Hospitality at Market is the Conference to Watch

Pack up those business cards and polish up that booth; it’s time for the HX and BDNY trade shows. We truly are an industry of conferences and trade shows, and why not? They offer wonderful opportunities to meet, exchange ideas and do business together. There are certainly a lot of event options out there, so choosing the right ones for your business is crucial for success.

While you’re assessing all of these opportunities for 2019, I’d like to fill you in on an option that may not be on your radar: Hospitality at Market, held during the Fall High Point Market in High Point, NC. You may be saying to yourself, “High Point Market is a residential show,” and four years ago, I would not have argued. However, it was around that time when Gary Inman, VP of hospitality at Baskervill, a prominent design firm, approached the High Point Market Authority with the idea of launching a hospitality program. An impressive steering committee of designers and manufacturers was formed, and Hospitality at Market was born.

Last year, Editor-in-Chief Christina Trauthwein and I were asked to attend and meet with the steering committee as representatives of our design brand, InspireDesign. I must admit, neither of us had ever been to High Point Market—we were immediately blown away. Our industry trade show standard is a booth with a handful of products on a show floor. This was 180 buildings of 11.5 million sq. ft. of showrooms. We realized Hospitality at Market is not a trade show, it’s an experience. Seeing the amazing resource this would be for the hospitality industry, InspireDesign signed on as the exclusive media and marketing partner.

This year, Hospitality at Market was held from Oct. 14-15, and was a great success. A number of our industry’s heavy hitters not only attended, but also participated in the special Hospitality at Market curated events. David Kepron, VP, global design strategies, distinctive premium brands, Marriott International, was the keynote speaker. Hosted in the Global Views showroom, stocked with cocktails and delicious food, he took a captivated audience for an inspiring exploration of how to create a truly exceptional guest experience. Regarding Hospitality at Market, he noted, “At every turn, there’s something new to consider or another element that is a potential opportunity to innovate, create and be inspired.” In that one statement David truly summed up what the event is all about and why you may want to consider it for 2019.

InspireDesign held a panel also filled with major industry players—from design celebrity Barclay Butera of Barclay Butera Interiors, and Amanda Jackson from Wilson Associates, to Concord Hospitality’s Matt McClelland and Javier Egipciaco of Arlo Hotels, and more. Set in the beautiful showroom of French Heritage, complete with French cuisine, class was in session as attendees listened to these experts discuss “Memorable Moments: Defining Experiential Design.” This inspiring and educational conversation will be available in a podcast released by InspireDesign in the coming weeks.

So, if you’re a manufacturer with an existing showroom at High Point, I encourage you to get involved with Hospitality at Market. If you do not have a showroom, there is temporary space available for you to participate in this exciting hospitality program. For those of you who are buyers, designers and lodging executives who need to be on the cutting edge of trends and inspiration, I highly recommend you build this into your 2019 schedules. Seeing a handful of products in a booth has its place. However, at Hospitality at Market, you will find flagship showrooms for many major hospitality suppliers—some spanning more than 50,000 sq. ft. with product set up in endless vignettes. Sit down with the CEOs of these companies and discuss your custom needs right there in the showroom.

As I said, there are a lot of event options out there, so choosing the right ones for your business is crucial for success. Hospitality at Market is one worth looking at; if you’d like more information, please contact me at [email protected]. In the meantime, I look forward to seeing you at the Jacob Javits Center and wish all participating a successful show.