Only permanent showrooms to open during Las Vegas Market
LAS VEGAS – International Market Centers (IMC) has announced that only the permanent showrooms in the World Market Center here will open for the upcoming rescheduled summer 2020 edition of the Las Vegas Market in response to recent developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The summer edition of its twice-yearly trade event is scheduled to run for five days beginning Sunday, 30 August. This means the long-awaited opening of the World Market Center’s new temporary show space pavilion will be delayed at least until the winter 2021 edition of the Las Vegas Market.
The High Point, North Carolina-based market building specialist will only stage what it described as “showroom-only buying opportunities” at all its August trade events, including the Atlanta Gift & Home Market.
“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,” chief executive officer Bob Maricich said in a statement. “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 also stressed participating permanent showrooms will be appointment-focused during the event and retailer buyers wishing to attend are required to pre-register for one of two sessions: August 30 to September 1; and, September 1 to 3.
IMC also said based on recent tenant surveys, it estimates only 50% of showrooms will open for the market and only about 40% of the traditional retail buyer base will attend.
Currently, about 50 or so Canadian furniture and home furnishings resources have permanent showrooms in the World Market Center. IMC doesn’t release attendance figures so its difficult to estimate how many Canadian big-ticket home goods retailers shop the market.
Both exhibitors and attendees are being encouraged to set appointments to allow for social distancing and effective management of traffic density and flow. IMC will share lists of pre-registered companies with participating showrooms to facilitate scheduling.
IMC also will employ extensive digital resources, such as online exhibitor directories, way-finding apps, and new digital tools 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.”
IMC also has developed 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 market operation protocols.
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