From Prism Volume II 2024: Letter From CEO John W. Ford Sr.

By John W. Ford Sr., AGTA CEO

Dear AGTA members,

We were very happy with the results of the Tucson show, both operationally and business-wise for our members. Many members reported exceptional shows to me, with the overwhelming majority experiencing strong sales. One of our main goals this year was to create a seamless setup day process for our exhibitors, and I think we achieved that goal. Our reregistration process for buyers created some struggles, but we hope that next year the process goes more smoothly, as attendees will have a year of experience under their belts. Still, should you have any difficulties, contact the Dallas office for personal assistance in registering.

The main reason we now reregister buyers is security. It’s important that we know who is attending our shows as we work with the Jewelers Security Alliance (JSA) and national law enforcement agencies to make our show the safest gem show in the world. The buyer identification checks this year were requested by law enforcement to keep individuals who used stolen or discarded badges from entering the show. The safety element outweighs the inconvenience, as this was done in response to issues with unauthorized badge use in 2022.

From Prism Volume II 2024: Letter From CEO John W. Ford Sr.

Continuing my recap for Tucson 2024, the staff sent out a survey to both “Buyers” and “Exhibitors” about their Tucson experience. I read every response personally and so did the staff. The purpose of a survey is gathering data and then addressing the comments in a proactive manner. I hear both “Buyers” and “Exhibitors” loud and clear that you want more types of food offerings, and we will have more next year, I assure you. I understand the frustration of issues like buyer registration and show signage, and we will address those concerns in a proactive manner. We can’t address every survey comment with a solution, but the survey in its entirety, along with our staff comments, will be sent to the AGTA Board of Directors so comments like show dates can be reviewed by the board.

In closing I am asking again for members to send pictures of loose gemstones and finished jewelry to [email protected] so we can promote your company on our social media pages. There are also editorial opportunities in the weekly ePrism newsletter and the printed Prism magazine, so be sure to share images and story ideas with Jennifer Heebner at [email protected]. I encourage every member to please take advantage of these complementary opportunities for exposure. I would like nothing better than to have a virtual flood of member photos for promotion!

Please do not hesitate to contact me with an idea or a suggestion at [email protected]



John W. Ford, Sr.

Aquamarine crystal

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