By Ashley Davis
The fall edition of the Atlanta Jewelry Show was previously pushed from August to October. Now, it will feature a virtual edition in September to accommodate those who can’t attend due to COVID-19.
Atlanta—The Atlanta Jewelry Show is one of the few 2020 jewelry events slated to go on despite COVID-19, but in case retailers are nervous about travel, organizers have added a virtual element.

Originally scheduled for August, the live jewelry trade show is happening Oct. 24-25 at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, Georgia, along with an education day on Oct. 23.

Now, organizers have announced a one-day online buying event on Sept. 1 beginning at 12 p.m. EST.

The AJS eMarketplace will be available to companies exhibiting at the October show and pre-registered retailers.

The eMarketplace is designed to mirror the look of a real trade show convention center, with a “lobby” where visitors can network virtually and an “Exhibit Hall” for browsing booths and searching for exhibiting brands. Attendees will be able to view products, catalogs and videos, plus live chat with salespeople.

A built-in meeting system allows for private face-to-face meetings via video calls, text chat and screen share sessions. Attendees can also connect with each other and as groups.

Just like at an in-person jewelry trade show, special show deals will be available from certain exhibitors.

“Our top commitment to our community is safety and with that, we recognize that planning a live event in Atlanta in October comes with a certain amount of uncertainty due to the daily changes in the pandemic restrictions and public sentiment,” noted Executive Director Libby Brown in a statement to National Jeweler.

“Monitoring the situation hour by hour, we are optimistic that the environment in October will allow us to host you safely and successfully in Atlanta. While optimistic, we are pragmatic to believe that not everyone will be ready to travel and for that reason, we have gone virtual!”

To protect visitors to the October show, AJS has established a safety protocol called “Safety Shines.”

Part of the protocol involves hosting the hybrid virtual/in-person event to prevent crowding.

Other measures include adjusting the floor plan to promote distancing, particularly at entrances and exits; no-touch temperature screenings prior to entry; requiring attendees to wear face masks when unable to distance; hand sanitizing stations; an increased cleaning and disinfecting schedule; and transparent barriers at areas like registration.

In a press release announcing the hybrid trade show, Bill Warren, owner of Gold Mine Fine Jewelry & Gifts, commented: “We appreciate the creative thinking of the Atlanta Jewelry Show to keep this important industry event going. This show is always an excellent place to connect buyers and sellers, and discuss opportunities moving forward. We look forward to seeing our vendor partners and friends.”

Registration for the October 2020 show and September virtual event is currently open. More information is available online.

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Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.