Why YOU Should Be Showing Up at Market
By Nick May and Grant Stringer
Last month, I wrote about building a personal brand and the benefits that can follow. Now we’ll go a step further to explain why showing up at market is crucial to becoming recognizable, connecting with movers and shakers, and creating opportunities.
Everyone loves market. Whether you’re at High Point, Las Vegas, or BDNY, the food, drinks and parties are enough to keep anyone coming back. Beyond that, the showrooms are probably the best opportunity to see what brands, designers and manufacturers are up to and where the industry is headed.
Sure, all of these things are great! But if you think market is all about seeing trends and having a good time, you’re probably missing the point.
Ever heard the phrase, “It’s not who you know, but who knows you?” This is my mantra for market. Markets are the only space to rub elbows with the people actually making their mark on the industry. These hundreds of people are the decision-makers shaping the future, and if you want to be a part of that, you need to be visible.
On any given day, a market will hold over fifty events with designers, publicists, shelter magazine editors, and furniture manufacturers. You name it, it’s there. Starting a conversation with someone might lead you in the most random but rewarding place.
Consider my friend Kelli Ellis, who is out front at every market. Not only is she killing it in her design business, she’s also got licensing agreements, furniture lines, and a brand ambassador gig or two…in short, every designer’s dream. And where do you think she made all of these opportunities for herself?
Consider my story as well. When I first started out, no one knew who I was, and I certainly was not offered panels and interviews right off the bat. But over time, by being present, I built relationships with a wide range of folks who saw an opportunity to add value to each other’s careers, and benefit the industry as a whole.
If you’re not at market, you are simply not present and are not a part of the conversations shaping the future of the industry. So pack your bags, book a flight, and join the movers and shakers. Bring value to others, forge relationships – and most importantly – have fun and enjoy the ride. Who knows what will happen?
Note: This blog can also be read as part of The Chaise Lounge‘s blog exchange with Gail Doby Coaching and Consulting.