How IMC will support the outdoor category with Casual Market Atlanta

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 and opens July 10-13, 2023 at AmericasMart.

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

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

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

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

Showrooms are open year-round as part of AmericasMart’s Open Year Round offering. On weekdays, AmericasMart presents some 130 home decor showrooms, plus amenities such as educational opportunities and events, designer concierge services, a resource library, tours and free valet parking. Brands will also be featured at the mid-season Spring Market in March and the Fall Market in September with additional resources for showroom, education and events.

IMC will fully support the category as a key purchasing destination in Atlanta. Attendees see casual/outdoor in our advertising, email communications, PR, seminars, and events, as well as integrated into our 1:1 communications with buyers. Promotion of the category began at Atlanta Market in July with on-site signage in Building 1, raising awareness and anticipating launch in 2023.

IMC will support Casual Market Atlanta through an extensive, dedicated marketing campaign, including the introduction of a new Casual Market Atlanta logo. Next up is a new website operated by ICFA – CasualMarketAtlanta.com – which will be launched this fall.

How will the temporary exhibitors for the Casual Market in July be integrated into the general IMC market activities?

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

Casual Market overlaps with Atlanta Market, which will run from July 11-17, 2023 at AmericasMart Atlanta. The general feeling will be two co-located shows, or a ‘market within a market’. As an added benefit to buyers and suppliers, the casual showrooms will remain open for the duration of Atlanta Market.

One combined market badge gives Casual Market Atlanta buyers access to Atlanta Market’s more than 8,000 gift and private labels. This cross-shopping is a great value added to the Casual Market buying experience and…will introduce thousands of potential new buyers, both retailers and interior designers.

Casual Market Atlanta will feature industry special events such as ICFA’s retailer-focused 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 reserved hotel rooms for visitors to Casual Market Atlanta, as demand for hotels can be high during Atlanta Market.

How do you expect casual retailer visitors to differ in January and July?

Casual Market Atlanta will be the outdoor industry’s biggest national show this July, showcasing every aspect of the retail, commercial and residential design trade. As such, we expect that market to be the main draw for the specialty shops that traditionally frequented the September market.

January marks the opening of the permanent showrooms and their addition to the overall Atlanta Market experience, which will attract both current category buyers and potential buyers buying gifts and homes. January is a major show for the residential design community placing orders for immediate spring deliveries.

In addition, the new Outdoor Design Week in September, which will start in 2023, offers sourcing and education.

Most showrooms will also be open daily to meet the needs of buyers and designers.

How are the casual showrooms and casual temporary exhibitors supported online?

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

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