International Market Centers 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— on supporting retailer representatives at its trade shows.
The buyer services team now features category specialists supporting key and national accounts to strategically grow market attendance. They will work across IMC’s campuses, providing one-on-one contact with buyers and serving as liaisons to nearly 100 regional, national and international buying groups and associations. The team now includes:
- Cindy Henry, vp/buyer services, who has experience as an exhibitor and on the Gift & Home Trade Association and Gift Sales Manager Association boards, as well as vendor, retailer and sales representative relationships.
- Sarah Hilton, director of buyer services, who manages buying group and association events for IMC’s apparel, social occasion and home and gift markets as well as gift key accounts in Atlanta and Las Vegas.
- Michelle Harrison, national accounts manager for apparel, who brings more than 30 years of apparel experience, including owning a showroom with more than 30 collections, to her management of Atlanta apparel, bridal and social occasion key accounts.
- Leigh Chastain, furniture key accounts manager, who has been with IMC as the buyer liaison for the Top 100 and Beyond Furniture Retailers and furniture buying groups in High Point and Las Vegas.
- Logan Avidon, home decor key accounts manager, who joined the team in June and will support the markets in Atlanta, Las Vegas and High Point.
- Tasha Norland, design services manager, who engages with the design community in the Atlanta market and serves on the board of the Atlanta chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers as well as the ADAC board.
- Marisa Walker, retail services manager, who oversees Atlanta exhibitor partnership programs, new booking initiatives, buyer amenities and buyer incentives.
“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, IMC svp/marketing. “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.”
In a related move, the company is launching a new, in-house outbound call center in Atlanta to directly service more buyers through each market cycle. Five full-time Atlanta-based call center representatives will conduct buyer outreach operations for IMC’s major gift and home décor markets, six apparel markets and open-year-round design center in AmericasMart Atlanta.