Wayfair to Showcase Virtual Reality Technology

Polly LaBarre
Polly LaBarre

High Point, NC, February 22, 2016 – The High Point Market Authority (HPMA) has partnered with Design Tech Summit to bring Fast Company ‘Maverick,’ best-selling business author and consultant Polly LaBarre to High Point Market as the keynote speaker for a kick-off opening day event for Spring Market, April 16-20, 2016. Sponsored by Wayfair, one of the world’s largest online destinations for home furnishings and décor, this event will also welcome co-founders Niraj Shah and Steve Conine to the stage to showcase virtual reality technology for the first time at High Point Market.

At this event, entitled “Re-inventing Retail & Design – Mavericks Driving the Future, LaBarre will focus her presentation on business culture, “maverick” leaders and how technology and innovation will define future success for an industry valued in 2014 at $97 billion in retail sales, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“The design industry is contending with relentless, multifaceted, occasionally shocking change,” says LaBarre. “In that world, the most important question for leaders of organizations of every size and every type is: are you capable of changing as fast as change itself? It’s no longer enough to have one hit—the imperative today is to build an evolutionary advantage.”

Leveraging virtual reality technology to create unique shopping experiences for the home, Wayfair expects to accelerate the shift to buying home furnishings online by transforming the way consumers are able to visualize products into their designs. Wayfair plans to showcase the virtual reality technology to attendees at the ‘Trade Services by Wayfair’ space during High Point Market.

LaBarre is co-founder of the Management Innovation Exchange (MIX), an open innovation project aimed at reinventing management for the twenty-first century. Consulting with high profile organizations and brands, including HBO, Adidas, COACH and Liz Claiborne, she applies her dynamic convictions on the topics of disruption and adaptation. LaBarre helped to outline these principles in “Mavericks at Work,” the best-selling book she co-authored, following her role as a founding member of Fast Company magazine’s groundbreaking editorial team.

The opening day event will be moderated by Stacy Kuntsel, homes editor for New England Home, regional editor for Traditional Home and Better Homes and Gardens, and co-founder of Dunes and Duchess.  It will begin at 9:00 am in the High Point Theatre, located in the Transportation Terminal. Those who register in advance at www.highpointmarket.org/event/opening-day will receive preferred, early access seating and a special gift from the event’s sponsors.

In addition to LaBarre’s keynote presentation, Design Tech Summit  is producing an educational event during Spring Market in an ongoing series called designTechconnect which includes interactive seminars, events and education with the goal of creating a more flexible, robust and responsive industry. “Hack the Future: The New Design Landscape” will be the first-ever High Point Hack bringing together leading design practitioners, emerging leaders and entrepreneurs with top tech talent to collaborate on innovative solutions to major challenges in the design industry. The High Point Hack will help facilitate design industry concerns from the consumer perspective—leading to new business opportunities, increased sales and visibility, improved efficiency, agile responsiveness, connecting with the emerging design consumer and so much more. This event will take place on Friday, April 15, 2016, from 10:00 am-6:00 pm at Universal Furniture, 101 S. Hamilton.

About the High Point Market Authority
The High Point Market Authority, www.highpointmarket.org, is the official sponsor and organizer of the High Point Market in High Point, N.C. Featuring an extensive selection of exhibitors spanning every category, style, and price point, and attracting tens of thousands of visitors from more than 100 countries twice each year, the High Point Market is the driving force of the home furnishings industry. Find the High Point Market anywhere online, and follow on Twitter using the hashtag #hpmkt.

About Design Tech Summit, Inc.
Design Tech Summit, www.designtechsummit.com, is an educational leader for the home and design industries and its partners. Created by and for progressive thought leaders, Design Tech Summit, Inc. helps design professionals explore the intersection of design, innovation and tech, leverage new ideas about competition, adopt business and media strategies and,chronicle the changing landscape of the design industry. With their new educational partner, designTechconnect, Design Tech Summit will be seen at leading trade shows, professional associations and international events, sharing innovation, strategies and inspiration to help provide the framework and the courage to reinvent and re-imagine a better world surrounding the business of design.