Recently I attended the Bi-annual Tupelo Furniture Market in Tupelo Mississippi. The trade show was held Wednesday February 20 thru Sunday February 24 2008. The Tupelo furniture show boasts approximately two million square feet of showroom space for manufactures of all furniture for the house or home office. According to their website they have between eight hundred to a thousand exhibitors displaying their goods from all parts of the world.
So what was popular at the big market this in 2008? Apparently the decision to leave early, which quite frankly is a very frustrating experience for, say somebody who drove all the way from St. Louis Missouri. One manufacturer I went in to visit at 9:30 Sunday morning in Tupelo Building I was not there and their showroom was locked and the lights were off. The other manufacturer left early sometime before 12:15 on Sunday I heard. So I would like to say thanks and give a quick shout out and a cheap plug for the guys at Med Lift & Mobility, Inc. They were very nice and helped as much as they could. They allowed me the opportunity to view the deserters of the unmentioned mattress company’s lineup.
As a vendor who has worked many local home shows, I know what it is like to be both busy and slow. With that being said, slouching sales and /or having little booth traffic is a very poor reason to abandon your showroom booth, your customers and potential customers along with your bi annual industry market.
Short of a medical emergency, whether it is a furniture trade show such as Tupelo Market or a local home show, those participating should be duty-bound to stay the duration. If hours are posted, as they were in this case till 5:00 PM daily, then vendors need to abide by the rules.
Show organizers should put in place effective methods that keep to their advertised promises such as collecting an affective security deposits and refund deposits only when attendees fulfill such obligations. If show participants choose to leave early they are not invited to exhibit in future shows, ever, and will be out their costly security deposit, which is the way it is handled affectively on a local level.
Small dealers like my self rely on the centrally located Tupelo Furniture Market to supply our showroom floors. It is particularly convenient because of location and we can shop the market on the weekend days such as Sunday without having to close our store, which is inconvenient for our customers. Small businesses like ours do not use this as a vacation opportunity for ownership but a supply source for our business. It is my intention and hope that more small mom and pop companies like my self will patronize what is essentially the largest and last regional furniture market in the Midwest. It will benefit everyone including the manufacturer, the retailer, but most of all the retail customers who look to stores like mine for good selection.