Tips & Insights

Plan to Make the Most of Market

Your nine step strategy for shopping success, from design pro Julia Kirkendall

by Gail Doby, Business Transformation Coach

Veteran interior design pro Julia Kirkendall, founder of Kirkendall Design, LLC, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has shopped High Point Market twice a year for 22 years. Talking with business transformation coach Gail Doby, she shared her top nine tips for maximizing your efficiency and ROI.

Get started with MyMarket

Make sure all of your vendors are still located where you last saw them, and organize the showrooms you want to see by building.

One month to Market – plan each day

Build a day to day plan for each day you are going to be in High Point. Plan to visit one building or area at a time. Then, when you’re in High Point, check your list to make sure you’ve completed all stops before you go to the next area.

Schedule only your most important appointments

To keep up a fast pace and maximize your showroom coverage, minimize your number of appointments. The ones you do set should be with your key lines, and with representatives who work hard for you throughout the year.

Find new vendors and fit them to your plan

When you discover a new resource through referral, social media, an article, Market Preview, the New Product Picks page of, or any other source, go to the Find Exhibitors section to get their showroom location. Then, fit them into your day to day plan.

At Market, take pictures

When you see an item you might want to buy, ask if you can take a picture of it. Upload that photo to a DropBox or other cloud-based storage system, creating one folder for each specific vendor. For Julia, designers who are back at the office can review the folders and get in touch immediately if they want more information. In many cases, they can create a PO while she’s still in the showroom.

Review your plan

At the end of each day, check off each vendor yout saw to ensure you didn’t miss anyone. It will also give you a great sense of accomplishment.

Save the last half day

When you make your plan, make sure you keep your last half day open, so you can go back to showrooms for more information, or browse for new treasures and ideas.

Express your appreciation

Write a thank you note to each representative you spoke with, and to those showrooms that were truly exceptional, to let them know you value their hard work.

Share your finds

Once you get back home, create a presentation for local Realtors and VIP clients to share the trends, the color forecast and the inspirations you discovered at Market. This is a fabulous way to stay in front of your referral network and show your leadership and up to the minute relevance. It’s a great way to turn your Market visit into more leads, referrals, and business.

About Gail Doby

Gail Doby, ASID, is Co-Founder of Gail Doby Coaching & Consulting & Design Success University, as well as business transformation consultant to savvy designers who want business breakthrough & profit-building advice. Download, Avoid Fee Mistakes.