ATLANTA / LAS VEGAS — Leaders from 11 major trade associations and buying groups recently gathered virtually with International Market Centers’ Buying Services team in a series of leadership summits, setting key objectives for 2021.

Leaders from the industry partner organizations identified three main objectives for the coming year: enhancing their value propositions, expanding discovery and learning opportunities for members and maximizing vendor relationships.

Participating organizations included American Specialty Toy Retailing Assn.; CRAFT Retailers and Artists for Tomorrow; MAI Retailers; Museum Store Assn.; National Alliance of Floral Associations; Spa Industry Assn.; Zoo, Aquarium and Garden Buyers Group; and more.

“Through partnerships forged over many years with these trade organizations, we have developed relationships that are open and honest about the current status and future direction of our businesses,” said Dorothy Belshaw, chief customer and marketing officer.

The Buyer Services team, led by Cindy Henry, is working with organizations to create compelling and exclusive experiences that add value for members. While traditional gatherings, such as at-market events, are disrupted, IMC is offering hybrid virtual events/in-person buying models, meeting rooms set with social distancing measures and staggered times for group sourcing on the floors. Additionally, its digital product discovery tools are helping group leaders identify new vendors that are a match for their members.

“The leadership summits enable us to connect with all of our industry partners and to facilitate helpful connections between organizations,” said Belshaw. “Now more than ever, we are committed to listening, learning and adapting our offerings to meet the needs of these important voices in our industry.”

More than 60 gift and home decor buying groups and trade associations are involved with IMC’s markets in Atlanta and Las Vegas each year. Programming ranges from group visits to market, to member meetings, to multi-day conferences and vendor presentations. For a sampling of industry partners visit AtlantaMarket.com/Market-Info/Industry-Partners and LasVegasMarket.com/Market-Info/Industry-Partners.

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