HIGH POINT — International Market Centers (IMC) Chief Customer and Marketing Officer, Dorothy Belshaw, accepted the 2021 Outstanding Show Pro Award Dec. 2 at the annual Trade Show News Network (TSNN) gala event. The award honored Belshaw for leading creation of IMC’s Together Safely COVID protocols, which were developed by combining extensive customer research with local and state guidelines and input from a top epidemiologist.
“Dorothy initiated and drove the research process that provided not only a deep understanding of customer needs during and after the pandemic, but also identification of implicit fears about returning to markets and mitigants that would be necessary to safely and successfully reunite the industry at our events,” said Bob Maricich, IMC CEO. “Dorothy’s recognition as a TSNN Outstanding Show Pro is well deserved, and I’m confident her talents will continue to benefit our industry moving forward.”
With Belshaw’s guidance, IMC and Stax – an experienced global strategy consulting firm – collaborated throughout 2020 to survey 180,000+ retailers and designers who had attended IMC’s markets in Atlanta, High Point and Las Vegas along with 6,000+ IMC tenants and exhibitors. The research had four broad goals: assess the current retail climate for business operations, sourcing and consumer sales; understand how IMC and its vendors can best support the retail community; inform market planning through 2020 understanding safety concerns and travel sentiment; and explore utility of digital tools for sourcing and selling. The survey found that physical markets are critical for retailers across all categories. These findings were foundational as IMC worked to quickly develop and communicate Together Safely, protocols which have enabled IMC to successfully host 25 markets with more than 100,000 combined attendees since March 2020.
Belshaw is a 30+-year veteran of the trade show industry. She has served as IMC’s Executive Vice President, Chief Customer & Marketing Officer since 2020, a role in which she oversees all aspects of IMC’s end-to-end customer experience, driving increased buyer acquisition across all Markets, and developing digital tools and services to improve the at Market experience for buyers and tenants.
Belshaw joined IMC in 2012 as President of its fledgling Gift division, with the specific charge of expanding the Las Vegas Market’s gift, tabletop and housewares offerings. Her role soon broadened across IMC’s Las Vegas and High Point campuses to include marking and digital oversight, with responsibility for brand strategy and business development; digital services; marketing services; and public relations and corporate communications. In 2018, as a member of IMC’s executive leadership team, she helped facilitate IMC’s acquisition and integration of AmericasMart Atlanta, which included the Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market. In 2020, she championed the launch of IMC’s new Digital Innovations division – now known as Juniper – which will bridge IMC’s physical and digital markets, positioning IMC as the only omnichannel sales and marketing platform for the gift, home and apparel industries.
The TSNN Awards, which have been celebrating excellence and innovation among the trade show community for 11 years, introduced the Outstanding Show Pro award in 2021 to honor the people behind the scenes. Along with Belshaw, seven other Outstanding Show Pros received this award during its inaugural year. For more information on the TSNN Awards, visit www.t-awards.com.
IMC will present 26 buying events in 2022 across its three campuses: AmericasMart Atlanta, High Point North Carolina and World Market Center Las Vegas. All of its properties will employ the Together Safely protocols, which continue to be updated based on current state and local mandates, and CDC guidance. For information, visit www.togethersafely.com.