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October 16th, 2010

High Point - Travel Day

Today was travel day to get to the High Point Market in North Carolina. I am spending about 3 days at the tradeshow mainly to visit our Quality Canadian Furniture manufacturers who are exhibiting here but also to see what's new in the world of tradeshows and in home furnishings. This is where twice per year over a 2 week period the city of High Point becomes alive with buyers, designers, manufacturers, decorators and suppliers of the home furnishings industry. People come from all over the world to visit the manufacturers and distributors of home furnishings at this tradeshow.It is where the products get chosen by professional buyers and ultimately those products end up on store floors.
I will get into more details about the market over the course of my stay here.

 

This is my 6th time in High Point and this is the first time that the trip was completely uneventful. No lost luggage, no cancelled flights, no missed connections and best of all, no overbooked flights! This is a difficult destination to get to in that, from most cities there are no direct flights and the flights are often on tiny 'put-put' planes. So the potential for delays and missed connections is huge. I always leave with a change of clothes and overnight necessities in my carry-on just in case bags are lost on the way - it only needs to happen to you once for you to learn your lesson.

I left a dark and rainy Montreal this morning and connected in Chicago and through to warm, sunny Greensboro (22 celcius). Today travel was fun and I actually chatted with someone on my flight from ORD-GSO. I don't usually chat with strangers on flights - it's not my thing but today I met a really interesting guy and we literally talked the entire 90 minute flight. As I was getting my bag sorted and getting settled in my seat, I pulled out my work folder that has our Quality Canadian Furniture logo on it. The guy I was seated next to did a double-take and asked me where I was from. I told him I was from Montreal and he told me he was from Winnipeg. It's comforting to be from the same country - it seems to be a conversation starter for sure! The cool thing was that he was from a furniture store and travels to the High Point Market, to the Las Vegas Market (January) and, even cooler, he comes to our furniture market in Toronto (TCHFM) and has done so for over 25 years.
Naturally, I asked him tons of questions - what do you like about High Point, Vegas, Toronto? How is business? What do you think about Canadian Furniture? Etc. etc. Without going into too many details, I am happy to report that he is a proud promoter of Canadian manufacturers and furniture!

Basically, what I took away from our chat was that the furniture business is complex - there's so much that goes into getting a sofa or dining room set into a store. It's a huge mesh of intertwined travels, meetings, discoveries, tradeshows, discussions, and transactions that ultimately result in beautiful products on store floors. And for the people who are in the industry, events like this tradeshow in High Point are a big deal because it's when they get out, meet their suppliers and dealers face-to-face, discover latest products and trends and really get a feel for what's going on out there. And at the end of the day, it's all about the people.

Time to hit the sack, first day at Market tomorrow so I have to catch some zzz's. 

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Janette  Ewen

Janette Ewen has been one of Canada’s leading décor and lifestyle experts for more than a decade, passing on her passion for design and fashion to avid fans through magazines, newspapers and television.

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