The challenge GMDC chose to accept: How do you extend the productivity derived from GMDC meetings into a year-round, access-from-anywhere service that doesn’t require a 100-page user manual to start up? The solution: the recently reconstructed myGMDC, a members-only portal that gives access to a myriad of fresh services and education exclusive to GMDC members. That includes services like GMDC*Connect, which opens the door to high-definition video conferencing to member companies, or the new GM Hierarchy, a data repository created in partnership with Nielsen that measures the general merchandise business across the industry.
The fact is there are a lot of relatively new services that can be accessed through myGMDC. To bring attendees of the 2014 GMDC Health, Beauty and Wellness Marketing Conference up to speed on all of them, Keith Wypyszynski, GMDC VP business development and chief member officer, joined Michael Winterbottom, GMDC VP information technology and chief technology officer, on the stage Sunday afternoon to showcase the many services available.
Keith Wypyszynski, GMDC VP business development and chief member officer (left), and Michael Winterbottom, GMDC VP information technology and chief technology officer (right), spoke about GMDC’s services during Sunday’s business session.
GMDC*Connect is a free video conferencing tool that can make follow-ups after a GMDC conference both more efficient and less expensive. But it goes beyond being a tool member companies can use in conferencing with other member companies — they can use it for any purpose, including the facilitation of internal meetings or meetings with companies outside of GMDC. Only the host of the conference — which can field as many as 25 connections — needs to be a GMDC member. GMDC*Connect is compatible with any device, including legacy video conferencing systems, Winterbottom said. “You can also have an unlimited number of people watching that exchange in real time,” Winterbottom added.
With regard to the GM Hierarchy, GMDC plans to refresh it this fall, Wypyszynski said. Wypyszynski added that there also is an enhanced HBW section that tracks more than 60 health and beauty categories and is updated on a monthly basis. “We think these two services will now provide you a greater ability to look across all the non-food areas, not only health and beauty, but general merchandise for all of our members,” he said.
Another new service is GMDC’s Virtual Store Tour in partnership with RetailNetGroup. GMDC has been offering local store tours as part of its GM conference for several years, Winterbottom noted. Now those store tours are being hosted and archived online, which allows retailers and suppliers to review new store formats from anywhere in the world. “It’s a great way at looking at the top retail trends as seen around the world,” Wypyszynski said.
Members exploring the myGMDC site also will find that they have an industrywide online directory service at their fingertips, which enables them to identify any buyer or supplier by the categories they sell or buy. “If you truly want to maximize the value derived from your GMDC membership, one of the keys is to keep your profile fresh,” Winterbottom said.
GMDC also is leveraging the content delivered at its conferences to its website. For example, GMDC has already taken Saturday’s lunch presentation presented by Nielsen’s Todd Hale and NMI’s Maryellen Molyneaux and archived it on the site. “One thing that’s nice is through GMDC*Connect, we have the ability now to use the same video technology service and broadcast that live 365 days per year,” Wypyszynski noted. “We already have 16 presentations that have been made [available] through the service online. In addition to that, we have a number of whitepapers and research studies that are available.”
The bottom line: There are a number of new, technology-driven services available through myGMDC that are worth checking out.