News Releases

Fast Company Maverick Polly LaBarre Kicks Off World's Largest Furnishings Trade Show
Design Tech Summit at the High Point Market to Focus on Innovation for $97B Industry
Wayfair Co-founders Niraj Shah and Steve Conine to showcase virtual reality technology

HIGH POINT, N.C., Feb. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Fast Company 'Maverick,' best-selling business author and entrepreneur Polly LaBarre will kick off the spring High Point Market, the world's largest home furnishings trade show, on Sat., Apr.16.

The Market's opening event, presented by technology consultancy Design Tech Summit, in partnership with the High Point Market Authority, is open to over 75,000 prospective attendees, and is sponsored by Wayfair, one of the world's largest online destinations for home furnishings and décor.

LaBarre will be joined by Wayfair co-founders Niraj Shah and Steve Conine for the opening keynote presentation, as Wayfair showcases virtual reality technology at the April trade show for the first time.

Speaking at High Point's nexus of the home furnishings industry, LaBarre will focus her presentation on business culture, "maverick" leaders and how technology and innovation will define future success for an industry valued at $97 billion in retail sales in 2014, 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.

Early registration required for preferred seating
For HI-RES images, write Ashley Grigg,


SOURCE High Point Market