High Point Furniture Market returned to High Point this month, attracting professionals and celebrities alike to the “Home Furnishings Capital of the World.”
First held in 1909, the biannual event is the largest home furnishings showcase in the world, covering around a square kilometer and approximately 180 buildings, featuring around 2,000 exhibitors. The event takes place once in April and again in October. The High Point Furniture Market is not open to the public, and serves as a way for members of the trade to get a peek at the next big things in interior design.
People gather from all over the world for the furniture showcase, generating a great deal of business for High Point. As showcase viewers travel to the city, restaurants and hotels benefit from the tourism. According to a 2013 study by Duke University, the market contributes about 5.4 billion dollars a year to the economy of the area. Because of High Point’s ability to bring in so many different people from numerous places despite its size, it has been labeled as a “niche city,” or a city that creates a global centrality by stimulating a certain part of the economy globally. By hosting the world’s largest furniture showcase, High Point is essentially the furniture capital of the world and heavily stimulates the economy of the furniture business.
Former Collegian co-editor, Adelaide Elliott, is now a journalist working with home furnishings publications Furniture Today, Casual Living and Designers Today. She creates written content for print for these publications daily, while maintaining their websites and social media, creating video content and travelling to trade shows, including High Point Market.
“Attending market is just my regular job on steroids,” Elliott always tells people. “Instead of just emailing contacts, making phone calls, writing stories in our office and seeing pictures online like we would most often do on the average day, members of the press spend markets writing while running back and forth between manufacturer showrooms meeting with as many people and seeing as much product as possible over just a few days.”
High Point Furniture Market is used to names like Martha Stewart and Paula Deen attending, and the presence of celebrities cements the magnetic nature of how the market brings in people from all over. Actress Diane Keaton of “Annie Hall” and “Marvin’s Room” fame was seen at the High Point Furniture Market this month. Interior designer and “Queer Eye” personality Bobby Berk was also present, as well as several other popular designers. The market continues to be an event that puts High Point on the economic map.
By Amos “Z-train” Brady