As those of us getting ready for the High Point Market  start the final phase of training for our merchandise marathon, I want to make sure one event in particular ends up on your show agenda. The Accessories Resource Team  (ART) hosts a good-natured bowling tournament each market on Monday night as a fundraiser for its educational programming. Sponsored by IHFC , the ART of Bowling includes dinner and one of the best networking opportunities at the show, bringing all segments of the home accessories industry together with a great equalizer that ensures none of us are taking ourselves seriously: those hideous shoes. Download a registration form here  to sign up in advance and get in for $40, or show up on-site (High Point Bowling Center , 309 W. Fairfield Road) for the 7 p.m. dinner and pay $10 more at the door.
Registration is also now open for the 2011 ART Conference . Taking place May 12-15 at the Rancho Bernardo Inn  in San Diego, this year’s program covers relationship marketing, connecting with Millennials, selling the hospitality/contract market and the home fashion trends you need to know. Hands-on workshops between these sessions consistently keep attendees engaged, and ART always adds a little je ne sais quoi to the mix that manages to keep spirits light and lively throughout. Ask anyone who has already been to a conference, or check out this video  starring yours truly and a host of home luminaries about why your business will benefit from your being there.
My final plug for ART is to thank Executive Director Sharon Davis for her assistance with our first-ever Showroom IdeaShare roundtable at the January Dallas Market . The event provided an honest and open forum for lighting showrooms to discuss the subjects most salient to them. Stay tuned to future issues and newsletters for anonymous excerpts that you will likely find enlightening as well.