(ATLANTA) - Drawn by its convenience, selection, cost-effective travel options and educational/networking opportunities, independent jewelers from throughout the Southeastern United States, as well as other areas of the country, flocked to the March 2-4, 2013 Atlanta Jewelry Show at the Cobb Galleria Centre.
“Our show message, ‘Be Loyal. Buy Local,’ is really much more than a marketing tag line. It’s a core philosophy that is driving the success of this show,” explains Carol Young, executive director, Southern Jewelry Travelers Association (SJTA), producers and managers, Atlanta Jewelry Show. “As evidenced by the steady attendance at the March show, the region’s retailers know that this show offers the best possible combination of products, services and money-saving business benefits. Most importantly, their attendance and loyalty to the show helps keep their dollars and cents here, within the local jewelry community – helping SJTA continue to offer resources that help strengthen their own business growth.”
Versatile Product Selection. Offering a one-stop product resource, the March Atlanta Jewelry Show brought together hundreds of companies showcasing designs in a range of categories in the popular Point of View: Designer Gallery, as well as the Promenade and general booth areas. Exhibitors and buyers alike were pleased with results they found on the show floor.
“This was our first time to attend and we’ve been very impressed with the selection and the casual, fun atmosphere,” said Robyn Holder, Mark Holder Jeweler, Greensboro, NC. “It’s a very easy show to work. We’ll definitely be back in August.”
“We’ve been pleasantly surprised with the business and traffic we’re seeing during this spring show time frame, especially in the bridal and silver category,” said Gene Lambert, Simon Golub. “We’re having a good show.”
“We’re doing very well at this show,” added Alan Nacht, Bernard Nacht & Co., Inc. “Our estate jewelry offerings are a niche market and the Atlanta Jewelry Show helps us find customers who are seeking out designs in this category.”
“This is our first time doing the Atlanta Jewelry Show and we’re pleased,” notes Cristina Sabatini, Cristina Sabatini, LLC. “Our jewelry is very different for this market and the feedback has been great. The Atlanta Jewelry Show is helping us establish new contacts that we think will also generate business after the show as well.”
Bountiful Buyer Services. During each show, retailers have the opportunity to rack up rewards through the only buyer loyalty program of its kind in the industry, SJTA Rewards. The program gives retailers the chance to earn points for every order placed with every exhibitor at the show, which can be redeemed for anything from electronics to travel packages. And, once buyers earn 15,000 SJTA Reward Points or more at any one of the past three shows, they are automatically enrolled in the Elite Buyers Club, which offers a host of show privileges, including entry into the exclusive, members-only Club Elite lounge on the show floor.
“This is my 14th year attending the show and I really appreciate the great perks like SJTA Rewards and Club Elite. They really add to the overall show experience,” said Ronnie Andress, Andress Jewelry, LLC, Saraland, AL.
The February edition also welcomed the return of the popular SJTA U educational series and its full slate of idea-packed programs. Headlining the series was the inspiring keynote address, “Mom & Pop On Top – How To Be Small, but Play Large,” led by Jon Schallert, marketing consultant and business coach.
“I want to put so many of Jon Shallert’s ideas and approaches into practice,” said program attendee Jim Green, Jim Green Jewelers. “They have the potential of making our business and life even more successful and enjoyable!”
Another popular program was a retail roundtable. Moderated by Terry Chandler, president and CEO, Diamond Council of America, this program invited attendees to share thoughts and ideas about best practices.
“ I would like to see more of these types of discussions,” observed Chandlee Epps, Chandlee Jewelers. “It is very helpful to hear from other members of the jewelry community.”
Other programs included a ‘Buy Local’ marketing campaign development presentation by Patricia Norins, American Express Advisor and Spokesperson for Small Business Saturday; estate jewelry buying by Mike McTeigue, owner, McTeigue Since 1895; social media programs by Crystal Vilkaitis, owner, Crystal Media; a bench program with David Geller, president, Jeweler Profit, Inc; marketing ideas from James Porte, president, Porte Marketing Group; and a presentation on the new diamond cutting process, Fire Polish, led by Glenn Markman, president/CEO, Fire Polish. As an added bonus, the show also offered a number of in-depth, hands-on workshops, including a GIA Diamond Grading Lab and a special corundum presentation by Gemworld International.
Industry Awards. The February show also saw the return of two popular design competitions. The Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD) and the SJTA once again co-hosted the annual Student Design Competition Awards Ceremony. Co-sponsored by Stuller, this competition recognizes student entries in four categories - rings, bracelets, necklaces and brooches. Winners included : RINGS - 1st place - Claire Avery; 2nd place - Shiying Gao; 3rd place - Dian Yu. BROOCHES - 1st Place - Jiarui Lu; 2nd place - Seung Jeon (SJ) Park; 3rd Place - So Young Kim; NECKLACES - 1st place - Jiarui Lu; 2nd place - Corrina Goutos; 3rd place - Maura Lenahan. BRACELETS - 1st place - Alison Dick; 2nd place - Christina Lu; 3rd place - Alexandra Lai. In addition, the attending audience voted on the BEST OF SHOW award which went to Cameron Kruse for her design, Immortalizing New York.
In addition, the 3rd annual Torch Awards Competition returned to the show to highlight the design talents of bench jewelers/designers across the nation. All state jewelry associations were invited to participate by submitting the winners of their own state-wide design competitions. Entries were on display during the March Atlanta Jewelry Show and the winners were announced at the Show Gala, including: PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD - Paul Henriques, JWR Jewelers, Athens, GA; 1st PLACE - Philip Flenniken, Bromberg’s, Birmingham, AL; 2nd PLACE - Chris Snowden, Snowden’s Jewelers, Wilmington, NC; 3rd PLACE - Johnny Johnson, Edward John’s Jewelers, Marietta, GA.
Networking & Entertainment. No Atlanta Jewelry Show would be complete without the fun, casual gathering opportunities, including the daily free buyer breakfast and the show gala. This year’s Gala theme, Bond Bash, invited attendees to enjoy an evening of intrigue and entertainment as the Atlanta Jewelry Show saluted the very best of Bond on Sunday evening, March 3.