Thursday, March 29, 2007

Trade show or carnival?

It's sometimes hard to remember that the High Point Market is a large trade show dedicated to the furniture industry-- there's this overall carnival feel to it.

You experience it as soon as you hit downtown. Floats are driven around downtown, my favorite has a Mardi Gras theme, complete with a cut out band playing jazz music.

There's a man who walks around town on stilts, he has to be at least 10 feet tall and right next to him is a long line of people handing out bags filled with pens, water and anything else.

People walk around will large billboards on their backs, free ice cream is handed out by High Point University students and there are people shouting out catchy slogans trying to get your attention.

Market even has its own pair of super heroes dressed in masks and capes.

If you see past all of this, you'll quickly realize that this isn't a normal carnival atmosphere.

The Mardi Gras float is telling people to stop by a furniture showroom that specializes in furniture from New Orleans.

If you look close enough, the man on stilts is handing out brochures to visit another showroom.

The bags handed out carry the logos of various manufacturers, even the water is furniture themed.

The super heroes, well the only heroic thing they are capable of is telling you why the company the work for has the best furniture.

This just isn't an outside thing either.

Inside the showrooms bands line the halls playing music next to large beds and bookcases.

Sometimes I feel like I'm back in college when I walk past blank walls, on them are fliers posted to this and that party. In big bold letters the fliers shout out "live music, open bar!"

Look closer, and you'll realize the party has a certain theme be it bedding or couches.

After you get past your first impressions you realize that this is very much a trade show.

Even the popcorn handed out to you isn't regular popcorn, it's popcorn wrapped in a notice telling you that the company that just handed you the free food has the best mattresses at market.

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