GMDC|Retail Tomorrow shares programming for upcoming virtual trade shows

David Salazar
Managing Editor
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With its upcoming General Merchandise and Selfcare Summit events taking a virtual approach this year, GMDC|Retail Tomorrow is outlining the details of the programming for both shows. Set to take place Oct. 5-23, the events will be hosted on the GMDC Connect video conferencing platform to enable meetings, product discovery and relevant insights for attendees, the company said. 

“In the midst of the ongoing pandemic, not only has the nature of the retail experience changed, but the nature of how we connect and conduct business has been completely altered as well,” said Patrick Spear, president and CEO of GMDC|Retail Tomorrow. “We've designed our virtual events in a way that is tailored to our members’ ongoing and pressing needs, ensuring we are providing our retail and supplier ecosystem with an experience they cannot get anywhere else. Attendees at both GM20 and SS20 will encounter opportunities to develop and enhance connections and deepen their insights to get a clearer glimpse into what the future of retail will look like in the new COVID-19 climate.”

The Colorado Springs, Colo.-based trade group will be offering attendees of both shows access to networking meetings, live and recording learning track sessions on current retailing trends, and the Preview Box program to bring suppliers’ products into the hands of buyers ahead of the events. 

The Strategic Executive Connection program, set for Oct. 5 -9 will offer top-to-top 45-minute meetings hosted by sellers. From Oct. 12-23, the Buyer’s Choice appointments will be held, offering discovery and business planning meetings for retailer and wholesalers, who will have access to an online Buyer’s Choice Discovery Guide to identify sellers to meet with and optional durations of 15 and 30 minutes. Sellers invited to meetings can accept, modify or deny meeting requests. Learning Tracks will take place throughout both the General Merchandise and Selfcare Summit events and will be open to all attendees. 

New this year is the pre-conference Preview Box, which will offer buyers a sneak peek at products suppliers will feature during the events. All buyer companies will receive Preview Boxes, which will be packed and shipped to retailer and wholesaler attendees roughly 10 days before the conference. The deadline for the Preview Box signup is Aug. 28. 

GMDC|Retail Tomorrow is bringing its annual Champions of Change awards program virtual this year, recognizing retailer, wholesaler, supplier, vendor and service providers who demonstrate excellence and superior results. 

“The GM20 and SS20 events are truly one of a kind in our industry, and while they might look a little different this year, they will still deliver the same world-class content and benefits for our members,” Spear said. “Despite the challenges we’ve been pushed to overcome this year, we are grateful that we are able to forge ahead to enable the strategic, continuity and discovery meetings our members anticipate each year. As we look forward to our virtual GM20 and SS20 events, we hope you’ll join us for heightened exposure to emerging and current transformative trends in the retail industry.”