Two weeks ago, I found myself in North Carolina, attending High Point Market as a guest at their very first Hospitality Designer Day. I knew High Point Market was a design show unlike any other I’d been a part of, but it was still a shock to find myself exploring a design show that took over an entire town for a week! (You think one massive show floor is tiring? Try getting through 180 buildings and more than 2,000 exhibitors in 11.5 million square feet of showspace–yes, you’ll need coffee). While the more than 100-year-old event is primarily for residential designers, anyone could find inspiration here in the incredible range of product and in the passion these manufacturers and designers have for their work.
The Hospitality Designer Day was a great initiative to bring in local hospitality designers and allow them to explore full-sized showrooms, and an opportunity for manufacturers (there were a total of 24 sponsor companies) to display their contract and hospitality capabilities; and at least for me, it was great to see so much more product than can usually fit in a regular booth space. On my whirlwind tour we were able to stop by more than a dozen showrooms, including Samuel Lawrence Hospitality, Phillips Collection, Designmaster, and Surya, to name a few, and the representatives of these companies were so positive and excited about the event and proud of their offerings, it was impossible not to share in their enthusiasm. The day culminated in a cocktail event held in the beautiful American Leather showroom, with sponsors, hospitality designers, and other industry members gathering for good food and conversation.
Hanging out at American Leather’s cocktail party: Regan Paluch and Frank Boardman from American Leather; Elaine Schroder and Robert Duban of Kravet Contract, and Sherrie Yarborough, with American Leather.
I have to say my first experience of High Point market was an exhausting one – but exhausting because of the wealth of product, resources, and information, which is a good thing. And I left completely energized by the enthusiasm of the folks around me – from Kravet to Sealy to Mark David, everyone was there in support of talented people and good design. I’m looking forward to seeing an even bigger Hospitality Designer Day at the next show.