I am in High Point right now and thanks to my amazing team back in Dallas, my trip has been scheduled beautifully, leaving me time to see every new introduction and find new manufacturers as well. I believe the key to a successful market trip is making a schedule.
There are about 5 different buildings and areas to visit in High Point and I try to spend at least a day in each one so I don't miss anything! While I would love to do lighting one day, furniture the next, etc., the layout of the showrooms doesn't always allow for that.
I make a spreadsheet with all the showrooms and times I am visiting so my rep for that line knows I am coming. They are the ones who will show me what is new, what has changed and I LOVE working with these people! Your rep is your best friend when you are a designer, because when you have a deadline to meet and something goes wrong, they are usually the catalyst to a solution. Plus, they know the best places to eat while you are in High Point!
Last, I always make sure to take loads of images of products that inspire me so that when I return, I have a catalog for the next 6 months of amazing pieces to use on projects. Without this design tip, I would come home overwhelmed and more exhausted than I already am. I download my images each night and categorize them on my iPad for easy access later. Best technology solution ever!
So if you are shopping market, bring the schedule. Trust me...it pays off in the future!
Do you have any tips that help you when on a conference or shopping trip?