Springtime in Atlanta means festivals, outdoor dining, and afternoons in the park. Overall, the city starts to buzz as temperatures warms up.

Springtime also starts to buzz as members of The Atlanta Chapter of The Coca-Cola Collectors Club gear up to attend their annual convention in the founding city of their favorite beverage. On April 1, more than 400 guests assembled at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia in Atlanta for the second-largest Coke Collectors Club event of the year. Along with bottles of happiness, guests brought their Coca-Cola collectibles in anticipation of the events to come.

2015 Collectors Club in Atlanta
Collectors bring rare Coca-Cola artifacts to their annual convention to sell in silent auction.

The convention started off in full swing on Wednesday. The schedule was filled to the brim with all types of activities for lovers of Coca-Cola. Events included esteemed speakers, sales, auctions, receptions and even a scavenger hunt. This annual convention offers something for everyone and multiple opportunities to share a piece of history.

The convention allowed for collectors to learn even more about a brand that already means so much to them. Speaking about his experience as the unofficial Coca-Cola artist-in-residence, Steve Penley addressed guests at the Saturday night banquet. Preston Root, great-grandson of C.J. Root, who founded the Root Glass Company in Terre Haute, Indiana, spoke during an afternoon seminar. Rare opportunities like these help extend the convention and club beyond artifacts; these speakers help communicate new stories for collectors to commemorate and cherish.

2015 Collectors Club in Atlanta

Many people might think collecting is just a small hobby. However, the members Coca-Cola Collectors Club have taken collecting to an entirely new level. These collectors are self-made entrepreneurs. They are constantly on the lookout for a new sale and the next rare artifact to add to their collections. The annual convention allows for many opportunities for collectors to buy and sell.  

2015 Collectors Club in Atlanta
Collectors observe tables full of rare artifacts during traditional silent auction.

One of these opportunities is the silent auction. I had the great opportunity to attend and wait for my chance to place a winning bid. Although the Collectors Club as a whole is filled with incredibly warm and welcoming members, the silent auction certainly brought out a traditional competitive streak in the participants. Guests surveyed hundreds of memorabilia items and decided the pieces to keep an eye on as they kept the other on passersby who might outbid them. Suffice to say, the last 10 minutes got pretty heated!

One of the most unique aspects of the convention was what is called “room hopping.” Attendees turn their hotel rooms and suites into little markets, dressing up spaces into Coca-Cola vintage stores. The hopping begins during the day as guests hop in and out of the rooms, looking for their next rare collectible.

The Coca-Cola Collectors Club Convention was a booming success and I am glad to have had the opportunity to participate. If you are interested in learning more about collecting, take a look at the national organization’s website for more information.