HIGH POINT — A committee has formed to better promote and organize the First Tuesday event with a focus on getting the word out on new products, reach out to retailers and establish protocols for safety.

First Tuesday, which extended as far as Thursday for some exhibitors in its first iteration earlier this month, was developed as a venue where retailers could visit vendor showrooms one-on-one in a controlled, socially distanced atmosphere and as an opportunity to feed new goods into the marketplace in digestible quantities.

The initial vendor members of the committee include representatives from Crown Mark Furniture, Jackson Furniture/Catnapper, Klaussner Home Furnishings, Kuka North America, Manwah USA, Palliser and Sunpan, as well as the High Point Market Authority, which will lend its marketing efforts to the event.

The committee, which gathered in High Point last week during First Tuesday’s first edition, expects to add more members moving forward.

“This was the first group of companies, but we welcome others to this committee so we can create a voice for the industry and move this project forward,” said Kevin Castellani, director of communications at founding committee member Manwah.

Promoting the event

At its first meeting, the committee agreed upon several initiatives, including development of a logo to create a dedicated marketing umbrella for al First Tuesday participants to use with the goal of building awareness of and continuity for the event.

Also in the works is creation of a proprietary list of potential targeted retailers, which the High Point Market Authority will use in conjunction with its own direct marketing efforts to build retailer attendance.

HPMA also will post signage at showroom building entrances identifying all vendors in those buildings participating in First Tuesday, including those not on the committee. The committee agreed to supply a list of showrooms open for the event, which all participants can provide to their customers.

While that means vendors would be showing their dealers some of their competitors who are open, the idea is to demonstrate critical mass to attract more retailers.

“The object is to improve the retail buying experience and make it worth their while to come to town,” Castellani said.

Commitment to new goods, safety

“All the committee members agreed to bring new product to First Tuesday,” Castellani said. In addition to HPMA’s efforts, “they will reach out to their own customer base to encourage attendance based on the fact that new products will be shown.

“All committed to creating a safe and customized environment for the event,” he added. “And especially with the COVID concerns, the buildings themselves will take every safety precaution, and all exhibitor committee members will do the same.”

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