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Atlanta's in-person September show still on

VOW | New World of Bridal still plans to host an in-person market September 15-17, 2020 at AmericasMart in Atlanta, albeit with several changes.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, IMC is expecting reduced resources from those it typically presents at market. The focus will be on buying, in showrooms with limited temporaries. All educational programming will be presented online; in-person fashion shows will be replaced with digital look books; and extensive safety protocols will be in place.

The decision to host an in-person market is based on extensive research and communication with buyers and suppliers,” says Bob Maricich, IMC CEO. “IMC surveyed 180,000+ buyers and exhibitors to understand inventory levels, business needs and sentiment about attending markets. Our community indicated that in-person markets are key to their success and that they would feel more comfortable attending markets as the year went on as long as proper safety precautions and mitigants were in place. Repeated surveys confirmed that notion.”

The showroom focus of the market will allow the buying experience to be better controlled, Maricich says. As IMC owns the facility, it can dictate protocols for cleaning, attendance capacities and social distancing.

VOW | New World of Bridal will follow IMC’s Together Safely protocols, which include social distancing, temperature screening, contactless registration, enhanced cleaning, capacity limits and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). 

“We are anticipating about 40% of our typical audience will attend,” Maricich says. “We expect the attendees to be very regionally-based, with heavy drive-in traffic. While there may be less retailers at the market, those that attend will be here to buy.”

Numerous major companies, including Mon Cheri, Casablanca Bridal, Allure Bridals and Morilee, will be showcasing. In addition to bridal looks, many exhibitors also plan to show social occasion, prom, pageant and quinceañera styles. Buyers can expect designers to show new introductions and best sellers. Pre-registration is required to manage traffic flow, and through new search tools on, buyers can search brands that are open for market and online-only.

In the future, as things return to normal, IMC’s new digital innovation division, IMC_di, will continue its efforts to bridge the physical and digital market experience. With a suite of new digital tools launching now through 2022, it will enable discovery and commerce 24/7/365 for bridal retailers and designers. 

“Our platform will create a seamless buying experience both at-market and between,” Maricich says. “Our ultimate goal is not to replace the physical markets but augment them by creating an omni-channel experience for buyers and sellers.”



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