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Norman Hamilton has joined Casual Living magazine as publisher

Market Values

Seeking opportunities for future growth

Norman HamiltonNorman Hamilton
     It is a question asked many times throughout the year. Depending on whom you ask, you will get a wide range of different answers.
     If you ask a retailer, manufacturer, sales representative, supplier, designer, public relations person or a media spokesperson, you will probably get a different answer from each one. All of them went to the same market but each one experienced different reactions to the same event. It is like when different people all saw the same auto accident. You get conflicting reports on what really happened. It, of course, depends on your point of view.
     Having just finished the fall High Point Market and getting ready for the International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo in New Orleans, I realized that 10 months out of this year, I have prepared for and been to multiple markets. So when someone asks me, "How was market?" I feel qualified to answer.
     Markets are good. All markets are good for some attendees and some markets are good for all attendees.
     Markets are a time to see, feel and touch new products. They allow us the opportunity to spot new trends in fabric, color, fashion and design of new products.
     Markets bring together buyers and sellers to do business, which is always good because nothing happens until something is sold.
     Markets allow us to renew old acquaintances and to network with new people and potential new customers.
     Markets are where an idea can become the next best-seller.
     In my mind, markets help make the world go round because they allow people from around the globe to come together for a common goal, which is to grow this industry and the people and companies that service it.
     Yes, markets are good because they give us the opportunity to check on the health of our industry and help determine the direction our industry needs to grow. Without markets, the industry would not grow as fast as it could.
     Markets are designed to bring likeminded people together. Whenever multiple people get behind the same goal, you are going to have the opportunity to create greater momentum for the shared common good of all involved. My suggestion is to go to as many markets as is feasible for your business. It will help your business grow, which therefore helps the industry to grow.
     Another opportunity to bring our industry together to discuss how we can grow is the second consecutive Casual Conference, set for Feb. 20-22, 2013, at the beautiful Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa in Tucson, Ariz. "Outer Spaces: Expanding the Universe for the Outdoor Room" is the theme. Through a series of industry panels, keynote speakers, roundtable discussions and networking events, the conference will address the best ways to use the talents of this industry to make the outdoor room the most important room in the house.
     For more details and to reserve your spot, visit I hope to see many of you there so we can discuss ways of moving this great industry forward. And, of course, to talk about the latest market.

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