The Atlanta Jewelry Show, held Feb. 28-March 1 at the Cobb Galleria Centre, experienced a record 11% increase in participation, resulting in the highest attendance numbers in over a decade, show organizers said in a statement.
Contributing to the increase was the launch of Southern Jewelry Travelers Association’s (SJTA) innovative buyer loyalty program, “You Buy,You Fly” which attracted many first-time buyers as well as return attendees seeking to earn Delta SkyMiles based on their orders written at the show.
“The February show was one of the best attended shows in the history of SJTA,” says Carol Young, executive director of SJTA, managers and producers of the Atlanta Jewelry Show.
The “You Buy, You Fly” buyer loyalty program enabled exhibitors to award Delta SkyMiles to attendees based on orders written at the show.
Other highlights of the show included the SJTA U educational program—a full day of education covering visual gem identification techniques and quality control prior to the show opening on Feb. 27. It was led by Anton Skuratowicz, ICGA, GJG, GIA, Anton Nash, LLC. The program also included a keynote address by Roger Dow, senior vice president of Global and Field Sales, Marriott International, touching on customer focused organizations; and a special presentation by award winning jewelry designer Robert Lee Morris, addressing the creative and business challenges faced by all members of the jewelry industry.
Other highlights included the “Ideal Bench” display presented by Stuller and SJTA. Featured on the show floor, the display incorporated two complete benches and three work stations showing new hand tools to the latest high-tech instruments for goldsmith and gemology applications.
The show also featured a special awards ceremony on Feb. 29 to recognize winners of the new Jewelry Design Competition. SJTA partnered with the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) to launch the competition designed to recognize the school’s metal and jewelry students for outstanding work.
The overall award of “Best in Show” was given to Kristi Sward. Winners in the Gold and Platinum categories are Meghan Harris (first place), Liaung Chung Yen (second place), and Amy Pilkington (third place). Winners in the Silver Category are Jennifer Merchant (first place), Carolyn McGonagle (second place) and Melanie Clarke (third place). Winners in the Alternative Materials and Methods are Annie Aalto (first place), Meredith Sutton (second place) and Katherine Mayer (third place). Winners in High-Tech Design are Pei Jung Chen (first place), Carissa Stienspring (second place) and Kristi Sward (third place).
Other popular show features were the ‘Tanks On Us’ program, giving pre-registered attendees a free gas card, and the festive ‘Around The World’ themed buyer party on Sunday evening, February 29
The next Atlanta Jewelry Show will return to the Cobb Galleria Centre August 7-9, 2004.