After attending High Point Furniture Market, I am not sure what to think. I have been going to that market for ages, but about six years ago I stopped because Las Vegas opened up and all of the bedding people went there. Now, all the mattress people are back at High Point and we are going to two additional markets each year, for a total of four markets annually. Is attending all these markets really necessary? Does it add value to our companies?
When I was in High Point, there was decent traffic, but I am not sure how the mattress people are able to justify the expense given what I saw. Maybe there is great ROI in the quality of visits; maybe there are some people that just flat-out refuse to visit Vegas. I don’t know. So I find myself asking the question: Is the High Point Market viable for the bedding industry?
Given the excitement and crowd that Vegas market brings, is anyone really going to launch a big new product or program at High Point? Are the retailers out there demanding your presence in North Carolina? If you don’t see them, will it hurt your business? Retailers, if a bedding producer was not showing at High Point, but instead would fly you to their showroom, would that work just as well? I bet it would be cheaper than paying rent at both markets!
All I am saying is that time and money are valuable resources for all of us, so let’s do a little gut check here. Take a look at the traffic in the showrooms over this last market, put a pencil to it, add up the sales opportunities that resulted, and do a little math on the investment. For the most part, anything that you see in High Point has already been displayed in Vegas. Right? What do you say we all pick a market and stick with it? Might I suggest the location with the largest selection of Michael Mina restaurants? Okay, Vegas it is.
On to the source of my frustration.
It started when I arrived at market and it was pouring rain. I was driving and, being the nice guy that I am, I pulled up to the front door and let my passengers out. After 15 minutes I finally found a parking spot. I then spent another five minutes looking around (in the rain) for the attendant to pay, walked through several very large puddles in my newly polished shoes, and walked for 20 minutes to get to our building. As you can imagine, I was dripping wet. At that moment I had a flashback to Las Vegas: A hint of rain began falling and 20 people wheeled out hundreds of boxes of FREE umbrellas for anyone attending market! Big difference, huh? And yes, now I am whining.
Okay, so where are you on this one? Should there be four bedding markets each year? Let me know in the comments section below. Don’t hold back.