Reports attendance increase
(ATLANTA) – Held February 27-29, 2016 at the Cobb Galleria Centre, the Atlanta Jewelry Show recorded a 2 percent increase in attendance over the 2015 spring edition. Contributing to the attendance uptick, record participation in the show’s “Welcome Atlanta” hosted buyer program came together with the addition of 30+ first-time exhibitors to the versatile show roster; countless new product and line introductions; and new educational and business resources to bring a spirit of optimism and energy to the show floor.
“We are constantly working to reinvent and refresh the Atlanta Jewelry Show’s offerings to make sure that it is providing new designs, new ideas and the new tools retailers need to keep their stores relevant and top of mind for their customer base,” explains Carol Young, executive director, Southern Jewelry Travelers Association (SJTA), producers and managers of the semi-annual Atlanta Jewelry Show. “The positive reception we received to our ‘Welcome Atlanta’ invitations, our expanding Loupe Buyers Group resources, and the great feedback we’ve heard from many of our first-time buyers and exhibitors, all confirm we’re delivering on our promise.”
Through the Welcome Atlanta program, vendors recommend qualified jewelers who have either never been to the show or have not attended in the last three years. The February show’s hosted buyers came from throughout the Southeastern US and beyond, including Texas and Maryland.
New Resources – New Customers
Buyers and others attending the three-day show had the chance to explore the newest offerings and introductions from 350 exhibiting companies in every jewelry category.
“I came in search of pearls, precious metals and a laser. I found all three and a great new CAD resource,” said Stacy Robinson, Stacy Robinson Studios, Duluth, GA. “The selection exceeded my expectations and everyone was so friendly and helpful.”
Exhibitors responded favorably to the show traffic and retail profile they saw during the show.
“We set our product releases around the Atlanta Jewelry Show,” explains Katie Sacko, Marketing Manager, Cargo Hold, which expanded its booth space to showcase the debut of the new Southern Gates® Spring Collection and new Cargo™ leather bracelets. “Our designs are of the south and all about the south – so this show is so important for us. We’ve been very happy to see our current customers and open new accounts, too.”
“We were looking to find a market that catered to the independent, mom and pop retailer audience,” explains first-time exhibitor Michael Hujara, DogFever, on why the company chose the Atlanta Jewelry Show to introduce its creative, fun, dog-inspired jewelry designs to the Southeastern market. “This show has offered a great way to bring our line to an audience seeking new and different designs.”
“We are a family-run business specializing in one-of-a-kind estate jewelry,” adds another first-time exhibitor, Ryan Little, W. Fine Jewelry. “We’ve been pleased with the exposure, traffic and new business we’ve gotten here at the show.”
New Tools For Business Growth
In addition to jewelry designs, retailers had access to a number of new business development tools and educational opportunities. Located on the show floor, the Loupe Pavilion offered a casual, relaxed setting for buyers to talk with vendor partners participating in the new Loupe program. Quickly doubling the program’s membership since its launch at the August 2015 show, attendees had the chance to join The Loupe during the February show to immediately enjoy discounted rates and special pricing from Loupe Vendor partners on a range of services, including jewelry photography, merchant credit card processing, marketing and more. In addition, Stuller Inc. hosted live demonstrations in the Pavilion on settings, polishing, resin and more.
“We do 14 trade shows a year and always appreciate the efforts of the Atlanta Jewelry Show management team to make us and our customers feel welcome and supported,” stated Gary Paresky, Stuller, Inc.
The popular AJS U education program also offered a full line-up of programs touching on everything from shopper trends and social media to visual merchandising and security tips. Among the most popular programs, the “Engagements” Panel discussions, moderated by Kathy Beall, K. Beall Associates, expanded from one to two sessions this February. Focusing on suppliers and services, the first session included panelists David Rocha, Jewelers For Children; Tim Roark, TR Imports; Terry Chandler, Diamond Council of America; Robert Loving, Time Delay; Matthew Tratner, Jewelers of America (JA). Touching on a wide range of retail issues, the second program featured retailers Chuck Koehler, Anthony Jewelers, Nashville, TN; Harris Botnick, Worthmore Jewelers, Atlanta, GA; Freda Gibbs, Arnold’s Jewelry, Shelby, NC; Jared Nadler, Levy’s Fine Jewelry, Birmingham, AL; Mark Bishop, Bishop’s Jewelry, Donalsonville & Cairo, GA.
Designed to motivate and inspire, another session, “What’s Your ROH – Return On Happiness,” led by JoAnna Brandi, Joanna Brandi & Company, covered ways retailers can create “authentic happiness” in their workplace.
“This was the best seminar of the weekend,” said Allan Altman, Altman Appraisals, Dallas, GA. “I left happy!”
New Talents. Networking & Mingling
The February edition was also filled with other events and programs – all designed to enhance networking, business and personal growth opportunities.
Among the highlights was the 13th Annual Student Design Competition co-hosted by the Atlanta Jewelry Show and the Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD) and co-sponsored by Stuller. Entries were showcased on the exhibition floor and the talented students were recognized during a special awards presentation on Sunday, February 28. Winners were chosen in 4 categories. Earrings – Kaitlyn Taylor, 1st place; Anna Tinkelenberg, 2nd place, Caroline Lozak, 3rd place. Necklaces – Hannah Hash, 1st place; Krista Wagner, 2nd place; Anna Stoner, 3rd place. Rings – Arielle Routhier, 1st place; Jennifer Lee Hallsey, 2nd place; Cassidy Terry, 3rd place. Brooches – Qiuting Wang , 1st place; Monica Varela, 2nd place; Seung Jeon Paik, 3rd place. In addition, Hannah Hash won the “Best In Show’ award voted on by show attendees.
On the networking front, the show’s Club Elite members were treated to a fresh new design for the member lounge. Open to all buyers who earn 15,000 AJS Reward Points or more at any one of the past three shows (points earned based on show orders), the exclusive lounge features free breakfast, lunch and refreshments, plentiful seating and meeting space for members.
The show’s popular, nightly Mingle! gatherings also returned to the Renaissance Waverly Hotel Lobby, giving buyers and exhibitors the chance to enjoy drinks and hors d’oeuvres, relax and unwind after the show closed each evening.
“This was my first visit to the Atlanta Jewelry Show and I have been impressed with the friendliness and hospitality,” said Darlene Jernigan, Diamonds, Dreams & More, Roanoke Rapids, NC.
“It’s just the best feeling show,” added Terri Hurley, Bo’s Jewelry & Pawn, Sikeston, MO. “Being so comfortable here makes it easy for me to do my job!”
The next edition of the Atlanta Jewelry Show is scheduled for August 6-8, 2016. Now in its 66th year, the Southern Jewelry Travelers Association is the nation’s oldest association for independent jewelry representatives and the official sponsor and producer of the Atlanta Jewelry Show. For more information visit www.atlantajewelryshow.com, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-241-0399 or 404-634-3434.