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Atlanta Jewelry Show Announces Pre-Show Conference Schedule and Education Program




It runs Aug. 11-14.

(Press Release) The Pre-Show Conference and AJS U education program will be back at the Atlanta Jewelry Show Aug. 12-14 at the Cobb Galleria Centre. The program is expected to welcome more than 1,000 participants over four days, from the opening of the Pre-Show Conference on Aug. 11 through the last day of the show on Aug. 14.

Cindy Chandler, director of education and sponsorships for the Atlanta Jewelry Show, said, “I am so pleased with the way the education schedule came together for the August 2017 show. Kicking off the Pre-Show Conference schedule with Jonah Berger and his presentation via Skype on his book ‘Contagious – Why Things Catch On’ really sets the theme for the entire three days of exciting learning opportunities.”

The continuation of the expanded education program reaffirms AJS’s commitment to ongoing education within the jewelry community. The extensive schedule and variety of seminar topics make it easier than ever to obtain Certified Jeweler Status – a designation that lets customers know that a store is truly committed to ongoing education and quality customer service. The Certified Jeweler group will be counted on for feedback and advice on topics and speakers they would like to see in upcoming show education and events.

The format for the August 2017 education program, sponsored by Stuller Inc., Synchrony Financial and the Diamond Council of America, incorporates a wide array of topics important to the independent jeweler, including seminars on sales and marketing, store operations, industry trends, customer retention and demonstrations of the latest shop equipment.

The Pre-Show Conference begins on Friday, Aug. 11, with professor and best-selling author Jonah Berger and his presentation via Skype “Contagious!, Why Things Catch On,” followed by workshops based on bestselling author Daniel Pink’s book “To Sell is Human.” These two part workshops will give attendees a fresh look at their marketing and sales strategies.

On Saturday, the AJS U Education schedule opens with “The Diamond Power Panel,” hosted by Diamond Council of America president Terry Chandler, who is joined by an expert panel including Ronnie VanderLinden, president and CFO of DMI; Stanley Zale, VP of diamonds, Stuller; Donnie Thompson, owner of Windsor Jewelers; and James Dimick, director of business development for AGS Labs.


A full day of education continues on Sunday, Aug. 13, beginning with body language specialist Patti Wood, and closes with Kyle Nichols and Billy Mitchell presentation of “Inbound Marketing for Jewelry Retailers.” Mitchell looks forward to sharing his knowledge with AJS attendees and says, “As jewelry retail success becomes increasingly challenging, there are also new opportunities to thrive. A balanced marketing strategy that supports your business in store and online is what this session is all about. We will discuss the tools and the techniques to increase store traffic, online engagement, customer loyalty and referrals.”

Highlights of the enhanced AJS U education program include:

  • Pre-show Conference on Friday, Aug. 11, featuring sessions on selling, marketing, and estate and antique jewelry, as well as presentations on email and social media strategies.
  • A first-ever two-hour presentation by Stuller experts sharing information based on the Stuller Inc. Bridge conference. The Bridge conference content in specifically designed for jewelry store owners who want to be the jewelers of tomorrow.
  • Show floor-based Learning Lab sessions that provide easy access to expert information on marketing, sales, business strategy and bench jeweler/shop topics.

To register for the Fall Atlanta Jewelry Show and to learn more about the complete AJS U Education program, visit



When There’s No Succession Plan, Call Wilkerson

Bob Wesley, owner of Robert C. Wesley Jewelers in Scottsdale, Ariz., was a third-generation jeweler. When it was time to enjoy life on the other side of the counter, he weighed his options. His lease was nearing renewal time and with no succession plan, he decided it was time to call Wilkerson. There was plenty of inventory to sell and at first, says Wesley, he thought he might try to manage a sale himself. But he’s glad he didn’t. “There’s no way I could have done this as well as Wilkerson,” he says. Wilkerson took responsibility for the entire event, with every detail — from advertising to accounting — done, dusted and managed by the Wilkerson team. “It’s the complete package,” he says of the Wilkerson method of helping jewelers to easily go on to the next phase of their lives. “There’s no way any retailer can duplicate what they’ve done.”

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