#2: The New Abnormal

Please welcome  Robert Maricich, CEO of International Market Centers (IMC) to The Paper Fold. Bob, as he prefers, is widely recognized as one of the home furnishings industry’s most Innovative leaders — he founded and built IMC into an exhibition space powerhouse with more than 20 million square feet of world-class B2B exhibition space. Its campuses include both AmericasMart Atlanta and World Market Center Las Vegas, markets vital to the stationery and gift industries.

When coronavirus halted everything, IMC surveyed 180,000 retailers to gage their needs. With guidance from health and elected officials as well as a top epidemiologist, IMC opened the AmericasMart campus June 8, and the World Market Center Las Vegas June 15. Everything is governed by IMC’s Together Safely Master Plan, which details procedures for registration, sanitization, temperature monitoring, traffic and occupancy control, seminars, masks, etc. This is a four-phase reopening, however, and the plan is a living document, meaning it may change in our current fluid, unknowable climate.

Understandably, it’ll be a new market experience, and while IMC has been incredibly transparent throughout the process, it’s a lot of information to process, so I was really lucky to get Bob’s perspective on the ongoing challenges IMC is facing — as well as envision a visit to AmericasMart’s Summer Market, which runs August 13-August 18, or Summer Market at World Market Center Las Vegas, which runs Aug. 30-Sept. 3). And if you are a current exhibitor, there’s a special offer (read: free) in the ShopZio B2B Marketplace. Tune in for details!

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