(ATLANTA) - From the new “Mingle” after-hours networking events to new product categories and educational offerings, the latest initiatives for the August 2013 Atlanta Jewelry Show generated enthusiastic feedback from buyers and exhibitors alike. Further strengthening the upbeat atmosphere, the show’s attendance, which tracked evenly with the August 2012 edition, included independent jewelers from throughout the southeast region who arrived ready to buy.
“We zeroed in on core show fundamentals for the August edition - focusing all of our sales and marketing efforts on new resources, networking and educational opportunities,” explains Carol Young, executive director, Southern Jewelry Travelers Association (SJTA), producers and managers of the semi-annual Show. “In addition to attracting a record number of new members, we added proven retail traffic-building categories to the show’s mix, like designer, estate and handcrafted jewelry. And, we reinforced the product offerings with expanded educational programs and ‘Mingle,’ our new after-hours events, which added a whole new dimension.”
SJTA continues to upgrade the overall look and mix on the show floor. The August edition welcomed approximately 50 first-time exhibiting companies who were featured among the show’s popular Promenade, Point-of-View Gallery and general booth areas. Among the new features on the show floor was Handcrafted Studio, a small, intimate grouping of jewelry designers showcasing their one-of-a-kind artisan pieces. Among them, Gregory Crawford Design, Manjusha, Georgia Goldsmith Group and others.
Buyers were notably impressed with the show’s selection and upgraded appearance.
“The show floor looks absolutely fabulous,” said Jan Fergerson, Ford, Gittings & Kane, Rome, GA. “The overall effect is visually appealing and the vendors have all been quite upbeat. I saw a number of fresh new designs, too.”
“We really enjoyed seeing so many new vendors and the show floor layout is beautiful,” added Jonathan Hart, Karen Jewelers, Oak Ridge, TN.
Like retailers, exhibitors also shared favorable reports on the overall activity on the show floor.
“This show far exceeded our expectations,” said first-time exhibitor Regina Leadem, GE Capital. “We opened more applications on the first two days of the Atlanta Jewelry Show than we did during the entire JCK show.”
“This has been a great show for us. It’s one of our favorites and one of our best,” added Laurie Langdon, Elisa Ilana, a participant in the Point Of View, A Designer Gallery. “We’ve got a nice following at this show and it’s been great to see so many of our current customers and new ones too!”
Among the most talked-about new features of the show was “Mingle.” As the show’s newest after-hours gathering spot, “Mingle” – located in the lobby of the Renaissance Waverly hotel – gave attendees and exhibitors the chance to socialize and network every night of the show.
“Mingle is an absolutely fabulous idea,” said Carolyn Lennon, Simon Golub & Sons. “This business is all about relationship-building and this nightly gathering was just a great way to connect with buyers in a comfortable, casual setting.”
SJTA continues to expand the educational offerings at its shows and the August edition was no exception. This year, the show ran concurrently with the 36th Annual Antique Jewelry & Art Conference, commonly known as “Jewelry Camp.” Once again, the Atlanta Jewelry Show sponsored a lab class from the Gemological Institute of America® (GIA®) during the show. The Colored Stone grading lab was in such demand, that a second session was added to accommodate all those who wanted to take the class. In addition, the SJTA U series returned with a full line-up of innovative sales and marketing strategies for retailers, including the high-energy, idea-packed program by popular keynote speaker Simon Bailey, president, Brilliance Institute, Inc.
“What an amazing speaker,” said Jenny Green, Helm’s Jewelers, about Bailey’s program. “He provided very useful information that will definitely make our store better.”
They Were Rewarded
SJTA continues to enhance the Atlanta Jewelry Show’s buyer services to make sure attendees have a cost-effective, convenient and enjoyable market experience. In addition to complimentary breakfast served each morning, a new and especially popular initiative was the $5 Buyer Buffet Lunch served on Saturday and Sunday. Sponsored by the SJTA, the $5 special gave buyers the chance to make the most of their time and money by enjoying a buffet luncheon in the show’s Market Place Café without leaving the show floor.
The SJTA Rewards program continues to grow as more and more buyers see the benefits of earning rewards points with every order placed at the show. SJTA Rewards offer retailers a great way to earn fabulous rewards ranging from travel experiences and electronics to home goods and more.
Once a buyer earns 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 show privileges, including a separate and special registration area, and entry into the exclusive, members-only Club Elite VIP lounge where complimentary breakfast, lunch and snacks are served throughout the show.
“This was our first time back to the show in a while and it’s just been a great experience,” said Jana and Jeanne Smith, Wiggins Jewelers, Lebanon, TN. “There’s a tremendous selection, wonderful show atmosphere and we especially enjoyed Club Elite. It’s a wonderful place to break away and regroup.”
The next edition of the Atlanta Jewelry Show is scheduled for March 8-10, 2014.
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