The High Point Market Authority, which puts on the world-famous furniture market, has had to make some big adjustments thanks to COVID-19.
However, in the fall of 2020 the show must go on, and it will – but with a lot of changes.
Former High Point Mayor Bill Bencini said this week that the market may look different this October from the way it’s looked in past years, but the city is planning to put on a safe and successful event.
There’s usually a furniture market in both spring and fall, however, this year the coronavirus pandemic caused the spring market to be canceled.
Bencini said the fall market, which will now run from Tuesday, Oct. 13 to Wednesday, Oct. 21, will expand in both square footage and number of days to allow people to participate in smaller groups. He said the new nine-day period includes a couple of extra days and the event is adding additional showroom space as well.
“The market is making every effort to create social distancing,” Bencini said. “They’ve spread it out and increased the time period to allow for that.”
There will, of course, be other precautions in place as well. For instance, buyers and other participants – who come in from over a hundred different countries – will be asked to choose one of three, three-day periods during the market as their primary attendance dates.
Tom Conley, the president and CEO of the Market Authority, stated in a press release recently that it’s not known what distancing rules, if any, will be in place in October, but the market is preparing for the various eventualities.
“We anticipate less restrictive guidelines for large gatherings this fall, but the need for increased safety measures will still exist,” he said. “Although we have over 11 million square feet spread over 13 city blocks, likely allowing us to have upwards of 50,000 attendees on any given day, we want to be overly cautious and stay below that maximum each day so all guests feel safe and comfortable attending and visiting their favorite showrooms.”