A dedicated vacation rental design summit to launch in High Point

A new conference will be held in High Point, North Carolina next spring. The inauguration Vacation Rental Design Summit will debut just before Market in April 2023, aiming to cater to the growing niche of designing homes for short-term rental. Presented by High Point x Design (HPxD) and High Point Market Authority (HPMA), the two-day summit will feature programming dedicated to creating engaging listings for Airbnb and Vrbo.

The concept was first proposed by interior designer Jessica Duce of JDuce Design, who mentioned the idea to HPxD Managing Director Jane Dagmi at Spring Market. Duce designed his first short-term rental about seven years ago. It’s since become something of a specialty for the Spring, Texas-based designer, so much so that she started a sister company, Vacation Rental Designers. Duce regularly attends the High Point Market as well as the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show and other industry shows, but she’s always wished there was more programming dedicated to the niche market that has become her specialty. . “I thought, ‘Why not make it ourselves?’ says Duce.

Designing short-term rentals falls somewhere between staging and residential and hospitality design, a balance that can be difficult to strike, especially for those just starting out. “It’s really about creating this voyeuristic experience,” says Duce. “You want to feel like you’re entering another life.” Furniture, for example, should be durable but more inviting than, say, a vinyl-covered armchair in the corner of a hotel room. Art should be interesting, but not too personal. High-end appliances and integrated smart home technology are also essential for a simple, hassle-free experience for guests and hosts, Duce says. Conference programming will be designed around these themes, highlighting resources and providing education for designers in the sector.

Dagmi felt the idea resonated well with the HPxD mission, which is to make the North Carolina city a year-round destination, attracting visitors outside of market days. “The market is so big, but the city persists throughout the year,” says Dagmi. “We want to continue to introduce people to the city in other ways, and the summit gives those outside of the furniture and textile industries – perhaps hotel groups, real estate agents and property managers – a reason to come to High Point.”

The idea also appealed to HPMA. Together, the two organizations have agreed to schedule the first conference for April 20-21, 2023, in the days leading up to the Spring Market, to give designers a chance to attend both. “We are uniquely qualified to host this event both in terms of the infrastructure surrounding High Point Market, but also in terms of the resources we have here for designers who dive into this niche. The product base is there, the expertise is there, and the inspiration is endless,” HPMA’s new President and CEO, Tammy Nagem, said in a statement.

Dagmi hopes the new event can bring together parts of Market, KBIS, CEDIA Expo and textile trade show Interwoven for a singular experience serving a unique sector of the design community. “We think this umbrella of vacation rental design invites so many opportunities to introduce other parts of the home industry to High Point,” she says. “Obviously we have an incredible selection of furniture, accessory and textile manufacturers here, but there is also room for kitchen, bathroom and technology. We think we can do it.

Homepage Photo: A short term rental in Phoenix, Arizona listed on Vrbo | Courtesy of Vrbo

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