24 Mar

Off to Market

You’ve done all the planning, packed your suitcase and you’re off to the show. Now what?

At the show

Arrive early and get your hands on a map and a directory. I map out which showrooms I am going to hit and in what order each day, High Point is a big place and you can waste a lot of time waiting for shuttles if you have to criss-cross market, building to building if you didn’t lay out a plan.

Refer to your schedule periodically throughout the day so that you can stay on track and see all of the vendors you want to. How? Set push notifications on your phone thru the Reminders app or your calendar.

Get to know the shuttle system. There are two types of shuttles- downtown shuttles – the Red line and Green line that run a route and make specific stops. The Go Anywhere van which will take you anywhere within a 3 mile radius of city limits between the hours of 7:30 am and 8:30 pm.

Re-evaluate your list the night before the last day at Market and see if you need to revise your schedule and re-prioritize your day to make sure that you see the vendors you need to before the show ends.

Don’t just grab every brochure that’s offered to you. Collect the information that is of interest to you or that could be valuable to others in your company. Ask for catalogs to be mailed to you or if they are available digitally.

Divide and conquer if you are bringing employees. Take advantage of show specials, discounts and sales. Check freight costs and delivery dates.

No matter how tired you are, attend a few seminars.  Check out the educational event schedule on Market website. There are always great and compelling topics being discussed. Target industry leaders and contacts you want to meet. Spend some time each day circulating and schmoozing.

4-drohanyou are planning to purchase any custom merchandise, bring your artwork and other files on a flash drive. Most vendors are equipped with laptops and can quickly send the data to the appropriate department.

Keep track of orders placed so you’ll stay within your budget.

3.  After the Show

After the show is over, be sure to keep in touch with your contacts, send out LinkedIn invitations and follow through with your new connections. All of your efforts are wasted if you don’t.  (I recommend waiting a week or so, both parties can catch up.)

Finally, the most important thing you can do is to show up. Just being at Market is the most important thing. Don’t underestimate the power of being there.

Thinking about coming to Market, but think it’s too late to get a room  or a flight?  Don’t have the time to do all the planning?  Join our  VIP #HPMKT Experience tour April 15-20, 2016. Spend the week with market experts, Deb Barrett and Jackie Von Tobel- that’s us. We take care of all of the planning and logistics, so you can concentrate on the show and having a great time. We’ll guide you through the ins and outs, and sometimes overwhelming High Point Market. It’s a must- do to increase your revenue, maximize your product mix and build your brand.

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19 Mar

Ten Things You Need to Know To Maneuver Market

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Pre show planning is the key to having a successful Market trip. Here are 10 things you need to do before getting on the plane for North Carolina.

1. Make a plan. The worst way to go to a trade show is unprepared. You need a goal and objectives!

2. Spend some time checking out the trade show’s website- http://www.highpointmarket.org  What companies are going to be there? Which ones do you already have accounts with? Don’t discount visiting showrooms you have accounts with. You will see the depth and breadth of their offerings in person not in the pages of a catalog; plus you can discuss discounts, sales, shipping or any other challenges with the right person. Are any of them potential new accounts?

3. Create a hit list of manufacturers and companies you want to see. Spend a little time researching the vendors, so that you’ll have a clear idea of who you need to see, and what you need to learn from them. That way you’ll have useful questions to ask, and will have to waste a minimum amount of time with small talk. Check out Soft Design Lab’s Hit List HERE.

4. Start scheduling appointments with your reps/ showrooms. Decide how much time you want to spend at the show, and then allot an appropriate amount to each appointment-making sure to schedule the ‘must see’ booths first.

5. Create a realistic budget. Consider travel expenses: ground transportation, accommodations (ask employees to share rooms if possible), meals, snacks, giveaways and the cost of being out of the office for a few days

6. Plan your travel and accommodations. Demand trumps supply at High Point so be prepared to pay more for what you might consider a below average hotel. When making your hotel reservation be prepared to stay in Greensboro, Winston Salem or surrounding areas that are 30 minutes or more from Market . Make sure your hotel is on one of the Market hotel shuttle routes and consider also shuttle departure times.  Most shuttle stop running in the morning at 9:00 AM and in the evening at  8:45 PM. Take advantage of early-bird discounts travel and hotel accommodations.  If you are flying into one of the three area airports, reserve your seat on an airport shuttle to/from the airport and plan accordingly.

7. Download the Uber app.  Uber has come to HP and in a pinch after a showroom party or dinner it’s the easiest and cheapest way to get home.

8. Register for Market.  Where? Visit High Point Market Authority’s website or click HERE.

9. Download and use the My Market App at http://www.highpointmarket.org/mymarket  High Point Market’s online planning tool. It allows you to customize your Market schedule, to find exhibitors, select educational seminars and social events, and to save all of your selections in a personal itinerary.

10. Once you have all your appointments set, make a daily agenda that includes all of the vendors. Use Goggle Calendar or Reminders app to schedule- love those alarm reminders and push notifications! Always schedule some extra time because you are bound to run over some appointments or might take a little longer to see something new and meet someone.

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While you are at it, be sure to schedule your time after show is over each night. Attending manufacturer parties after the show is great for networking. You also should schedule in some time to do some homework each night after the show. By homework, I mean reviewing each of the vendors you saw that day, comparing notes and compiling ideas for possible orders so that you can take advantage of trade show specials, exclusives or future projects.

Next Up: We’ll give you a list of what to pack for Market.

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