(ATLANTA) - Delivering on its marketing campaign message, “Prepare For The Unexpected,” the August 11-13, 2012 edition of the Atlanta Jewelry Show at the Cobb Galleria Centre delighted buyers and exhibitors alike with many unexpected returns. Buyer feedback on business growth opportunities uncovered during the popular SJTA U seminars and creative new designs discovered on the show floor came together with reports from exhibitors of steady show traffic and booth sales figures that exceeded expectations to create a positive buzz throughout the 3-day event.
“At SJTA we always set high expectations for our overall show performance and the August edition delivered,” said Carol Young, executive director, Southern Jewelry Travelers Association (SJTA), managers and producers of the Atlanta Jewelry Show. “The industry is looking forward to a profitable holiday season and that positive outlook permeated the entire show atmosphere – as evidenced by the brisk order-writing, steady traffic, well-attended educational programs and networking events. “
Finding Something Unexpected
Tracking evenly with the 2011 edition, the August 2012 Atlanta Jewelry Show’s attendance included independent jewelers from throughout the Southeast region, as well as outlying territories. These buyers were eager to explore the versatile selection of innovative newcomers and established lines throughout the show floor, including the “Promenade” and “Point of View: Designer Gallery” areas.
“The Atlanta Jewelry Show floor has really glammed up from previous years! I enjoy shopping here because of its convenient, easy-to-navigate floor layout, which makes finding new products so easy,” said Jill Withrow, Withrow Jewelers, Inc., Marietta, GA.
“Over the years, we’ve had to adjust our target market and the Atlanta Jewelry Show made that transition very easy with its broad product category options,” added Megan Delaney, Mayhall Benchmaster, Florence, AL.
Like retailers, exhibitors were also pleased with the show floor and the results it delivered.
“I got more business on Saturday than I expected for the entire weekend. I’m thrilled! This is our first time at the show and we’ll definitely be back next year,” said Robert Kaynes, member, Silver Restoration Events By Bron-Shoe.
“We always have great success and build our business when we exhibit in Atlanta,” said John Davis, Zeghani by Simon G. “During the Atlanta Show, business has exceeded our expectations. We have surpassed our budget for the year.”
“We are definitely rebounding this year,” noted Rebecca Shemwell, Tracy Pearls by Rebecca Shemwell. “Clients are ready to restock and are starting to spend money. They are anticipating a strong holiday season, which will reflect positively in our business too. The tremendous turnout has allowed us to really connect with our target market.”
Opening within the SJTA Market Place this August was the new Circa Lounge sponsored by a leading global buyer of fine jewelry, diamonds and watches, Circa.
“The traffic flow in the Circa Marketplace lounge has been great. It’s a nice quiet place with a comfortable setting,” said Sam Ziefler, Circa. “It’s our first time in the show and we are very pleased. We’ve connected with new potential clients and the layout of the show floor is very easy for retailers to walk through. We are looking forward to our future with the Atlanta Jewelry Show.”
Learning Something Unexpected
Buyers and exhibitors alike had the opportunity to learn new things from and about the show during the August edition.
SJTA kicked off the show Saturday morning with the return of the high energy “Jewelry on the Catwalk” Fashion Show. Offering retailers a sneak peek of some of the newest designs they’d see on the show floor. The event showcased jewelry collections from 30 exhibitors and highlighted the versatility and wearability of each ensemble.
Another opportunity for attendees to preview new product was Sunday’s popular “New Exhibitor Meet & Greet.” This pre-show session gives new exhibitors the opportunity to present their products to buyers in a casual, relaxed breakfast setting.
“There is a tremendous variety of exhibitors showing this year,” noted Patricia Montgomery, Wilkerson’s Diamonds, Moulton, AL. “The new exhibitor meet and greet was informative and led me to vendor booths that I normally wouldn’t have seen otherwise.”
Offering yet another unexpected benefit, the Atlanta Jewelry Show and Professional Gem Sciences Laboratory provided a variety of complimentary grading services throughout the three-day event. Buyers were encouraged to bring their loose stones to learn as much about them as possible through free diamond grading, gem identification service and Carte Blue appraisals.
Capping off the learning opportunities, the August show featured a full slate of idea-packed programs during the SJTA U seminar series. Topics included alternative metals presentations led by Palladium Alliance International consultants Chris Ploof and Linus Drogs; engagement ring shopping by The Knot’s Laura Cave; Modern Day Selling by Brian Barfield; social media programs led by Shellie Bill, Premier Consulting Innovations and Christi Tasker, PuTTin’ Out; color and clarity diamond grading by Professional Gem Sciences’ Tom Tashey; trade shop opportunities by Chuck Koehler; and a special keynote presentation, “Who Hijacked My Fairy Tale,” led by motivational speaker Kelly Swanson.
“Kelly Swanson’s keynote was engaging and real,” observed Linda Salter, Starblaze Jewelers, Tucker, GA. “I can apply her ideas, not only to my jewelry business, but to my life in general as well. I would come back and listen to her over and over again!”
Earning Something Unexpected
The unexpected show benefits continued to pile up for attendees, especially those who take advantage of the SJTA Rewards Program. That’s because SJTA Reward points are earned with every order placed with every exhibitor at the show. As the only buyer loyalty program of its kind in this industry, SJTA Rewards offer retailers a great way to earn fabulous rewards ranging from travel experiences and electronics to home goods, personal accessories and more.
As an added bonus, 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 many show privileges, including special badges signifying their VIP status, entry into the exclusive, members-only Club Elite lounge on the show floor where complimentary breakfast, lunch and snacks are served throughout the show and more.
“We really took advantage of the Club Elite lounge,” said Mark and Mary Ogier, Markus Jewelers, Cincinnati, OH. “The complimentary lunch and snacks really kept us going.“
The Atlanta Jewelry Show has also built a reputation for hosting galas that give everyone the opportunity to relax and unwind among industry friends. For August 2012, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” was the mantra of the evening as the Caribbean-themed Gala invited everyone to kick back and dance to easy reggae riffs and cool calypso beats while enjoying a taste of the tropics.