High Point Market to Receive Additional Funding from the State
The 2016-17 budget for the state of North Carolina – which was approved by the Senate and House the end of last week and totals $22.3 billion – includes some exciting additions for the High Point Market Authority (HPMA), most notably $400,000 in recurring marketing dollars and $200,000 in non-recurring marketing dollars earmarked for High Point Market. As of press time, the budget is waiting for Governor Pat McCrory’s signature to become finalized.
“We are very grateful for the dedicated work and long-time support of Senator Trudy Wade and Representative John Faircloth,” comments Doug Bassett, HPMA Board Chairman & President of Vaughan-Bassett Furniture. “As the largest economic event in the state, High Point Market is committed to positively influencing North Carolina’s economy. This additional funding will be a great resource to help us maintain our status as the largest home furnishings trade show in the world.”
These new funds were added to the State Senate’s budget by Senator Trudy Wade (R-Guilford), who was also instrumental in securing $500,000 from the North Carolina Department of Commerce budget(NCDOC) for the 2015-16 fiscal year. Senator Wade visited High Point Market in October 2015 and joined the Home Furnishings Association’s (HFA) Retailers Panel to learn how the funds were being used to develop a customized app that would greatly enhance the buyer experience and simplify the task of navigating such a large Market.
At the recent High Point Market Legislative Breakfast in May, Senator Wade, Representative Faircloth, and other legislators received an update on the app and other projects.
The MyMarket app debuted just before Spring Market and was enthusiastically received. Integrating blue-dot technology and indoor navigation in the International Home Furnishings Center (IHFC) – the largest building on the campus – the app guided users to each building within the 13-block Market district and to each showroom within the IHFC building. Downloads of the app exceeded expectations with almost 6,400 downloads and over 288,000 screen views, showing the adoption rate to be more than twice as fast as the previous version. More buildings – including 220 Elm and the four Centers of High Point buildings – are planning to offer indoor navigation within the app for the 2016 Fall Market.
“We are grateful for the committed work of Senator Wade to secure this additional funding. We look forward to using the funds to expand our marketing efforts, enhance some features in our app, and develop some targeted outreach to particular segments — all with the ultimate goal of attracting more international and national attendees to Market,” notes Tom Conley, President of the High Point Market Authority. “It is a very competitive environment out there. These funds will allow us to remain the premier destination for the home furnishings industry twice a year.”
The increase brings the State’s total contribution to the Market Authority to $2,955,472. The Department of Commerce will contribute $1,755,472 for marketing, and the Department of Transportation will contribute $1,200,000 for transportation. A 2013 Duke University study found that High Point Market generates more than$5.39 billion in economic impact to the overall regional economy.