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IHFC Steps Up Services for Interior Designers

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The International Home Furnishings Center announced that they have a renewed committed to doing everything possible to meet the special challenges interior designers face while shopping at the world’s largest home-furnishings trade show. “As the industry’s largest exhibition building with 3.5 million square feet, IHFC is a destination for virtually every interior designer who comes to High Point,” says Tom Lindh, who became IHFC president earlier this year. “We are not only uniquely positioned to enhance their shopping-learning-networking experience while they’re here, but we are also determined to do everything we can to make this market a terrific experience for them.” The IHFC, repored that they have taken three big steps in that direction. First, the company just launched on the eve of the April market Designer Preview, a publication focusing exclusively on information important to interior designers. The new magazine will be distributed through the IHFC Designer Resource Center, Designer Preview advertisers’ showrooms and the American Home Furnishings Alliance Media Center in the IHFC Commerce Wing. Designer Preview, which features a profile about “Trading Spaces” star designer Doug Wilson and 25 stories about companies that cater to interior designers, is also included as a section of the Furniture Preview, which was mailed in March to more than 37,000 buying organizations. Second, IHFC has enhanced the Designer Resource Center, which it opened last April to a chorus of gratitude. DRC is a 4,000-square-foot office away from home with full amenities in a comfortable lounge setting on the first floor of the Hamilton Wing next to Interhall. DRC, which features a concierge service and highly qualified staff to assist designers, adds the “Catalog Wall” this market packed with catalogs, brochures, DVDs and other helpful materials from designer-friendly exhibitors. The center will also compile a list of companies that welcome and service designers, and that require low or no minimum orders. Third, IHFC sponsors two events at each April and October market as part of educational programming designed specifically to provide interior designers an opportunity to increase their knowledge and improve their skills. The most successful designers in the world have led IHFC seminars, including Nina Campbell, Doug Wilson, Alexandra Stoddard, Christopher Lowell, Mark Hampton, Chris Madden, Tracy Porter, Mary Engelbreit, Charlotte Moss, Raymond Waites, Mario Buatta, Bob Timberlake, Vladimir Kagan, Lillian August, Judy George, Alexander Julian, Mary Emmerling and Larry Laslo. Candice Olson and Alexa Hampton will lead seminars at the upcoming market. Olson’s seminar sold out quicker than any previous IHFC event, and Alexa Hampton is filling up fast. “Obviously, with those results, more designers are coming to this market, and we are committed more than ever to bringing acclaimed designers to High Point to share their knowledge and expertise with them,” says Gaye Outlaw, who organizes the events. “A wealth of talent comes to High Point, and we are fortunate to have them share their stories with the design community.” Opening in 1921, IHFC was the original showroom building in High Point and after 85 years of expansion remains the centerpiece of the world’s largest home-furnishings trade show. As “Market Central,” IHFC alone is home to 850 of the leading home-furnishings manufacturers, including 13 of the top 20 companies. Approximately 2,200 manufacturers exhibit in High Point twice a year in more than 11.5 million square feet of showrooms.

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