Small Trade Show Successes
By Angie Ash, Executive Vice President
As I sit here on day 2 of the Atlanta Jewelry Show, I am inspired to comment on the advantages of a small trade show. Yes, everyone is talking about Covid-19 and questioning if the JA Show and JCK will really happen, but even though the virus is in Atlanta, it has not stopped area retailers from coming to this show, buying some great lines, and learning along the way.
I had the distinct pleasure of hosting a few educational talks on Friday morning. The first was a presentation on small budget marketing tactics any retailer can do. Besides providing ideas and inspiration to retailers, I built some time in the end for idea-sharing. And that’s where many of the retailers shone. We discussed the personal touch that is so important for retailers. One retailer shared how she overheard an elderly customer talking to a sales associate about how her electricity was going to be shut off if she couldn’t pay her bill that month. She had brought in some old rings and wanted to sell them to accomplish that goal. The rings weren’t valuable but the retailer gave the rings back to the woman along with $60 that was needed to pay the bill. The elderly customer started crying as did a few other customers who overheard the conversation.
Another retailer said they adopt a few families in need every year and set aside a portion of their profits to buy everything from groceries to gifts for these families throughout the year. Even though they don’t really publicize it, they get residual business because their desire to provide for others has become known in the community. The power of word of mouth due to human kindness is alive and well!
Beyond the educational opportunities, retail jewelers love this small show. The show staff does a great job of incorporating the year’s theme through various touches. They find ways to incorporate innovation into it as well. We had the pleasure and opportunity to bring on-site podcasts to fruition, and we were excited to be a part of something new and different. We have a feeling it will be popular in the future! Many of the retailers we spoke to said they love this show because there is a good mix of designer lines here (they’re not all small!), so they can buy what they need without going through the expense and hassle of a larger show. Also, smaller shows allow them to forge relationships and have larger conversations with the brands that exhibit here in a way they can’t at JCK.
If you haven’t been to a smaller show in a few years—or ever—you should consider their advantages and give one a try. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!