General Merchandise Conference will be a 3-week virtual event

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General Merchandise Conference will be a 3-week virtual event

By Dan Ochwat - 07/14/2020

The General Merchandise Conference and Selfcare Summit, two events that originally co-located and adjusted for a fall show in Atlanta, will now become a three-week virtual event in October.

Both conferences are put on by the retail trade association Global Market Development Center (GMDC)|Retail Tomorrow. As the coronavirus pandemic swept the country, the association had to move its June General Merchandise Conference to the fall, joining the Selfcare Summit, but with the virus still an issue, both shows will now be held online from Oct. 5-23.

The virtual event will be for members only, bringing 80 retail and wholesale companies with 250 supplier companies from across North America to connect and deliver health, beauty, wellness, selfcare and general merchandise needs for consumers.

The association said the virtual events will guide members through the resulting new business landscape, inspire new product assortments and merchandising strategies based on post-COVID shopping trends, and provide resources for navigating the anticipated lasting effects on the industry as they continue to unfold.

GMDC|Retail Tomorrow will host the events on the GMDC*Connect video conferencing platform, including networking meetings, live and recorded learning track sessions, and a program to view products from suppliers.

Buyer’s Choice meetings will occur October 12-23. Retailers, wholesalers and suppliers will utilize a self-scheduling tool to arrange meetings, allowing for a customized conference experience. The extended duration of the conference, combined with new virtual capabilities, will enable more meetings and enhance connectivity among retailers and suppliers.

“As an association born out of industry disruption, GMDC|Retail Tomorrow has delivered industry-first opportunities for the past 50 years, from speed-networking meetings to a virtual meeting platform for members to Mic-Drop quick pitch presentations. Now is a perfect time to leverage this expertise and scale it for the benefit of our members who are seeking new ways to connect,” said Patrick Spear, president & CEO of GMDC|Retail Tomorrow. “While we all work through a changing retail landscape, we look forward to exploring new and innovative solutions for our members to network and enable product discovery as we transition to a virtual format this year.”

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