International Market Centers (IMC) is expanding its Buyer Services Team by focusing new and existing staff with expertise in four primary market categories – gift, home decor, furniture and apparel – and launching a new, in-house outbound Call Center in Atlanta to directly service more buyers each market cycle.
“We are leveraging our learnings and successes in growing Las Vegas Market over the last eight years to develop a specialized team to nurture our valuable buyer relationships,” said Karen Olson, Senior Vice President, Marketing for IMC. “The knowledge and expertise of the team we have developed provides a personalized service to our buyers that is unmatched in the industries we serve.”
Buyer Services Staff Expands
IMC’s Buyer Services Team now features category specialists tasked with supporting key and national accounts across primary product categories to strategically grow market attendance. They work across IMC’s campuses, providing one-on-one contact with buyers and serving as IMC’s liaisons to nearly 100 regional, national and international buying groups and associations. The team is:
- Vice President of Buyer Services, Cindy Henry whose expertise derives from years of experience as an exhibitor, volunteer service on the industry boards of the Gift & Home Trade Association (GHTA) and the Gift Sales Manager Assn. (GSMA), and extensive vendor, retailer and sales representative relationships.
- Director of Buyer Services, Sarah Hilton who manages buying group and association events for all apparel, social occasion and home and gift markets as well as gift key accounts in Atlanta and Las Vegas.
- National Accounts Manager for Apparel, Michelle Harrison who brings more than 30 years of apparel experience – including owning a showroom with more than 30 collections – to her management of apparel, bridal and social occasion key accounts in Atlanta.
- Key Accounts Manager for Furniture, Leigh Chastain who has been with IMC since inception as the buyer liaison for the Top 100 and Beyond Furniture Retailers and furniture buying groups in High Point and Las Vegas.
- Key Accounts Manager for Home Decor, Logan Avidon who joined the team in June and will support the markets in Atlanta, Las Vegas and High Point.
- Design Services Manager, Tasha Norland who engages with the design community in the Atlanta market. She also serves on the board of the Atlanta chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), as well as the board of ADAC.
- Retail Services Manager, Marisa Walker who manages exhibitor partnership programs, new booking initiatives, buyer amenities and buyer incentives in Atlanta.
Atlanta In-House Call Center Launches
The opening of a new Atlanta-based in-house Call Center builds upon the success of IMC’s existing Call Center operations in Las Vegas, which has grown market attendance by more than 50 percent since its inception eight years ago.
“The Call Center activity supplements the more targeted, high-touch outreach from the Buyer Services Team,” added Olson. “This will create increased bandwidth for IMC to directly reach more buyers each market cycle, and to drive attendance growth for all IMC Markets going forward.”
Five Atlanta-based full-time call center representatives are dedicated to buyer outreach for IMC’s major gift and home décor markets, six apparel markets and open-year-round design center in AmericasMart Atlanta. They will provide one-on-one contact with key retailers and designers to identify their market needs and product preferences.