Ad Lib – March 2019

The Wow Effect, AJS19S

Wow! One word that sums up the AJS Spring Show. On every measurable metric, the show was an incredible success! As I sit this morning to write you a note of thanks for supporting our efforts, I am filled with emotion due to the outpouring of gratitude coming from our attendees.

This year at AJS, we introduced many new and different elements to the show in order to meet the changing needs of our retailers. Meeting you where you are, and helping you to where you need to be, was our main objective while developing our event. We entered into the Spring Show optimistic and confident that our New Routes would be met with enthusiasm, and embraced as needed change. And we were not disappointed…we actually underestimated the success of this year’s program.

The Wow of Education! The investment into education paid big dividends. The AJS-U program coordinated by Cindy Chandler was the most successful educational program in the history of AJS. An all-star lineup of speakers, relevant topics, and tremendous audience engagement made the classrooms buzz with excitement! We are excited to build on this trend as we plan for August.

The Wow of Product! The launch of the Occasion Pavilion, designed to help retailers broaden their store offerings to generate a new breed of customer, ended up a smash hit for the show! By spending time with retailers in our newest neighborhood, the most profound take-away for me was that numerous retailers told me this helped change the way they look at their store, and were excited about implementing some of the inspiration gleaned from Occasions.

The Wow of Design! We know how popular custom design is becoming, so this spring we expanded the CAD-CAM Challenge to accommodate the enthusiasm surrounding this competition. While researching the market (asking questions and listening) we recognize that custom is thriving and we are proud to nurture this trend in our community. Please join us in congratulating Inae Choi from Green Lake Jewelry Works as the winner, and to all the challengers for being great motivators for our audience to continue pushing the limits of their creativity.

The Wow of Digital! The exposure and education in our e-tail talks provided valuable insights into today’s market and beyond. Pacing with the overall retail industry, the topics discussed allowed our audience to see where they fit into the future of e-tail and the gap they should close to meet today’s buyers.

The Wow of Community! I was both happy and inspired with how our industry turned out to support one other at AJS. This spring we welcomed more new stores than we have seen in the last 8 years, and we saw returning stores who took a show hiatus, and we were thrilled to have them. “I had no idea…” was the start of many conversations with attendees, who were positively overwhelmed with the growth of AJS. Kids Jewelry Camp continues to expand, and we couldn’t be more proud to play a small role in the succession of the jewelry industry. Also, Mingle had the highest attendance numbers since launching the popular after-show party.

I want to extend my sincere thanks to all of you that joined us in Atlanta for the kick off of the Same Roots, New Routes movement. For those of you who were unable to attend, we missed having you, and hope you all plan to join us August 10-12, and experience the “Wow” yourselves.