Cobb Galleria Centre is One of the Southeast’s Only Convention Centers to Currently Host Trade Shows

ATLANTA – Cobb Galleria Centre hosted its three largest and most successful trade shows of the past year with the recent return of the Atlanta Shoe Market, the Atlanta Jewelry Show and the Southeast Flooring Market.

The largest event so far was the Atlanta Shoe Market, held 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 wristbands to reflect the day, hand sanitizer everywhere, redesigned floor plans to allow for social distancing and monitors to check for face mask compliance. 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.

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.”

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.”

In the first jewelry trade event of 2021, the Atlanta Jewelry Show (AJS) welcomed the jewelry industry back to a live, in-person event March 5-7.

“Now, more than ever, it’s important for our industry to work together to prove that we can re-connect in safe ways, and there is value in our shared commitment to events that consistently value both safety and success equally,” said Libby Brown, Atlanta Jewelry Show Executive Director.

The March show built upon the success of the Atlanta Jewelry Show held at the Cobb Galleria Centre in October 2020, and both shows relied on the health and safety plan, Safety Shines™, to help protect guests from Covid-19.  Among the health protocols were:

  • Pre-event communication and on-site signage
  • Controlled check-in process to direct attendee flow with signage and floor stickers
  • Daily health screening and temperature scanning prior to entry
  • Face masks were required
  • Floor plans and seating designed to respect physical distancing
  • Sanitizing stations readily available throughout the venue
  • Protective barriers available for exhibitor use
  • Complimentary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits

The tradeshow featured nearly 200 vendors, and retail buyers came out in record-setting numbers.

“The show itself rocked and we were busy non-stop,” said Mike Abbott, director of sales at The Edge by Abbott Jewelry Systems. “All the retailers were excited to be at the show, and they all felt safe and comfortable.”

The Cobb Galleria Centre welcomed the Southeast Flooring Market March 11-12, 2021 for the country’s first flooring trade show in over a year. With safety and health as top priorities, show management reported a successful market for buyers and sellers.

“It was critical for us to provide our exhibitors and buyers a safe, clean and physically proper market floor for commerce to take place and business relationships to flourish,” said Barbara Stroup, managing partner of Market Maker Events, which produces the Flooring Markets. “The foundation of our success was upfront communication with our team at the Cobb Galleria Centre. We met virtually on multiple occasions to review Covid-19 practices, safety standards, and employee training to ensure that our teams worked together as one unit.”

Some of those safety procedures included required pre-registration, staggered arrival times, pre-arrival health screenings, a mask requirement, floor decals to ensure proper safe and physical distancing with 6-foot spacing, sanitation stations, increased aisle width and space between booths, and assigned distancing traffic flow patterns for entrances and exits.

Stroup said it was important for buyers and sellers to meet face-to-face because the flooring industry is a tactile experience. “Nothing takes the place of seeing and feeling the product,” she said.

More information on Cobb Galleria Centre’s Safety First protocols can be found at

About Cobb Galleria Centre
The Cobb Galleria Centre is located in the beautifully landscaped 88-acre Galleria complex in prestigious northwest Atlanta. Cobb Galleria Centre is Atlanta’s premier convention facility with

320,000 square feet of event space, four exhibition halls, 20 meeting rooms, four executive boardrooms and a grand ballroom. Cobb Galleria Centre had 175,000 visitors to 214 events in 2020, resulting in an overall economic impact of $70 million. For more information, visit and follow us on Facebook at, on Twitter at @CobbGalleria and on Instagram at

About the Atlanta Shoe Market
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

About the Atlanta Jewelry Show
For over 70 years, Atlanta has been the host of the Atlanta Jewelry Show. Known for its unparalleled accessibility, compact walkable entertainment districts, and unlimited attractions for all ages, this vibrant city is the perfect destination. No longer considered only a regional trade show, AJS is designed as a one-stop resource for the independent jeweler to learn, shop and engage with peers. The show’s official sponsor and producer, the Southern Jewelry Travelers Association, is the nation’s oldest association for independent jewelry representatives. For information about the Fall event October 22-25, 2021, visit, send an email or call 800-241-0399 or 404-634-3434.

About the Southeast Flooring Market
The Mission of the Flooring Markets is to be the regional resource for product innovation, education, networking and growth opportunities for dealers and designers in the flooring industry. Top flooring brands exhibit at the Flooring Markets to present their new products and cutting-edge solutions to push the industry forward. Flooring Markets are held each year in Atlanta, Dallas, and Biloxi, Miss. For more information, visit

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