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High Point Market Dates Return To April & October

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The High Point Market Authority board of directors voted unanimously today to shift the bi-annual Market’s dates back to a traditional April/October calendar. According to Brian D. Casey, president and chief executive of the High Point Market Authority, the changes will not impact the 2007 Fall Market dates—October 1 through 7. “The change in the High Point Market calendar will begin with the April 2008 Market,” Casey said, adding that the modifications to Market’s calendar were made in response to results of an in-depth industry research project focusing on the experiences of Market attendees.” The Market will remain on a Monday to Sunday pattern based upon a review of the research by the Market Authority’s board of directors. Late last year, the Market Authority engaged Exhibit Surveys, Inc., to assess, analyze and quantify the landscape for the High Point Market. The goal of the project was to identify factors that would enhance the value of attending and exhibiting in the Market and to determine the preferences of when the Market should be held. Surveys were conducted online and via telephone with retailers, manufacturers and sales representatives from more than 2,000 home furnishings companies. [Please see companion release, “Research Methodology for Market Dates: Research Response Nearly Double Normal Statistical Response.”] “The preferences were very clear in terms of which months to hold Market,” says Jeff Stanley, executive director of strategic research development at Exhibit Surveys, Inc. “All audience segments preferred the old April and October dates to the new Market months (March and September).” When it comes to the Fall Market, “Only 33 percent of retailers surveyed preferred September, while 57 percent preferred October,” Casey reports. “Only 18 percent of exhibitors chose September, while 59 percent favored October. An additional 16 percent said, ‘whatever the customer wants.’ Of sales representatives, only 30 percent of sales representatives like September over 47 percent who prefer October, and 15 percent said, ‘whatever the customer wants.’ ” In terms of Spring Market, “Only 30 percent of retailers surveyed preferred March; 51 percent preferred April, and the remaining responses were scattered among other months,” Casey continues. “Of the exhibitors, only 19 percent opted for March, with 58 percent preferring April. An additional 17 percent of exhibitors responded ‘whatever the customer prefers.’ Of sales reps, 28 percent preferred March to 49 percent for April, and an additional 15 percent of the sales reps surveyed also responded ‘whatever the customer wants.’ ” While the survey respondents were definitive about which months of the year they wish to attend the High Point Market (April and October), they were divided on the question of which days of the week Market should encompass. The choice preferred the most (42 percent of attendees) is Monday through Sunday, with the second highest response—Thursday through Wednesday—preferred by only 18 percent of attendees. “We continue to make decisions based on what the majority of customers are telling us,” Casey says. “We are very confident that the results of the surveys are reflective of Market’s large and diverse constituency. Beyond the opinions of buyers, exhibitors and sales representatives, we have also sought the recommendations of the High Point and Greensboro Convention & Visitor’s Bureaus, as well as the Hotel Task Force, which unanimously preferred the original months due to greater room availabilities. Additionally, we are meeting with local religious leaders in order to minimize any scheduling conflicts with major religious holidays moving forward. A new, ten-year calendar will be published June 1.” ABOUT THE SURVEY: Total people contacted: 12,542 Total responses: 2,068 Net Return 16.5% Preferences by Group Prefer September - Buyers 33% - Exhibitors 18% - Reps 30% Prefer October - Buyers 57% - Exhibitors 59%- Reps 47% Prefer Other Months - Buyers 10% - Exhibitors 23% - Reps 23% Whatever Customer Wants - Exhibitors 16% - Reps 15% Prefer March - Buyers 30% - Exhibitors 19% - Reps 28% Prefer October - Buyers 51% - Exhibitors 58% - Reps 49% Prefer Other Months - Exhibitors 19% - Exhibitors 23% - Reps 23% Whatever Customer Wants - Exhibitors 17% - Reps 15% Response by Group Buyers (Retailers and Interior Designers): Total contacted: 9,487 Total responses: 1,652 Exhibitors: Total contacted:1,648 Total responses: 202 Sales Representatives: Total contacted: 1,407 Total responses: 214 About the High Point Market Authority: The High Point Market Authority is the official sponsor of the High Point Market: The World’s Home for Home Furnishings. Featuring more than 2600 exhibitors and attracting tens of thousands of visitors from more than 110 countries, the High Point Market is the driving force of the home furnishings industry. About Exhibit Surveys: Founded in 1963, Exhibit Surveys, Inc. (ESI) pioneered the field of exhibition research, establishing metrics that have become the standards of the industry, and developing unique diagnostic tools to provide guidance and sound recommendations to its clients. The company’s research staff, located in Red Bank, New Jersey, has conducted primary research for more than 2,700 exhibitions and private events, and some 9,000 exhibits. Clients include organizers and more than 70 Fortune 500 companies. ESI continues to be the leader and innovator in the field, with a complete range of measurement and research services to fit the needs of exhibition and conference organizers, associations, and individual corporations. ESI provides these services to clients across a broad spectrum of industries and maintains the most comprehensive database of audience profile and exhibit performance statistics available for benchmarking purposes.

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