(ATLANTA) - Held March 8-10, at the Cobb Galleria Centre, the Atlanta Jewelry Show captured the spirit of spring as the season for renewal and change. From fresh new looks for the show floor to new educational initiatives and networking events, to a record number of first-time exhibitors and fabulous Atlanta spring weather, the show gave attendees the perfect opportunity to break out of the winter doldrums with new resources and ideas to refresh their store shelves and sales strategies.
“Now, more than ever, retailers are looking to trade shows for new products and ideas that can make them stand out in their communities,” said Carol Young, executive director, Southern Jewelry Travelers Association (SJTA), producers of the semi-annual Atlanta Jewelry Show. “To make sure we deliver the experience they expect and deserve, we continue to raise the bar each show. Whether it’s upgrading the overall look of our show floor to better showcase the wonderful offerings of our exhibitor base, or expanding our educational and networking offerings with the new programs like Café Conversations and Mingle, we will keep changing things up to keep the show’s offerings fresh, fun and integral to our retailers’ continued success.”
Buyers and exhibitors alike responded favorably to the overall look of the show, the growing selection, and the business that was being conducted on the show floor.
The March show also welcomed the return of Handcrafted Studio, a small intimate grouping of jewelry designers showcasing one-of-a-kind pieces in a range of styles and price points. “This is our first time doing the show and we have been delighted on every level,” said Handcrafted Studio exhibitor Angelica Mann, Bijoux De Mer. “The show team has brought together a truly classy event.”
A sentiment that was shared by Estelle Hedaya, World Trade Jewelers: “This is a classy show with high fashion vendors and serious buyers. If you’re a southeastern retailer and you’re not attending the Atlanta Jewelry Show, you’re really missing the boat. Atlanta has all the major vendors, creative new designs and more – all under one roof, in an easy-to-shop atmosphere.”
“We’ve been very busy during the March Show. No other show offers better value than the Atlanta Jewelry Show - from the booth package to the show environment, area hotels and product resources,” said Michael Pavlakos, show manager, Simplex Diam, Inc.
Buyers echoed the positive feedback from exhibitors.
“People have been telling us to come to the Atlanta Jewelry Show for years, and the March edition is our first. I couldn’t be more delighted with the product selection and the wonderful hospitality of everyone here,” said Chris Sink, Hi Ho Silver, Newport News, VA.
“This show is so easy to work and the size and layout makes it easy to find new products,” added Andrew Mills, Nettles Fine Jewelry, St. Augustine, FL.
“The Atlanta Jewelry Show helps fill all my needs for my upcoming spring promotions,” notes Harry Howard, Plaza Jewelers, Greenville, SC. “And, the staff at the show make the experience very enjoyable.”
“The moment I walked in the show I felt like I had entered a high-end exhibit,” said Marcia Dowd, Dole & Dowd Ltd, with stores in Palm Beach, FL and Duxbury, MA. “And, every aspect of the experience, from pre-registration to hotel check-in to walking over to the show from the hotel, is wonderful. I’ve been to a lot of shows over the years and not one can hold a candle to this one in terms of quality product and superior service.”
The March Atlanta Jewelry Show put a special spotlight on networking opportunities. Among the new initiatives were the popular Café Conversations led by David Peters on Saturday and Sunday in the Market Place Café on the show floor. As part of the program, buyers were invited to grab the special $5 buffet lunch and join fellow jewelers in a casual, open networking session where they shared success stories, common challenges and new ideas.
March also welcomed the return of Mingle, the Atlanta Jewelry Show’s popular after-hours hot spot. Held Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings at the Renaissance Waverly Hotel, Mingle offered even more opportunities to meet up with industry friends.
“We really enjoyed Mingle,” said Melissa Tysinger, Avis’ Fine Jewelry, Thomasville, NC. “During the evening we met a wonderful new estate jewelry resource we wouldn’t have met otherwise.”
Other popular features like the complimentary buyer breakfast served each morning in the registration concourse (sponsored by Southern Jewelry News); the new Gold Bar area on the show floor, offering a casual and fun spot to sit down for a drink; Market Place buyers lounge; and Club Elite, the special lounge for the Elite Buyers Club of Atlanta VIP buyers, all provided additional opportunities to regroup, relax and catch up with friends and colleagues.
Education continues to be a primary focus for the Atlanta Jewelry Show and the March edition was no exception. The AJS U seminar schedule offered a full range of topics and top-notch speakers touching on everything from social media and visual merchandising to security, bridal trends, and in-store custom jewelry design.
Headlining the program, the keynote address led by Bob Negen, WhizBang Training, on Sunday, March 9 brought especially favorable feedback from attending retailers. Sharing the sentiment of many attendees in the audience, Maria Rosenberry, Wholesale Jewelry & Loans, Huntsville, AL, said, “Mr Negen was very helpful! He shared great ideas that I can’t wait to get started on!”
The Atlanta Jewelry Show once again sponsored a Gemological Institute of America (GIA) lab class as well. Offering retailers a cost-effective, convenient way to work towards their Graduate Gemologist degrees, the lab classes sell out each show.
“I just completed my final GIA Lab Class for my Graduate Gemologist Degree during the March show,” said Maria Garefalakis, co-owner, Designs by Dimitri, Dania Beach, FL. “I took them all at the Atlanta Jewelry Show and love the convenience of traveling to Atlanta to take the class and shop for my store.”
In addition, Gemworld International chose the Atlanta Jewelry Show to host its brand new workshop, “Emerald Treatments and Pricing.”
The next edition of the Atlanta Jewelry Show is scheduled for August 9-11, 2014.
About the Atlanta Jewelry Show
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