Trade show to leave High Point
A trade show that spent more than a decade in High Point is moving because of spacing issues.
The Southern Building Materials Association has hosted its annual buying show in High Point for 11 years but will move out of town next year because of the lack of exhibition space available.
“If there was space here, they wouldn’t leave,” said Marva Wells, High Point Convention & Visitors Bureau sales manager. “They’ve already said that if anything opens up back here, they’ll come.”
Meg Oxford, a HPCVB sales manager, said the loss of the show is a huge blow to the bureau and the city.
“This show is the prime business for High Point,” she said. “You can not get a better fit for our town for the size of the show, with all the components that go along with it. That’s the ideal event in the trade show world. It’s devastating that they’re leaving because that’s such a catch. It’s a bad thing.”
Oxford said other than using space in Showplace and High Point Plaza, the group also impacted other businesses in town such as other hotels, food and beverage catering businesses, and restaurants.
“They started out being totally at the Plaza, but as they grew over the years, they had all their exhibitors at Showplace, They use 36,000 square feet over there,” Wells said.
The event will take place Feb. 6-7 at Showplace with programs at High Point Plaza Hotel and Conference Center. The group was approved for booking incentives from the CVB for up to $14,000 each year through 2015 but will not receive the incentive money for the years they are not in town. SBMA brings an estimated 2,500 people to the city and has an economic impact of $70,917.
“They’ve had a good experience here in High Point, but this is a prime example of a need for event space in High Point to accommodate that size group,” said Tim Mabe, president of HPCVB. “They have decided to use High Point Plaza to make this year work through the surprise announcement of the unavailability of Showplace. I look forward to the day that we can welcome those folks back.”
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