Last updateThu, 17 May 2018 7am

New education program reaps rave reviews at Atlanta Jewelry Show


AJS LaForge(ATLANTA) - The much-touted new Pre-Show Conference and enhanced AJS U education sessions exceeded expectations at the Atlanta Jewelry Show (AJS), held March 4 - 6 at the Cobb Galleria Centre. The most robust education program ever produced by the show hosted over 1000 participants at more than 50 education sessions from the Pre-Show Conference through the end of the show.

The expanded education is a perfect fit for the AJS’s commitment to the education of the jewelry community. It makes it easier than ever to obtain Certified Jeweler Status - a designation that lets customers know that a store is truly committed to ongoing education and quality customer service. The Certified Jeweler group will be counted on for feedback and advice on topics and speakers they would like to see in upcoming show education and events.

“Our goal for AJS education is to give independent jewelers a view of what’s happening in the retail world, and insight into the products, services, and technology that can help them manage their business successfully,” said Cindy Chandler, Director of Education and Sponsorships for the Atlanta Jewelry Show. “The sessions also offer tremendous platforms to engage with peers.”

Mike Wittenstein of Storyminers explained the power of storytelling to make the sale. Tom LaForge of Macroforces, formerly Global Director, Human & Cultural Insights at The Coca-Cola Company, outlined the cultural forces that are changing consumer behaviors. Both keynote speakers energized audiences with entertaining and thought-provoking presentations before the show’s opening on Saturday and Sunday.

From presentations on setting up a Dream Shop, to demonstrating laser techniques, 3-D printing and more, Stuller, Inc. brought crowds to Learning Lab 1 on the show floor.

AJS Laser AJS Zale
AJS Poken AJS Diaz

Learning Lab 2, also on the show floor, showcased a variety of presenters. Michelle Graff, editor-in-chief, National Jeweler, moderated a discussion with David Harris, president of Day’s Jewelers, named Retailer of the Year by The Retail Association of Maine; and Ashley Davis, associate editor, National Jeweler, provided a look at jewelry trends in The Style File.

The Loupe Pavilion’s 10X sessions - 15 minute conversations - offered essential takeaways quickly and concisely. Among the presenters, Jim Ackerman, Ascend Marketing, outlined action steps to capture the bridal market, and Damien Capello, Red Rocket Marketing, listed the basic rules for business on Facebook.

Everyone - jewelers, speakers, and exhibitors - received a Poken Spark device from the Atlanta Jewelry Show. When Poken Sparks touched together and glowed green, business cards were exchanged instantly. Poken touchpoints on education boards outside of seminar rooms, Learning Labs 1 and 2, and The Loupe Pavilion, enabled attendees to gather information on speakers and their presentations to share with their store teams.

AJS Poken devicesThe Poken technology keeps the Atlanta Jewelry Show connected long after the show is over. Attendees and exhibitors can simply log into their account at ajs.poken.com to access information and connections collected at the show. All you need is your username (e-mail address) and password, ajs17, or use the password created at the show. The Poken device will also download all of the collected information and connect you the account sign in.  E-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 800-241-0399 with questions.

Please visit www.atlantajewelryshow.com/sjta-u to see the complete list of education sessions and speakers presented at the Spring Show, and visit again this summer to see the August Show line-up.

“We’re building on our successes, so the August Show will be even stronger, more engaging and fun,” said Chandler. “I’m lining up sponsors and speakers now, so anyone seeking a sponsorship, recommending a speaker, or looking for participation, is urged to contact me.”

The AJS U education program spans vital topics for the independent jeweler, including sales and marketing, store operations and in-store events, industry trends and news, customer retention, and more. For information on sponsorships, participation, and speaker recommendations, please e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 800-241-0399 or 404-634-3434.

The education was provided with the support of the exhibitors and sponsorship provided by Synchrony, Diamond Council of America and Jewelers Mutual. Special education content was generously provided by Stuller, INSTORE and National Jeweler.

AJS trio

The Atlanta Jewelry Show is the longest running regional jewelry show in the country, now in its 67th year. The semi-annual show’s official sponsor and producer, the Southern Jewelry Travelers Association, is the nation’s oldest association for independent jewelry representatives. For information about the Pre-Show Conference on August 11, and Fall show, August 12-14, 2017, please visit www.atlantajewelryshow.com, send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 800-241-0399 or 404-634-3434.