International Market Centers (IMC) is anticipating a return to pre-pandemic attendance levels at its upcoming Spring Market, March 1 to 5 at AmericasMart® Atlanta. The market hit a new milestone in IMC’s post-COVID-19 recovery with more than 90,000 attendees safely served, and 13 markets presented across its Atlanta, High Point, and Las Vegas campuses during the pandemic.

“It’s incredibly poignant to mark one year of adapted markets with a return to better than pre-pandemic levels of traffic,” says 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, surpassing 2020 attendance levels on the market’s official opening day and exceeding its total 2019 attendance by closing. The 2021 Spring Market drew attendees from across the U.S., the majority of which came 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,” says 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.”

Leaders in AmericasMart’s gift sales agencies also reported robust order writing and an increased comfort in returning to market.

Andy Bjork, VP and Chief Sales Officer of Ivystone, notes, “Most buyers came off a strong Christmas and they’re coming back to market to buy.”

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 favorite products, displays, and moments on Instagram as a reference for buyers as #AmericasMartAmbassadors.

Spring Market also accelerated excitement 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 brings the total marketplace pre-registrations to nearly 10,000.

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.

The next Atlanta Market is Tuesday, July 13 to Monday, July 19 (temporaries Wednesday, July 14 to Sunday, July 18).