COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Leading retail industry trade association Global Market Development Center (GMDC)|Retail Tomorrow has announced programming details for its upcoming virtual General Merchandise Conference (GM20) and Selfcare Summit (SS20) events. Announced on the heels of the association’s decision to shift this year’s conferences to a virtual format due to the continued impacts of COVID-19, the virtual events will be hosted on the GMDC*Connect video conferencing platform October 5-23, 2020, to enable strategic connections among the retail industry.
The programs offered to suppliers and service and solution providers during the virtual GM20 and SS20 events will curate a unique opportunity for industry advancement and uncommon collaboration across adjoining industries. The virtual events will facilitate safe and timely meetings, product discovery programs and relevant insights to help attendees grow their businesses as the industry navigates the lasting impacts of COVID-19.
“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 & 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.”
During the three-week period in October, members will benefit from networking meetings; engage in live and recorded learning track sessions focused on general merchandise, selfcare and Retail Tomorrow trends; and the Preview Box program that delivers participating suppliers’ products into the hands of retail and wholesale buyers prior to the events.
Attendees of the members-only virtual events will participate in the cornerstone programs that GMDC|Retail Tomorrow is best known for:
- The Strategic Executive Connection (SEC) Program offers “top-to-top” long-range strategizing opportunities via 45-minute meetings hosted by sellers.
- Virtual SEC meetings will take place October 5-9.
Buyer’s Choice Appointments
- The Buyer’s Choice Program offers discovery and business planning meetings for participating retailer and wholesaler organizations by utilizing an online “Buyer’s Choice Discovery Guide” to identify the sellers with which they wish to meet and to suggest meeting times and durations (15 or 30 minutes). Sellers will subsequently have the option to either accept, modify or deny meeting requests.
- Virtual Buyer’s Choice meetings will take place October 12-23.
- Live and on-demand Learning Tracks will feature a variety of industry experts and relevant insights involving the revolution taking place inside retail, what’s next and how businesses can thrive in the COVID-19 climate.
- The sessions are open to all attendees and will take place throughout the duration of the GM20 and SS20 events.
- This pre-conference program is designed to provide buyers with a sneak-peek into the array of products that suppliers will be featuring during the GM20 and SS20 events. All buyer companies will receive Preview Boxes and all seller companies are invited to participate by submitting to GMDC|Retail Tomorrow the products they wish to include in the Preview Box program. Packed and shipped to retailer and wholesaler participants approximately 10 days prior to the conference, the boxes will enhance discussions at SEC Meetings and Buyer’s Choice Appointments.
- The deadline to sign up for Preview Box is August 28.
Champions of Change
- The annual Champions of Change awards program will virtually recognize recipients from the retailer, wholesaler, supplier, vendor and service provider communities who consistently demonstrate excellence and superior results logged between May 1, 2019 – May 1, 2020.
- The 2020 class of Champions of Change will be revealed in Winsight Grocery Business’s October 2020 print issue, recognizing industry winners in the following categories: Emerging Champions, Legendary Champions and Hometown Heroes.
“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,” continued Spear. “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.”