to date with what High Point Market offers. You may have heard how vast market is and how hard it is to navigate. High Point really is insanely huge, but it doesn’t have to be intimidating. Attending the tour will familiarize you with the layout of High Point, the shuttles, where to eat, etc.. Attending market shouldn’t be daunting. Also, attending the Insiders Tour will give you more confidence. Afterwards you should be able to venture off the beaten path and experience other areas that you might otherwise miss.
What is the High Point Market Insiders Tour?
A great experience at market is the goal for the High Point Market Authority. A good experience at market translates into buyers returning for future visits, and stronger market attendance in the future. How do you ensure a good experience? You get the designers started on a good foot on the very first day. High Point has put together a program where seasoned designers offer up a one day intensive tour, the High Point Market Insiders Tour.
The half day tour is held on Friday and the full day tour is held on Saturday. High Point Market veterans curate tours of their favorite showrooms in several areas around market. Some of the showrooms may be in the main buildings in the center, right off the Transportation Terminal., But others may be off of the main area or even several miles outside of town. It is easy to stick to one area at market, but that means that you may miss some hidden gems along the way. For that reason, the tour guides will take you through market by foot or use a shuttle to take you to a showroom that you wouldn’t be able to get to on foot. That way you can meander your way through to areas that may not be on your radar.
Where Will You Go on the High Point Market Insiders Tour?
The first day or market starts with breakfast, a quick orientation, and a meet and greet with all the first time attendees. From there, the groups will break off and continue with their respective tour guides. We’ll then set off either on shuttle or by foot to a number of showrooms curated by each tour guide. I like to call it “speed dating” for designers, as we do a quick introduction to several showrooms. While each tour guide may have their own theme or focus, I opt for a tour centered around showrooms that offer some level of customization. This may mean full custom from a sketch or even tweaking the measurement or color on an existing item in the line. As a designer, I realize the importance of specifying product that cannot be found online. That being said, I typically seek out the mid to mid-high end price point, and that is where I’ll be taking you on my tour.
We will be visiting showrooms that run the gamut in terms of style and type of product sold. Upholstery, case goods, lighting, vintage – we’ll see it all, so there is no need to worry about seeing a lot of the same product.
The tour I lead is fast paced and will maximize efficiency, so prepare to walk a lot and hustle! The Spring 2023 market will mark my 8th time leading the High Point Market Insiders Tour, so I’ve had a lot of experience and know my way around! Be prepared to ask a lot of questions, as we’ll have time to chat while we are walking from one showroom to another.
The Personalities We've Met on the Tour
Attending the High Point Market Insiders Tour has some amazing perks. In addition to getting a great overview of what market has to offer, the tour guides often have insider information of which showrooms have special guests. We are able to set up special access for our groups. Below are some of the special personalities that we’ve arranged talks with throughout my years of leading the Insiders Tour.
What is Needed to Attend the Insiders Tour
The tour is sponsored by High Point Market and is FREE but participants are responsible for their travel and hotel arrangements.
- All participants for the Full Day Tour must be able to attend on Saturday, April 22 from 8:30AM -6PM in order to qualify for the Insider’s Tour.
Partial-day participation for Full Day tours is not available so please make your travel plans accordingly or you will forfeit your spot on the Tour if unable to participate from 8:30AM – 6:PM.
- All participants on the Tour must submit an application and be approved to join the Tour.
- No more than 2 people from the same company can participate on a single Tour.
- If 2 are attending from the same company, each person must submit an application form.
- Application deadline is April 7, 2023 but note that all Tours fill up quickly so we encourage you to apply early to secure a spot with your requested Tour Guide.
Last market, the spots for all tours were filled within 3 weeks so be sure to sign up early to ensure a spot. Be sure to read the bios of each of the tour guides to see what aesthetic might best appeal to you.
Photos from Past Tours
Below are some photos from past tours. As you can see, we have a lot of fun. If you are traveling solo, it will be a great opportunity to meet people. I’ve met people at High Point that I now see at least twice a year and have become lifelong friends. High Point isn’t just about shopping for projects. It is also a place to learn, network, and create new friendships.
I look forward to seeing you in High Point in April. For more information and to apply for the Insiders Tour, please visit the High Point Market site.