“New Routes” themed event provided attendees tools to stay competitive in evolving marketplace
(ATLANTA) - The Atlanta Jewelry Show (AJS), the jewelry industry’s largest regional trade event in the country, recently concluded its August 2019 edition. During the four-day event, AJS August brought together over 1,200 industry professionals, and a record number of new buyers.
“While staying true to our roots by providing exceptional products and resources for independent jewelers, we were proud to expand our theme of New Routes, through introducing new concepts and feature areas throughout the show that were extremely well-received by all attendees,” states Executive Director Libby Brown. “Our overall mission is to strengthen and maintain our jewelry community, and this show solidified that commitment. I believe my team and I successfully accomplished our goal of providing a comprehensive event that literally changed the course, and positively impacted the businesses of many retailers and vendors alike.”
The vast array of vendors, including many veterans and newcomers to AJS, played a huge role in the success of the show. Troy Haile of With You Lockets reported: “From a sales standpoint, we had our best show yet. We met our goal, which was a robust one, because of the high quality of buyers in attendance. This is our favorite show.”
The upbeat atmosphere and reports of steady order-writing and growing retail attendance from outside the show’s traditional region had exhibitors talking. New AJS exhibitor Earth Pebbles owner Rebekah Anderson, GG, said: “We immediately fell in love with this show. Everyone is so friendly and helpful, and we were thrilled with the constant traffic. We will most definitely be back.”
The aisles were filled with retailers as they visited with friends and made new connections. Buyers Josh and Darrell, The Little Gold Mine, (TN) stated: “We have not missed a show in nearly ten years, and we never plan to. The team you have assembled here is top-notch and they go out of their way to make sure we are happy, productive and safe.” New buyer Bar-Kay Jewelers (PA) owner Kim added: “I have been to many shows, but never one as wonderful as this Atlanta Show. Everyone is so hospitable and there’s so much going on, at all times, on the buying floor. Great vendors, great times. I’m thrilled and I am definitely coming back!”
With a phenomenal lineup of educational sessions presented by influential industry experts, the Atlanta Jewelry Show provided an exceptional package of educational opportunities for every sector of the industry. Powered by the support of Diamond Producers Association, Instore Marketing, Stuller and Synchrony Financial, over 50 educational seminars and panels, and onsite GIA Grading Lab Sessions were featured at AJS.
When asked about the success of the event, Director of Education Cindy Chandler said: “Education is an integral part of the Atlanta Jewelry Show. We are entrusted to provide our attendees with real insights and real solutions to take back to their store - and we take that very seriously. As promised, this event offered only the finest learning opportunities to our valued retailers. It would not be possible without the generosity of our sponsors and exhibitor members, and heartfelt thanks to all speakers who graciously shared their time and expertise with the AJS community. See you next decade!”
Hundreds of retailers were on hand ready to be inspired, and they were not disappointed. Visit https://www.facebook.com/pg/atlantajewelryshow/videos/?ref=page_internal to view select sessions on the AJS Facebook page.
Kids Jewelry Camp
The Atlanta Jewelry Show Kids Jewelry Camp (KJC) was a tremendous success, with 24 aspiring jewelers enrolled. Under the guidance of Coordinator Mindy Spritz and certified jewelry instructors, KJC Rock Stars learned several jewelry techniques, marketing strategies and even hosted the KJC Trunk Show, where they displayed, sold and shared the inspiration behind their handmade creations. Spritz stated: “It’s overwhelming when I think about when KJC debuted less than two years ago, and now to see where we are today. I think I can safely say we are truly making a difference in these children’s lives, and we are honored to play a role in cementing their legacy, thereby ensuring the future of the jewelry industry. It was such a joy to work with these immensely talented students, and we are grateful for the AJS community’s support with this endeavor.”
Parents were delighted with the camp and were grateful this opportunity was available for their children. John Carter, AGS President and owner of Jack Lewis Jewelers, said: “My daughter has literally grown up in this business. She learned more during these two days than her entire life. What a great program.”
The next session will be during the Spring Show, March 8-9, 2020. Interested campers should register early, as the August camp sold out quickly. Designed to foster excitement and passion for the jewelry industry among our next generation, KJC is open to children of AJS exhibitors and retail buyers, ages 7 and up.
The Atlanta Jewelry Show introduced an all new pavilion, The Runway, A Brand New Experience. This upgraded area included industry favorites Beverley K, Danwak, Waterford Jewelry, XO Jewels and Zeghani, each housed in specialty booths. A dedicated hostess, flight attendants and a pilot ensured that buyers “walked the Runway” in style and experienced a new way to shop for merchandise. Limited booths available for March 2020, so interested exhibitors should contact AJS immediately to reserve space.
Occasions Shop, successfully launched at the 2019 Spring Show, was expanded to include more breathtaking geodes, opals, lighting, luxury gift items and high-end display units. This area featured innovative methods of enhancing a store’s aesthetic and offered innovative merchandising tips. With all proceeds benefiting Kids Jewelry Camp, the Occasions Shop offered yet another solution to help independent jewelers succeed in the marketplace.
Another popular AJS CAD-CAM Challenge made history, and AJS recognizes outstanding competitors Meghan Proctor, Designer/Manager, Hubbell Jewelry Design; Gary Dawson, Owner/Designer, Gary Dawson Designs, and Shele Letwin, Owner/Designer, Shele’s Jewelry Design Factory. This event was a real show-stopper, as hosts Joel McFadden and Kyle Bullock kept attendees, plus livestream viewers, informed and entertained during this intense, all-day competition. Meghan was named the winner for her inspired creation based on an original Rémy Rotenier hand rendering.
Loupe + One-Stop-Shop
An entirely redesigned Loupe and One-Stop-Shop neighborhood was quite an attraction, created in the spirit of small-town America, and complete with green space, park benches and gathering areas. Attendees were enticed to follow the road to the American Watchmakers Clockmakers Institute Mobile Classroom for expert timepiece instruction inside its massive bus, right on the show floor. Along the route, many resources offered retail solutions, including marketing, software, retail services, trade organizations, engraving and bead stringing. There was even a podcast recording by AJS partners Four Grainer and WJA, happening live, which was a tremendous success. Listen up for Inside the Jewelry Trade’s exclusive coverage of AJS at https://fourgrainer.com/inside-the-jewelry-trade-radio-show/.
Buyers and exhibitors alike enjoyed many special touches at the show, including the ever-popular Mingle after-party. Another huge success, with more people than ever in attendance, further proving that the AJS jewelry community knows how to party. Surprise pop-up parties were sprinkled all over the show floor with tasty snacks and trendy drinks to enjoy. Carpool Karaoke in a luxury sportscar, relaxation areas with massages and cool beverages, themed pit stops like Whiskey Business, and Studio 555 - all designed to add to the vibrant and fun Southern Hospitality that is exclusive to AJS.
Future Show Dates
March 7-9, 2020 and August 8-10, 2020
About the Atlanta Jewelry Show
Produced by the Southern Jewelry Travelers Association (SJTA), the Atlanta Jewelry Show is the largest and longest running regional jewelry event in the country. SJTA was established in 1950 and is the nation’s oldest association for independent jewelry representatives. Recognized worldwide for producing innovative trade shows, AJS is the place where jewelry professionals gather to enhance their businesses.