Furniture industry & technology experts discuss the impact of a changing tech landscape and how designers need to navigate these issues to grow their business.

HIGH POINT, NC, USA, April 6, 2018 / — Next Saturday afternoon the High Point Market Theatre will be the center of what could be the most talked-about topic at this Spring’s Market. Nick May, host of The Chaise Lounge podcast will moderate a panel discussion on Navigating the Turmoil of Industry Consolidation, an in-depth look at the impact changing business models, mergers, and acquisitions are having on the industry and the potential negative consequences for the interior design profession.

The panel will feature a cross-section of industry thought leaders representing designers, manufacturers, and the technology platforms that serve them. The discussion will address both the challenges and the opportunities presented by the massive shift to online e-commerce and services.

How do successful interior designers tackle issues surrounding protection of data, privacy of client records, and retention of rights to images in exchange for the promise of efficiency and scalability that “disruptive” technologies offer?

“The fear of missing out on both business and design community connections have lured many designers into an uncomfortable relationship with online e-commerce platforms,” said Shawn Hughes, CEO & Chairman of Steelyard. “I think the industry’s eyes were opened wide after several popular platforms either went out of business or were merged into other entities bringing into question – what happens to my data.”

While some designers are still trying to make sense of these changes, others are seizing the opportunity to grow their business and build productive relationships with manufacturers who support the trade and are looking to create and expand their direct-to-designer channel. Noted design industry podcaster Nick May scratched the surface of this discussion back in February ( and, based on the groundswell of interest on Facebook, Instagram, and even by way of a grassroots petition by designers, it was clear these conversations would continue to be a major topic of conversation at High Point and beyond.

This panel discussion co-hosted by Steelyard will feature:
Nick May, Host of The Chaise Lounge podcast & panel moderator
Neil McKenzie, Director of Marketing at Universal Furniture
Cheryl Kees Clendenon, In Detail Interior Design
Laura Thurman, Thurman Design Studio
Rebecca Ginns, General Manager of Perigold
Shawn Hughes, CEO & Chairman of Steelyard

Saturday, April 14, 3 PM at the High Point Theatre Transportation Terminal – Shuttle Stop 1

The panel will run from 3:00 to 4:00, followed by an open Q&A for the audience to provide feedback and offer opinions on ways the industry can make designers feel like their voices are being heard and that their interests are being protected.

Additional details on this and other events at High Point can be viewed at

About Steelyard:

For twenty-one years, Steelyard has supported the interior design industry with a unique B2B platform that provides trade professionals with the inspiration and information they need to assemble and deliver exceptional residential and commercial projects to their clients.

Offering a keyword-searchable library of 100,000+ products from over a hundred top designer-friendly manufacturers, Steelyard is the largest interior design research platform catering exclusively to the professional trade community. With a reach of tens of thousands of users, Steelyard connects high-end residential, commercial, and hospitality products with real market demand.

Since rebranding from TODL (Trade Only Design Library) in 2015, Steelyard has taken an increasingly active role supporting, producing, and hosting designer initiatives at High Point Market. They’ve partnered closely with the High Point Market Authority to help interior designers optimize their High Point experience by working to offer of exceptional educational, networking, and sourcing opportunities they won’t find anywhere else. At every Market, Steelyard co-hosts and promotes a variety of designer-only events offering business tips, product education, encouragement, and camaraderie.

Last fall, in cooperation with ASID and the Hospitality at Market (HAM) program, Steelyard produced a highly-attended DVS panel discussion on how to make the leap from residential into hospitality design.

Steelyard’s signature custom-edition collection of nail polish “swag” (which has gained minor-cult status since it was introduced at the Spring 2016 Market), has proven to be such a fun way to bring attention to their partner showrooms and brands that it’s since grown into its own High Point Market “Nail Polish Trail”.

And, for the 4th consecutive High Point Market, they will be hosting The Designer’s Lounge located at the Universal showroom – (101 S. Hamilton). Early Market Kick-off event starts at 12:00 on April 13th.

For more information, visit

Ken Evans, VP of Marketing
email us here

Source: EIN Presswire