From IMC to ANDMORE: Blackstone-Owned Venue Operator and Event Producer Rebrands
International Market Centers (IMC) — the Blackstone company that owns and operates more than 20 million square feet of event and showroom space and produces live events in Atlanta, High Point, N.C., Las Vegas and New York City — has rebranded as ANDMORE as part of the company’s vision to transform into an omnichannel wholesale marketmaker.
With more than $991 billion of assets under management, Blackstone touts itself as the world’s largest alternative asset managers with 12,000 real estate assets and more than 230 portfolio companies, including Cvent, which was acquired for $4.6 billion in March.
During an online press conference on June 13, ANDMORE CEO Bob Maricich said, “New buyers say their No. 1 pain point is discovery. Solving that challenge is job No. 1. We are going to make that easier.”
To that end, the first product introduction under the ANDMORE name is a new buyer mobile app, which launches in preparation for the summer markets in Atlanta and Las Vegas. The @Market app includes pre-market planning tools, a personal QR code for quick badge pick-up, the ability to capture and organize images with notes, turn-by-turn directions to help buyers make the most of their time at market and a comprehensive, post-market recap for easy follow-up and ordering.
“We are seeing a generational shift with more new buyers and increased cross-shopping opportunities,” Maricich added.
First-time buyers range from 20-35% across its portfolio, explained ANDMORE CMO Karen Olson.
“Our customers are omnichannel – they don’t distinguish between physical and digital, so we need to be omnichannel,” said Dorothy Belshaw, who has also been with the company since it was formed and was recently promoted to executive vice president, chief growth officer.
Founded in 2011, IMC represented an investment of $1 billion with partners Bain Capital and Oaktree Capital Management to unite iconic showroom assets in High Point, N.C., and Las Vegas, and Maricich has led the company since its inception. Over the years, it’s grown significantly through acquisitions and new construction with additional space.
In 2017, IMC was acquired by one of the largest investment firms in the world: Blackstone. A year later, IMC purchased AmericasMart in Atlanta. In 2019, Juniper, a digital marketplace with e-commerce sales tools, was founded with the acquisition of two technology companies and subsequent aggressive investments. During the COVID-19 pandemic, IMC was one of the first trade show producers to host an in-person event with safety protocols in place.
Belshaw received the Outstanding Show Pro Award from TSNN in 2021 for leading the creation of IMC’s Together Safely COVID-19 protocols, which were developed by combining extensive customer research with local and state guidelines and input from a top epidemiologist.
In 2021, IMC expanded with the opening of The Expo at World Market Center, which offers 315,000 square feet of space. In 2022, it expanded its portfolio of properties in the home, gift and apparel sectors with its purchase of Shoppe Object, a trade show held biannually in New York.
New Name, New Vision
Following a year-long initiative to redefine the company’s vision, the company leaders announced their plan to align all channels under a single brand experience and offer more ways to seamlessly connect wholesale buyers and sellers through physical and digital platforms.
"Today marks an important milestone as we embark on a new era for our company," Maricich said. "ANDMORE captures our spirit of innovation and focus on doing more to support our customers by enhancing and extending the value of our physical markets for both buyers and sellers across the furniture, home décor, gift and apparel industries.”
He continued, “ANDMORE is more than a name or a brand. It is both a promise and a challenge that gives us the space and flexibility to continue to find new ways to provide exceptional value to our partners and customers.”
Branding for the events and venues will stay the same.
Watch the ANDMORE brand reveal video.