The City of High Point recently reminded our community of the scope of the High Point Market by sharing a brief video of its 111-year history. It made me reminisce about my own history with the Market, beginning in the mid-’90s. It was not until I landed a job at a local hotel that I really appreciated what Market meant to High Point and the region. At the time, it was referred to as the International Home Furnishings Market. I will never forget the long days and nights in preparation to get ready for the influx of guests that stayed at the hotel. Many of them I knew on a first-name basis because they would return to our hotel each market. I knew their personalities, their favorite cocktail, and their favorite High Point restaurant. All hands were on deck to ensure our guests had the best care and service while they were in town.
It was not just in the hotel that everyone came together. Preparations were being made across High Point and the entire Triad. You could see the signs of Market prep as a train of 18 wheelers carrying furniture lined the streets and cardboard boxes were stacked two stories high along the curbside. I always felt so proud to be a part of the “hustle and bustle” because I knew this event was a big deal, bringing a wealth of influencers, decision-makers, and professionals to conduct important business in our city.
The High Point Market Authority was formed in the early 2000s, around the time I started working at the High Point CVB now known as, Visit High Point. I was excited to still continue to be involved with the event; providing the latest information on things to do and restaurants in the area for Market guests. At that time, our team would also serve as a concierge in the information booths, providing directions to showrooms and answering any questions market attendees would have. It was always fun to watch the newbies in high heels carrying their shoes by the end of the day. Fast forward to today, and we are still partners assisting with safety plans and communication as we prepare for a different yet impactful, Market.
Now called High Point Market, this event, continues to generate over $6 billion in economic impact that our city, Triad, and state depend on each year. High Point’s early markets had 30,000 square feet of exhibit space across eight buildings compared to today’s 180 buildings with more than 11.5 million square feet of exhibit space. But the Market is not just corralled into 180 buildings. Area businesses from florists, caterers, hotels, restaurants, printing, and more all do their part to support the show and rely on this business each year. The City of High Point released a second video highlighting our area business partners and their love of High Point Market.
So, as we prepare for the Market this fall, rest assured that the High Point Market Authority is working closely with all community leaders locally, regionally, and state-wide to ensure a safe and healthy experience. During Premarket, Tom Conley, Market Authority CEO shared with Diane Falvey with Lighting & Décor an update regarding the changes that are expected as safety is of concern for planners, exhibitors, attendees, and our community. The Market Authority has launched #HPMKTSafe that includes safety controls at the show and outside the buildings that encompass planning from all angles. And finally, through Count on Me NC, a statewide health and safety initiative, more than xx hospitality businesses in High Point and the Piedmont Triad are Count on Me NC certified, where guests can easily find an area business that implements safety standards while we re-open the marketplace in NC.
Everyone is still all hands-on deck and prepared for the upcoming Market where we will happily welcome our regulars back confidently, inviting them to make yourself at home™.