From Summer Market: Las Vegas at LVMKT and Design Camp!

With the last day of Summer having just past, I'm looking back at another trip I was able to go on - Summer Market Week and Design Camp! Earlier this year (back in January) the hubs and I drove up to Las Vegas (my first time there) to attend Las Vegas Winter Market. Similar, but much smaller than the High Point Market (which is coming up for Fall in October!) we were able to tour showrooms, experience market energy, and check out the upcoming trends for home decor and design. This summer, rather than us driving together, I took a more shorter flight (1 hour flying vs. 5 hours driving!) and attended the Summer Market Week (solo) plus the three day live workshops of Design Camp - filled with insightful seminars, gifted guest speakers and sponsored giveaways - hosted by Design Camp founders and delightful designer duo: Lori Dennis and Kelli Ellis!

Part of the Design Camp experience was an engaging #InstaHunt, an exercise to get Campers utilizing the social media tool Instagram. Of those who participated in the InstaHunt, their names were entered in a tote for drawings of prize giveaways from some of the sponsored showrooms. To help break the ice for newbies and give regulars a chance to mingle, two of the showrooms sponsored cocktail receptions in their showrooms which were Lexington Home Brands and Leftbank Art. For me, one of the highlights at the Lexington cocktail reception was getting to meet online connections in real life, which eventually also lead to being invited to dinner, where the table next to us couldn't have leaned over anymore to listen in,  or they would have fallen out of their chair!! (we had a really good time together!)

 (L to R) Kim Macumber, Lance Jackson (Part 1 of Parker Kennedy!), me, Linda Holt and behind the camera David Ecton (Part 2 of Parker Kennedy!) True thrill to finally meet IRL Parker Kennedy, who I blogged about for their outdoor space at the ASA Decorators Showhouse! Kim has amazing energy and Linda is a fantastic photographer, which she shares photos on Friday called "Through My Lens."

Another highlight of attending LVMKT and Design Camp: meeting online friends in real life! Pictured here me with (pic 2) LA Designer Rey III of Rey III Designs and (pic 4) me with Dallas Designer, Jeffrey Johnson!

Las Vegas Market Week starts on a Sunday, but I arrived Monday, got settled in my room,  acclimated to my surroundings, and after trying three different routes, learned a short-cut to get to the shuttles in the morning. The last morning, I actually bumped into someone I shared a cab with the evening before, but we started to go in different directions to get to the shuttles. I said come with me, and she was shocked to have learned she was going the long way all the days before. The shuttle was leaving later that morning, so we hopped off and grabbed a cab, having three others join us. Although we've all gone our separate ways, those little back stories help to personalize each individuals market and design camp experience.

A few of my many favorite showrooms at LVMKT are:

:: NOIR ::
Furniture + Lighting + Home Decor

 Gabby - Home Decor


 Blue Ocean

Global Views

Worlds Away

Made Goods

 Four Hands

Bassett - A surprise showroom I toured, thanks to the #InstaHunt from Design Camp. Yes even middle America has a place in interior design, and this is one American brand that has stood the test of time, re-branding itself, shifting with market trends & styles while still staying with good quality pieces for the moderate budget (they aren't as fuddy-duddy as you might think!). Bassett has also teamed up with HGTV for a furniture line called Design Studio - plus most recently, they are doing a Room Makeover Giveaway, happening now through October 26. Get info at

8 Take-aways From the Vegas Market & Design Camp Experience:

1. Wear comfortable shoes - even with the market all being located on one campus, it's still 3 multi-level buildings to tour during the five day market week.

2. Dress - comfortable, but professionally - in layers -  Yes it's the desert and it's HOT outside, which means the AC's are going full force inside, and it can get chilly, especially when sitting still in a lecture or presentation. Also, be sure to pack a collapsible umbrella, because even-though it's the desert, it is possible to catch an afternoon rainstorm.

3. HighTech: Bring your device chargers - Taking photos and sharing them as well as making calls and texting on the World Market Campus zaps the juice out of your batteries. Day one, I became a wall-hugger by mid-afternoon.

4. LowTech: Bring a small notepad & pen to take notes plus have plenty business cards to hand out. Keep cards stashed on the backside of your name-badge | lanyard. 

5. Bring a binder with clear pages to hold all the business cards you collect during your trip. Depending on what trips priority is, consider bringing a wheeled tote vs a shoulder-bag tote to carry press-kits, catalogs, and sample decks you may also acquire during market.

6. Utilize the LVMKT site to plan which seminars, times, and building showrooms you want to attend to be able to pack it all in. This market, although newer than HPMKT, is growing rapidly. This summer, 50 new showrooms launched, giving west coast designers and vendors an alternative to travel to during the year to keep in sync with trends, if they are unable to attend High Point Market.

7. Although not always at LVMKT, if you're at a market event with a Design Camp available, make it a point to attend to further grow your social circle and business connections - maybe even stay-in-touch with those you 'click' with via a monthly Skype or Google Hangout. Doing this is can become another strengthening strategy for you and your business as it can become supportive brainstorming experience. Who knows - maybe even work together on a project, which was the key take-away from attending Design Camp: collaboration!

8. Wrap up your market experience after you arrive home by sending out hand-written thank you notes to showrooms who sponsored receptions and to those you made new connections with or who helped you in some way - and also be sure to stay connected with new people via connecting with them through their social media channels (and grow your network). This puts those collected business cards to good use.

If you're a blogger attending a market event, it's also good to pull together your photos into collages, slides, or video presentations to share on your social networks. For photo collages, I tend to use PicMonkey, but another site getting a lot of buzz of late is Canva.

Taking you photos to video, Vimeo or Animoto are two cool sites. Sharing those videos are a great way to build up your YouTube channel or build a channel over on on The Design Network. below are two recap videos I created from the photos I took - One of LVMKT and one of my experience at Design Camp - both also shared on my YouTube channel... 


On the last night I was in Vegas, I joined three other new connections for a bite to eat and to walk "Old Vegas" taking in the sights (good Lawd!!! lol), lights and sounds. It's good to get off line and keep yourself human with "real-life" connections.

The hotel I stayed at was Hilton Elara - On the strip, just a 10 min drive from the LV Airport, adjacent to Planet Hollywood, and with a wonderful view of (hotel) Paris! Perfect spot to unwind at days end, plus upload photos to share from the day at LVMKT.

Interior Design Camp will hold a micro Design Camp at the upcoming Fall High Point Market, on Saturday, from 3-6pm October 18th, at the Jaipur showroom -- PLUS: DC just added a breakfast from 8am-10am at the Lexington Corp Headquarters! Following the highly successful Design Camp series that has made rounds throughout the U.S., the micro Design Camp at HPMKT will feature an insightful presentation from renowned Million Dollar Decorator, Mary McDonald plus Elyse Jordan of Houzz. The presentation will be followed by a fabulous cocktail reception where you can mingle and network with your fellow interior designers, media professionals, and meet Lori and Kelli!

Info to register for the Fall HPMKT micro Design Camp can be found at:

Info to register for HPMKT can be found at:

Info to register for WINTER LVMKT 2015 can be found at:

I really had a great time at both events and I'm grateful for having had the opportunity to experience them both, and especially to be a part of the rapidly growing LVMKT. Next year, some of us who met at LVMKT are planning on meeting at Spring HPMKT 2015, and I'm sure these experiences will help to navigate that much larger market event.

Have you been to Design Camp? Las Vegas Market or HPMKT? What have your experiences been like? Do you have anymore tips or advice to share?

Thanks for stopping by!

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