While the Coronavirus crisis is still at a serious pitch, International Market Centers announced that its August markets in Atlanta and Las Vegas will run as scheduled but will be staged as showroom-only buying opportunities with no trade show component.
With recent developments and guidelines related to the COVID-19 pandemic weighing, the change in structure will have participating permanent showrooms open on an appointment-focused basis during previously published amended dates. The Atlanta Market, Gift & Home will run August 13 to 18, at AmericasMart Atlanta and Las Vegas Market will run August 30 to September 3, at World Market Center Las Vegas.
Based on recent surveys of tenants at each campus, as well as qualified buyer registrations, IMC estimates that 50% of its showroom tenants will open at each market and about 40% of the traditional buyer base will attend, the organization noted. IMC will encourage participating tenants and buyers to set appointments that allow for social distancing and more effective management of traffic density and flow.
It will also share lists of pre-registered buyers with participating showroom tenants to facilitate scheduling and employ extensive digital resources, such as online exhibitor directories, way-finding apps, and new digital tools — including IMC’s ShopZio B2B e-commerce platform and Catalog Connexion software — to help virtually connect buyers and suppliers before, during and after market. A slate of virtual programming will complement the product offerings to provide a robust market experience, IMC maintained.
To ensure a safer environment and manage traffic flow and social distancing, the organization is requiring pre-registration for all its markets this summer and has instituted health and safety measures. IMC pointed out that the schedule for fall markets continues to remain as set including that for the High Point Market slated for October 13 to 21.
“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 IMC 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.”
He added that, with COVID-19 continuing “to disrupt our industry and economy, we remain agile and will continue to adapt as needed to provide safe solutions for our customers. 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.”