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High Point Market To Issue "Universal" Passes

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Thanks to newly introduced website enhancements, visitors to the International Home Furnishings Market in High Point can now pre-register directly through the Market Authority, with universal passes accessible at kiosks located in several showroom buildings throughout the central downtown area. According to IHFMA board member, Tom Mitchell of Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc., these changes are intended to make the registration process as easy and convenient as possible for retail buyers. “Revamping the registration system has always been a key objective. After we addressed parking and transportation issues, the Market Authority moved the registration process into a higher priority, with the result that from now on a universal pass can be obtained in several locations, and will be accepted in all buildings.” Four of the MMPI buildings will host kiosk locations – the Suites at Market Square, the Furniture Plaza, the Plaza Suites and in Historic Market Square. Exhibitors will also benefit from a new electronic data collection system offered during the April 2006 Market, explained Judy Mendenhall, President of the IHFMA. “We are introducing three different options in showroom registration systems to help exhibitors track their visitors by capturing contact information and, at the top level, downloading real-time analysis and reports of Market traffic.” Mitchell anticipates the new tracking systems will provide a valuable marketing benefit by giving exhibitors an accurate profile of the buyers they are attracting to their showrooms. The SHOWPLACE showroom building will utilize the new registration system at its main reception desk. Joanna Easter, COO of SHOWPLACE Capstone Properties, considers the electronic data collection system an extremely helpful tool for the building as well as its individual exhibitors. "We are interested in tracking the buyers who shop our properties and also those exhibitors that participate in scanning in their own spaces will now be able to use this system for lead retrieval as well. As a building, this information takes our marketing research to a more sophisticated level, allowing us to support our exhibitors by fine-tuning our promotional plans to attract those groups who may not be visiting our building as much or as often as we had forecasted.” Mendenhall considers pre-registration to be the most efficient way for visitors to plan their trips to Market. “Those who pre-register before the deadline for mailing passes don’t have to take the time to access them during Market, and frankly, they arrive here better informed. Since we have their contact information in advance, we are able to advise them earlier of product introductions, special events and seminars which otherwise they might not learn of until after their schedules have been confirmed.” Pre-registration may be accomplished by visiting the IHFMA website at highpointmarket.org or by calling 336 882-8510. Temporary staff people have been hired to accommodate the volume of calls, and registration specialists are available.

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