Please note these FAQ's are being updated regularly.
Q: What is happening with the 2020 General Merchandise Conference?
A: The 2020 General Merchandise Conference is being rescheduled and co-located with the GMDC Selfcare Summit Conference from September 30th through October 4th.
Q: Why is GMDC|Retail Tomorrow postponing its GM Conference?
A: Based on the widespread impacts of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, our top priority is ensuring the health, safety and well-being of our attendees, while adhering to government mandates and travel bans.
Adapting to the impacts of this coronavirus, GMDC|Retail Tomorrow is embracing the opportunity to create an event that will be positioned to help guide members, retailers and suppliers through the new business landscape. With many of the ripple effects of COVID-19 still unknown, the fall GM Conference has been timed to provide resources for navigating the industry’s anticipated lasting impacts as they unfold.
Q: Why will the GM Conference and Selfcare Summit be co-located this year? Does this mean the two conferences will be combined?
A: Given the need to shift the timing of the GM Conference due to COVID-19, GMDC|Retail Tomorrow will co-locate the GM Conference with its regularly scheduled Selfcare Summit. While the two events will be co-located, they will not be combined — registration and programming will remain separate from each other.
Q: Has the conference agenda changed?
A: All components of the GM Conference will remain the same, but the dates and times of meetings, programs, and events have changed. View agenda here.
Q: Has the pre-conference preparation and pre-conference schedule changed?
A: The pre-conference preparation dates and times have changed to reflect the new conference dates. View pre-conference deadlines here.
Q: Is there anything changing at the GM Conference as a result of the new dates?
A: Components of the meetings will remain the same, however, the dates and times of meetings, programs and events have changed. View agenda here.
In addition, the Strategic Executive Connection (SEC) meeting times have been expanded, and the SEC meetings will be self-scheduled to allow for mutual meeting schedules, a joint agenda setting, and additional private strategy meeting opportunities.
Q: Will attendees receive refunds if they are unable to attend the co-located conferences later this year?
A: If a given registrant is unable to attend the conference during the new dates and his or her company has paid its 2020 annual membership dues, that individual’s registration fee will be applied as credit toward the 2021 conference.
Q: Will this be the new date for the GM Conference in 2021? Will this be the format of GMDC|Retail Tomorrow’s conferences moving forward?
A: Given the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, the plan this year is to schedule GM20 and Selfcare Summit as co-located events in Atlanta this fall. GMDC|Retail Tomorrow is always looking for ways to innovate upon its conferencing format and will keep the industry informed of any changes in coming years.
Q: With the disruption brought on by COVID-19 in mind, why should members spend budget and time attending GM20 during such an uncertain time in business?
A: The COVID-19 outbreak has forced the postponement of many other industry events and the ability to maintain business continuity in early 2020 has been upended. Rather than canceling, shifting to a co-located events format will empower members to seize an opportunity later this year to make up for lost business opportunities and prepare for the industry’s evolving future.