NEW YORK — The Private Label Manufacturers Association has announced plans for a newly imagined, online private label trade show called PLMA Global. The event, which will provide a virtual venue for the exhibitors and buyers from the organization’s in-person Chicago and Amsterdam events, will take place from March 28 to 31, 2022. Exhibitors can sign up now by calling 1+212 972-3131 or e-mailing email@example.com.
“The disruptive effects of the pandemic on retailing and the store brands industry continue. Foremost among today’s challenges is the reliable flow of products from source to shelf,” explains PLMA President Peggy Davies.
PLMA Global can mitigate supply chain issues by providing a convenient, secure, and information-rich platform where retailers from the U.S. and Canada, Europe and Asia can engage with current, former and prospective private label suppliers and collectively develop optimum ways to move products by evaluating their respective capabilities and, if necessary, diversifying and reconfiguring their relationships. Quality, innovation, and the cost of goods will always be attributes that retailers prize in their partners, but right now product availability, continuity and on-time delivery are at the top of the list.
“The platform will support the connection between PLMA member-exhibitors and store brand buyers representing leading supermarkets, drug chains, mass merchandisers, supercenters, specialty retailers, dollar stores, club stores, convenience stores and other formats,” said Davies. “We believe that during the last four days of March, our platform will become the digital hub of the retailer brands industry.”
PLMA Global will support real-time conversations and meetings, with features like one-on-one or group video calls, product demos, screen sharing, messaging, downloadable documents, and videos, and more.
Efficient appointment scheduling is the most important feature of the virtual event, says the association. PLMA Global’s format allows buyers to join the platform as it fits their schedule and time zone. Buyers can request video call appointments from exhibitors even before the show opens. Calls can be one-on-one, but they can also be group calls involving multiple participants representing store brand suppliers as well as retail chains.
Video conferencing platform Jitsi Meet provides tools commonly used in today’s virtual business, including screen sharing and virtual backgrounds. When a buyer requests a video appointment, an instant e-mail notification with a direct login link goes out to the exhibitor. Once the date and time are confirmed, a meeting link is sent to all parties.
A preliminary list of registered buyers and visitors will be sent to exhibitors about two weeks prior to the event. At its conclusion, exhibitors will receive an updated list of all the buyers and visitors who registered.
Buyers and visitors can peruse categories they are accustomed to seeing at PLMA’s in-person shows, from food, snacks and beverages to health and beauty, household and kitchenware.
PLMA Global’s search functionality allows visitors to find suppliers by company name, category, description or trend, by country, continent, or by any combination of the above. It will also be possible to search for products using the photo gallery view.
Exhibitors receive one entire webpage on the platform and will be able to display images of their featured products along with detailed descriptions. Additional company and product information can be shared through downloadable documents or promotional videos, including keywords. Exhibitors can list up to five representatives for buyers to contact. Exhibitor personnel who are logged in will display as “online” and can be contacted directly by buyers. Offline personnel receive an e-mail notification when a buyer is trying to contact them.
Buyers and exhibitors will be able to meet live online 24/7 during the event and the platform will remain open for another three months for follow-up, or for a new visit by buyers who could not log in during formal show days. During this period, all connectivity tools — including video call and appointment scheduling — remain active, allowing for post-show access.