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How IMC is going to support outdoor category with Casual Market Atlanta

September 12, 2022 | Author: Erica Crawford | Furniture Today

HIGH POINT — A market within a market is coming to the outdoor furniture industry next year as the Casual Market moves from its Chicago home to Atlanta, opening at AmericasMart on July 10-13, 2023.

In this exclusive interview with Furniture Today, International Market Centers Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer Scott Eckman talked about what casual buyers can expect.

Now that Atlanta is the new home for casual/outdoor showrooms, how is IMC going to support the category and permanent exhibitors?

In addition to hosting the new Casual Market Atlanta each July at AmericasMart Atlanta, with its 40-plus showrooms and 90-plus temporary exhibits, casual/outdoor will be a key category for IMC year-round in Atlanta.

The casual/outdoor showrooms join the more than 1,000 permanent gift and home furnishings showrooms and 1,100 gift and home furnishings temporary exhibits of Atlanta Market, held in January and July each year.

Showrooms will be open throughout the year as part of AmericasMart’s Open Year Round offerings. On weekdays, AmericasMart presents some 130 home décor showrooms, plus amenities including educational opportunities and events, designer concierge services, a resource library, guided tours and complimentary valet parking. Brands also will be featured at the midseason spring market in March and fall market in September that feature additional showroom resources, education and events.

IMC is set to fully support the category as a key buying destination in Atlanta. Attendees will see casual/outdoor in our advertising, email communications, PR, seminars and events, as well as integrated into our 1:1 communication with buyers. Promotion of the category began in July during Atlanta Market with onsite signage in Building 1, creating awareness and building anticipation for the 2023 launch.

IMC will support Casual Market Atlanta through a comprehensive dedicated marketing campaign, including introduction of a new Casual Market Atlanta logo. Next up is a new website managed by ICFA — CasualMarketAtlanta.com — launching this fall.

For the Casual Market in July, how will the temp exhibitors be integrated into overall IMC market activities?

With the move to Atlanta, Casual Market is shifting from its historic September timeframe to July. For its first staging in 2023, Casual Market Atlanta will open July 10-13, 2023. The market will feature some 43 purpose-built showrooms on four contiguous floors (AmericasMart Building 1, Floors 2-5) with the temporary exhibits just above in Building 1, Floor 7.

Casual Market will overlap with Atlanta Market, which runs July 11-17, 2023, at AmericasMart Atlanta. The overall feel will be two co-located shows, or a “market within a market.” As an added benefit for buyers and suppliers, the casual showrooms will remain open for the duration of Atlanta Market.

One combined market badge will give Casual Market Atlanta buyers access to Atlanta Market’s 8,000-plus gift and home brands. This cross-shopping is a major added value for the Casual Market buying experience and … will provide exposure to thousands of potential new buyers, both retailers and interior designers.

Casual Market Atlanta will feature special events for the industry like ICFA’s retailer-oriented seminar, trend presentation, industry networking and social events as well as the annual ICFA Gala and awards program. IMC’s official housing partner OnPeak has set aside hotel room blocks for the Casual Market Atlanta attendees as hotel demand can be high during Atlanta Market.

How do you anticipate the casual retailer attendees to differ in January vs. July?

Casual Market Atlanta in July will be THE outdoor living industry’s major national show drawing every aspect of retail as well as the commercial and residential design trade. As such, we expect that market to be the larger draw for the specialty retailers who traditionally attended the September market.

January marks the opening of the permanent showrooms and their addition to the overall Atlanta Market experience, which will draw both current category buyers and prospective buyers who are sourcing gift and home. January is an important show for the residential design community placing orders for immediate spring deliveries.

Additionally, the new Outdoor Design Week in September launching in 2023 will offer sourcing and education.

The majority of showrooms also will be open daily to serve the needs of buyers and designers.

How will the casual showrooms and casual temp exhibitors be supported online?

The new CasualMarketAtlanta.com will launch this fall and provide information about market. Additionally, content and information on the category will be on the AtlantaMarket.com and AmericasMart.com websites.

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