It’s hard to believe that it’s been over a year since so much of the world went on a temporary pause for COVID-19. What once was projected to be four weeks of stay-at-home orders, evolved and changed to become the “new normal.” From offices that switched permanently to work-from-home to curbside pick-up, our world today looks very different than it did in April 2020.
And while there have been challenges for many businesses and organizations, some were able to pivot and innovate to safely navigate the restrictions with COVID-19 while still serving their communities. One organization that was able to do that successfully was the High Point Market Authority team.
When High Point Market was canceled in the spring of 2020 for the first time since 1942, the High Point Market Authority spent months ensuring that an altered fall market could take place while still practicing safety measures.
“We have tried and tested our safety measures, and they worked, which is a beautiful thing,” says Ashley Grigg, Director of Marketing and Communications for High Point Market Authority. Between the support of healthcare and city leaders across the city, county, and state level, High Point Market was able to host a successful market for the benefit of the industry and our local High Point economy last fall, which has given them the confidence that they can do it again.
But you might have noticed, there hasn’t been talk of the April High Point Market like there normally would be this time of year. Instead, High Point Market’s “spring” market will move to June 5-9.
The idea was born from High Point Market Authority’s close communication with vendors and buyers, both in our city and around the nation. Guests asked about moving the timeline of the traditional spring Market with the hopes that state-to-state travel restrictions and bans would lift even more as the 2021 year continues.
“We knew if we moved Market later into 2021, there was a greater possibility that more guests could come,” Ashley says, “so it just made sense.”
This one-time cycle change for the High Point Market will include the typical 5-day schedule, and will still allow the design and home furnishing community to be able to fulfill the demands in their stores and customer bases.
“There’s still a lot of demand to get to High Point,” Ashley says, echoing the high demand for the High Point Market last fall. “Home furnishings are still selling like hotcakes!”
With more people than ever before staying home for more hours each day, the demand for home furnishings has increased, while shipping delays have made it harder for distributors to get products to their customers.
Not only does the nation need the High Point Market from an industry standpoint, but Ashley points out that the design community benefits greatly from face-to-face interactions within the High Point Market. As the date for this Market gets closer, the team at Market Authority is encouraged by the registrants’ excitement for the prospect of a June Market.
“We are continuing to see strong numbers as the Market cycle progresses,” says Tammy Nagem, Chief Operating Officer at High Point Market Authority. “As more people are being vaccinated, they are feeling better and better about travel.”
Even as numbers begin to improve, Tammy says Market Authority plans to continue with the same safety protocols and precautions that they implemented in the fall of 2020: daily health screenings, required face coverings, social distancing markers, outdoor spaces whenever possible, and more. She also shared that they will continue looking to their partners – like Wake Forest Baptist Health and her health department contacts – for advice on continued best practices.
“We are able to move into this spring planning cycle with a fair amount of confidence, having pulled off one of the very few events that took place safely in 2020,” Ashley says. “That should be a huge point of pride for the city of High Point.”
She also notes how many restaurants showed their gratefulness for the fall Market bringing guests into their stores:
“High Point Market was able to support this city economically in a time when it was desperately needed.”
High Point rallied together in ways that very few other cities in the country could have to protect our residents and our guests, while still playing a key part in a global industry. From local healthcare leaders to small business owners, to Visit High Point, to our City – High Point found a way to work together when it mattered most of all, and we agree with Ashley, that should be a point of pride for all of us.
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Images Courtesy of High Point Market Authority
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