International Market Centers (IMC) announced today that its August markets in Atlanta and Las Vegas will run as scheduled, but will be staged as showroom-only buying opportunities – with no tradeshow component – based on recent developments and guidelines related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“IMC’s mission is to create efficient, effective and compelling markets, but our markets must also be safe, secure and comfortable experiences for our customers - both tenants and buyers,” said CEO Bob Maricich. “During these unprecedented times, with the acceleration of COVID-19 cases and travel restrictions in many states, we must adapt our markets to responsibly meet the current needs of the industries we serve.”
Participating permanent showrooms, which will be appointment-focused, will be open during previously published dates: World of Prom & Social Occasion, August 3-7, at AmericasMart Atlanta; August Atlanta Apparel, August 4-8, at AmericasMart Atlanta; Atlanta Market (Gift & Home), August 13-18, at AmericasMart Atlanta; and Las Vegas Market, August 30-September 3, at World Market Center Las Vegas.
Based on recent surveys of tenants at each campus, as well as current qualified buyer registrations, IMC estimates that 50% of its showroom tenants will open at each market and approximately 40% of the traditional buyer base will attend.
Participating tenants and buyers will be encouraged to set appointments to allow for social distancing and more effective management of traffic density and flow, and IMC will share lists of pre-registered buyers with participating showroom tenants to facilitate scheduling. IMC also will employ extensive digital resources, such as online exhibitor directories, way-finding apps, and new digital tools – including IMC’s ShopZio B2B ecommerce platform and Catalog Connexion software – to help virtually connect buyers and suppliers before, during and after market. Additionally, a full slate of virtual programming will complement the product offerings and provide a robust market experience.
“As COVID-19 continues to disrupt our industry and economy, we remain agile and will continue to adapt as needed to provide safe solutions for our customers,” Maricich said. “IMC will support all of our showroom tenants and buyers who elect to conduct business on our campuses productively and responsibly, and we are committed to enabling commerce wherever, whenever and however possible. Our physical markets and our current and developing digital platforms and software together will be essential elements of recovery for our industry.”
To facilitate a safer environment and to manage traffic flow and social distancing, pre-registration is required for all IMC markets this summer. IMC also has developed detailed and thorough cross-department protocols for buyer and tenant arrival, registration and departure. Temperature screening, contactless registration and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) are among required components of IMC’s Together Safely daily and market operation protocols.
Fall markets will operate as previously scheduled: VOW | New World of Bridal®, September 15-17, at AmericasMart; Fall Design Week, September 21-23, at AmericasMart; High Point Market, October 13-21; October Atlanta Apparel, October 13-17 (showrooms) and October 14-16 (temporaries), at AmericasMart; and Fall Cash & Carry, November 3-5, at AmericasMart.