Cobb Galleria Centre hosted its largest and most successful trade show to date with the Atlanta Shoe Market Feb. 20-22. With safety as the No. 1 priority, buyers and sellers got back to business in person, with overwhelmingly positive feedback from all involved.

In conjunction with the Cobb Galleria Centre’s Safety First protocols, the Atlanta Shoe Market instituted temperature check kiosks that were located at each entrance, colored wristband to reflect the day, hand sanitizers everywhere, redesigned floor plans to allow for social distancing and monitors to check for face mask compliance.

The show was attended by 1,100 buyers, which is about 70 percent of the show’s typical attendance. Exhibitor participation was at about the same rate, with the show using approximately 170,000 square feet of exhibit space in the convention center.

Laura Conwell-O’Brien, Executive Director of the Atlanta Shoe Market, was extremely pleased with the event. “First and foremost, the success of the show was based on safety first,” she said. “I believe that we achieved that from the very first step in the door. It’s very important in the months leading up to the event to advertise the safety features of the show to build the trust for all attendees.”

Plexi-glass at check-in.


Exhibitor screening area.

Conwell-O’Brien explained the importance of hosting the Atlanta Shoe Market in person. “The Atlanta Shoe Market was responding to the industry’s request for an in-person show” she said. “Everyone is Zoomed out!  In addition, it’s very difficult for the shoe buyers not to have the capability of touching and feeling the shoes. Zoom may work for some industries however, it’s definitely not the ideal situation for the buyers in the shoe industry. Once I felt comfortable that we could safely achieve the criteria that were set forth by the state and the CDC, I felt that we could move successfully towards a safe show.”










Cobb Galleria Centre’s Safety First protocols focus on six main areas that include cleanliness, ventilation, employee hygiene and wellness, physical distancing, food and beverage, and event planner and contractor guidelines. More information can be found at

Temperature screening stations

Pre-packaged desserts.

The Atlanta Shoe Market is a three-day event uniquely designed to encourage buyers and sellers to come together and shop the highest concentration of footwear in the United States, all under one roof. The show is held twice a year at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta. For more information visit

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