Leading indicators are pointing to a favorable spring 2014 High Point Market this week. For example, our hotel room rates went up more than 20 percent compared to October 2013 and reasonable flights were harder to come by. While excessive gouging is certainly something I don’t miss from the good old days, more heads in beds bodes well for having more buyers present and it’s encouraging to have demand starting to exceed supply once again.
My anecdotal notes jibe with the official pre-registration figures. High Point Market Authority President and CEO Tom Conley says that 40,000 buyers representing 13,000 companies have signed up for this market, compared to 39,000 buyers who were pre-registered last spring. It’s worth noting, too, that the total attendance for spring 2013 was more than 79,000, factoring in exhibitors, visitors, international buyers, guests … and probably even press like me.
Another event very much on my radar right now is the 2014 ART Conference, happening May 1-4 at Paradise Point in San Diego. This group, encompassing all facets of the decorative accessories industry, encourages creative collaborations and represents a nice complement to the practical benefits of the American Lighting Assn. (ALA) for our industry. The deadline to register (to guarantee a hotel room in the ART block) is April 7. So sign up before you leave for High Point — no doubt you will be too busy once you get to market to think about anything else. And that’s exactly the way it should be.