Since retail buyers can’t make it to Spring High Point Market (which would have officially started tomorrow) due to the pandemic, International Market Centers (IMC) has decided to bring the Market experience to them.

Following High Point Market Authority’s cancellation of the Spring 2020 High Point Market, IMC will be launching a three-week-long online venue that will showcase new products under the name “IMC High Point Virtual Market.” The event includes a new Catalog Connexion sourcing tool, as well as a series of pop-up virtual market events. It can be accessed on a specially designated IMC’s High Point Market website from May 11 to 29. The exact url will be revealed at a later date.

“While we know that we cannot replace the value of physical markets, we also realize there is a real desire and need for the industry to connect virtually right now,” says Bob Maricich, IMC CEO. “We hope this new market will help bridge the gap in the home furnishing industry’s sourcing and shopping calendar by creating a digital experience that provides knowledge, practical business tips, and a platform for sourcing and discovery, as well as a much-needed sense of community.”

The new Catalog Connexion tool is a keyword-searchable catalog library that connects buyers and sellers through product flipbooks. It’s designed as a simple, fast, visual and product-driven system that allows suppliers to leverage their existing catalog assets and enables buyers to source across brands by keyword.  While you cannot purchase products directly off the website, the system provides buyers with one-click sales inquiries and generates leads for suppliers.

“We were delighted to be able to adapt and enhance an existing IMC_di technology to address this immediate need for IMC’s High Point customers,” explains Eric Dean, President of IMC_di. “While we continue to develop our industry-wide state-of-the-art digital solutions, use of this technology is another example of IMC’s commitment to bridging physical and digital markets and connecting buyers and sellers wherever and whenever they choose to transact.”

This virtual “market” will also include IMC’s Market Preview and Market Snapshot programs, an Exhibitor Product Showcase, a trade publication preview, featured TrendWatch products, an Instagram Takeover with industry influencers, and a Virtual Showhouse.

Complete details about the various elements of the IMC High Point Virtual Market will be available in early May.

Additional attendee benefits include blogs, live webinars, pop-up virtual market events, business intelligence sessions, and social media programs.

“The IMC High Point Virtual Market is designed to replicate the tangible and intangible elements that make markets such dynamic and multi-faceted experiences, as best we can. This effort is reflective of IMC’s commitment to ensuring that business-to-business is still person-to-person, even if that person-to-person needs to happen virtually in the near term,” Maricich adds.

While IMC does not own every individual building that comprises High Point Market, it does own/operate a majority of most popular showroom destinations including:

  • International Home Furnishings Center (IHFC)
  • Showplace
  • Historic Market Square
  • Market Square Textile Tower
  • Suites at Market Square
  • Plaza Suites
  • Furniture Plaza
  • National Furniture Mart
  • Hamilton Properties – 200/320/330
    • 200 North Hamilton
    • 320 North Hamilton
    • 330 North Hamilton
    • Hamilton Market
    • 300 South Main Street
    • Commerce & Design (C&D) Building