US-based International Market Centers (IMC) has reported positive market momentum with a return to pre-pandemic attendance levels at its Spring Market, 1-5 March 2021 at the AmericasMart® Atlanta venue. The event hosted 90,000 attendees safely with 13 markets now presented across its Atlanta, High Point and Las Vegas campuses during the pandemic.
The Spring Market gift and home décor buying events have shown that in the southeastern parts of the US, at least, there appears to be a recovery in tradeshow live attendance.
“It’s incredibly poignant to mark one year of adapted markets with a return to better than pre-pandemic levels of traffic,” said Bob Maricich, IMC CEO. “The Spring Market in Atlanta is a benchmark in two ways: it shows us how far we have come and indicates the increased necessity of smaller shoulder markets as an important complement to the larger winter and summer markets during recovery and beyond.”
Spring Market posted a 7% gain in attendance over its 2019 staging and 34% over its 2020 staging, which was held as the impact of Covid-19 was just beginning in the United States. The addition of two preview days accelerated attendance growth, with the majority of attendees coming from the Southeast.
Most of AmericasMart’s 1,000+ home and gift showrooms were open for Spring Market. Across categories, corporate showrooms and sales agencies reported healthy orders from designers and retailers, many of whom had neither shopped AmericasMart during the pandemic nor had traditionally attended the mid-season event.
In home décor, the continued disruption to design buying events and opportunities led retailers and designers to explore Spring Market as an alternative sourcing opportunity.
“We’ve seen a hunger for new product this market,” said Katrena Griggs, principal of Curated Home Brands and showroom manager for Global Views. “We saw buyers from all regions – not just the Southeast – and they are assessing which markets to attend as more options are becoming available. We are happy they see the Atlanta Spring Market as a viable show.”
“Spring Market – the first market we attended in over a year. We came, we saw, we bought!” designer Nellie Howard Ossi of Jacksonville, Florida, posted on Instagram.
To keep the focus on buying and in concert with attendee preferences, IMC staged its March programming and trend identification virtually prior to market.
At-market, four tastemakers – designers Michel Smith Boyd, Haneen Matt and Kevin O’Gara and influencer Pamelyn Rocco of House of Bashery – shared their favourite products, displays and moments on Instagram as a reference for buyers as #AmericasMartAmbassadors.
Spring Market also built expectations for the Summer 2021 launch of JuniperMarket, a new B2B ecommerce marketplace powered by IMC. The combination of pre-market sign-ups via badge registration with the at-Market Juniper Preview Pod immersive experience brought the total marketplace pre-registrations to nearly 10,000, organisers said.
Spring Market followed IMC’s Together Safely protocols with on-campus safety procedures including the required use of PPE, temporal checks, capacity limits and social distancing measures.
IMC's next market at AmericasMart is Spring Cash & Carry (4–6 May, 2021) and the next Atlanta Market is 13 July.
Atlanta Market is a gift, décor and lifestyle market, held semi-annually at AmericasMart Atlanta. Housing the nation’s largest gift product mix complemented by a broad selection of home décor, it features more than 8,000 brands across all categories.