Leading retail industry trade associations Global Market Development Center (GMDC)|Retail Tomorrow and International Housewares Association (IHA) have partnered to facilitate GMDC|Retail Tomorrow’s 2021 Fall Strategic Meetings, a three-week series of virtual events tailored for top retail and wholesale companies, and their supplier and service companies, to participate in collaborative trading partner sessions.
Following the associations’ joint event in the spring, the fall strategic meetings will take place from September 28 – October 15 to continue promoting connectivity across retail associations, accelerate long-term business growth, and identify, prioritize, and address new business opportunities in the industry. Focused on selfcare, general merchandise, and housewares, event attendees, including both GMDC|Retail Tomorrow and IHA members will have the opportunity to collaborate with members from each association and discuss the industry’s most pressing issues within these categories as they relate to merchandising, marketing, ecommerce, consumer and shopper insights, omnichannel agility, sales trends, and strategies.
“Through more frequent, category-specific events this year, GMDC|Retail Tomorrow continues to identify opportunities for more meaningful connections among existing industry partners and the discovery of new and unexpected partnerships,” Patrick Spear, president & CEO of GMDC|Retail Tomorrow, said. “We have seen the selfcare, general merchandise and housewares landscape evolve at a rapid pace throughout the past year, and as this trajectory continues, this event series is an opportunity to address these changes and prepare for more as we approach the latter half of 2021.”
The timing of the event series offers retail partners the opportunity to build on their current plans and make thoughtful adjustments for 2022. The goal is to reimagine the way in which retail trade members conduct and grow their businesses beyond the pandemic, and innovate for the future. In an effort to provide attendees with the most flexible virtual event format, meetings are specifically curated to support both retailer and supplier needs, and the fall meetings will be segmented across selfcare, general merchandise, and housewares categories throughout the three-week period:
- September 28 – October 1: Session 1 – Selfcare Categories
- October 5 – 8: Session 2 – General Merchandise Categories
- October 12 – 15: Session 3 – Housewares Categories
“IHA’s mission is to bring buyers and sellers together regardless of format, and we are excited to work again with GMDC|Retail Tomorrow to connect our supplier members with their buyer members during this virtual event,” Derek Miller, IHA president, said. “Non-foods is an important and profitable category for grocery retailers, and until the industry gathers again in-person next March at The Inspired Home Show, this type of opportunity delivers the kind of new product and supplier discovery that retailers are craving.”
Designed much like the successful joint spring event with IHA, the agenda provides attendees the opportunity to schedule strategic meetings of their choice with the opportunity to take part in 45-minute meetings via the GMDC*Connect video conferencing platform (powered by Zoom), scheduled at the top of every hour from 10 am-5:45 pm ET. The meetings will be mutually matched, with GMDC|Retail Tomorrow building all meeting schedules to accommodate participants’ schedules and availability.
Buyers will indicate their interest in meeting with specific sellers by way of a ranking system to express high interest/some interest/low interest/no interest, while sellers will indicate their interest in any meetings with buyers with a yes/no qualification. Participating companies are not limited in the number of colleagues they are able to bring to each meeting. There is also no registration fee for the event. Participating suppliers will be invoiced for each meeting scheduled and accepted during the event, but will also have the opportunity to register for all virtual events and meetings that will take place during the three-week period.
Growth Moving Forward
“As doors begin to reopen and our business climate evolves, we want to continue to create a seamless and accessible event for all, one that provides convenience and collaboration,” added Spear. “Our spring event with IHA delivered a new kind of product and supplier discovery, and at the fall event, we look forward to ushering our attendees into a new era of retail with fresh perspectives on how to do business.”
The event registration deadline for the selfcare and general merchandise categories is August 6, and the deadline for housewares categories is August 20. For more information and to register for the GMDC|Retail Tomorrow and IHA’s Fall Strategic Meetings, please visit: gmdc.org/virtual-event-fall.