(ATLANTA) - Education and an emphasis on community-wide learning proved to be a winning combination for the Fall 2018 Atlanta Jewelry Show.
Tracking evenly with the August 2017 edition, the final attendance numbers at the August 4-6 Atlanta Jewelry Show was not the big news. Rather, it was the upbeat atmosphere and reports of steady order-writing and growing retail attendance from outside the show’s traditional region that had exhibitors talking in the aisles.
From the pre-show conference which began on Friday, August 3, and continued through the last day of the show on August 6, the Atlanta Jewelry Show provided an exceptional package of educational opportunities for every sector of the industry.
The show, which is celebrating its 68th year, stayed true to its community-oriented roots by providing events designed to engage adults and children. Libby Brown, executive director of the Atlanta Jewelry Show said, “I am delighted that we are working on re-invigorating a show that is progressive without losing our core beliefs and values - roots keep us grounded. I am excited to see what is to come for 2019!”
The Atlanta Jewelry Show Kids Jewelry Camp was back for a second time, cementing a solid connection with the children who attended, as well as their parents and grandparents who appreciate the unique experience the camp provides. The camp is open to children of AJS exhibitors and retail buyers and is held to help foster excitement in the jewelry industry among our next generation. Camp attendees, ages 7 and up, participated in a number of jewelry, gem and safety related programs, including wire ring wrapping, metal stamping, treasure hunting for gemstones in sand, practical self-defense and an introduction to trade show security. “We are excited to take this one-of-a-kind program to new heights and are already accepting camp registration for March 2019,” said Brown.
Thirty-six education sessions, plus the renowned Jewelers of America Sales & Management Professional Certification exam, were presented over the course of 4 days, which included a full day of pre-show conference presentations. A record number of attendees took advantage of the pre-show education, which included a lunch and learn session sponsored by Stuller, Inc., and a heavily attended pair of back-to-back sessions on mobile phone photography, presented by the Atlanta School of Photography.
Cindy Chandler, Director of Education for the Atlanta Jewelry Show, also included several exciting opportunities for learning on the bench jeweler side as well.
Blaine Lewis and his team from the New Approach School for Jewelers headlined a full day of hands-on instructional training which included courses on stone-setting and engraving. The inaugural CAD Invitational Challenge hosted by Joel McFadden, MJSA’s Jeweler Mentor, and Chris Glaser, founder Jewelry Professionals CAD CAM Network, proved that the independent retail jeweler is in the technology game!
Joel & Chris provided color and commentary to the CAD work of Tomas Wittelsbach, Tom Linenberger, and Kristy Ford as they completed the technology and creative designs. Judges included Andrea Hill, owner of Hill Management Group, and Kenyatta and Nicole Black, owners of Philadelphia and Atlanta Diamond Companies. The competitors demonstrated a range of design and CAD techniques while using combinations of Matrix and ZBrush. The competition was tight, but Tom Linenberger was crowned the winner.
A strong focus was also placed on changes and current events that are continuing to unfold within the diamond industry. A Diamond Power Panel, hosted by DCA President Terry Chandler, featured distinguished industry experts including Ronnie VanderLinden from DMIA, Brandee Dallow of the Responsible Jewellery Council, Grant Mobley of the Diamond Producers Association, and Michael Green from GN Diamond. Scott Austin of Everledger was also present and provided information on the role of blockchain in the diamond story.
When asked about the success of the event, Cindy Chandler said: “The success of the education tracks is certainly a part of the Atlanta Jewelry Show DNA. It would not be possible without the generosity of our sponsors that include the Diamond Council of America, Synchrony, the Diamond Producers Association of America, Silver Promotion Service, Stuller and our exhibitor members. I want to thank all of the speakers who donated their time and expertise to the AJS education program. I couldn’t have done it without them. I am already planning the sessions for our Spring 2019 show, and look forward to providing our attendees with seminars and presentations that will help them make 2019 their most successful year in business yet!”
To view video recordings of several of the special sessions presented at the Fall 2018 Atlanta Jewelry Show, visit https://Facebook.com/AtlantaJewelryShow. To register for the March 2-4, 2019 Atlanta Jewelry Show or to learn more about the Atlanta Jewelry Show, please visit www.atlantajewelryshow.com.
About the Atlanta Jewelry Show