While technology has made it easier for us to communicate and stay connected, nothing can replace the hands-on, face-to-face people power experience a trade show offers. Just around the corner, the JCK Las Vegas Show, June 1-4 at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, provides an ideal meeting place to visit with vendors, scout out the latest products, learn new things, and exchange ideas.
Retail Minded Magazine advocates trade show attendance for businesses to gain knowledge and exposure to new trends, products, and resources; stimulate innovative ways of supporting business; meet other retailers and vendors to learn from; getting exposed to media; generate leads for Strategic Alliances; and participate in educational seminars and networking events to expand horizons.
If you haven’t already, register for your badge and book your flight and hotel, then take some time to plan your trade show strategy. With over 2,300 exhibitors and dozens of education sessions and networking events, having an action plan to maximize your time is critical. Once you activate your MyShow account at www.jckonline.com/lasvegas you can explore an interactive floor plan and personalize your experience via the show’s matchmaking platform (JCK Match).
Show Within a Show
The Plumb Club Pavilion at JCK, often described as a show within a show, features more than 40 vendors spanning all product categories including diamonds, color stones, pearls, youth, and men’s jewelry and watches, as well as display, packaging, and jewelry cleaning supplies. The Plumb Club represents a significant percent of the domestic fine jewelry market, and the pavilion is the largest of its kind in North America, according to Victor Weinman, president of Original Designs / ODI New York, and member of The Plumb Club Executive Committee.
Offering one-stop-shopping, buyers can maximize their time at The Plumb Club, cheers Allison Peck for Color Merchants, New York. “It gives a small show feel in the overall enormous JCK show. Whether you’re meeting with existing vendors or exploring new ones, by appointment or browsing, the pavilion is easy to get around.” Perhaps the best part, she touts is the ice cream! From free refreshments and plush carpeting to comfortable café-style seating and open booth designs, the amenities found in The Plumb Club make it a destination.
Laura Burton, business development for IB Goodman, based in Newport, Kentucky, describes The Plumb Club Pavilion as a “natural hub” to network and learn from a cross-section of vendors. She likes that The Plumb Club uses big monitors for digital banners that spotlight what’s new in the pavilion, as well as host a retailer breakfast symposium that headlines top speakers in business strategies to help jewelers be successful.
This year’s symposium is scheduled for Saturday, June 2 in the South Seas Ballroom, Mandalay Bay beginning at 7:30 a.m. with a presentation by the event sponsor the Diamond Producers Association (DPA).
Doug Stephens, aka The Retail Prophet, will give the keynote address, Reengineering Retail: The Future of Selling in a Post-Digital World. Titled after his latest book, Stephens will discuss the struggles brands and retailers face across categories to understand the shifting needs of consumers, and how the concept of what stores are, how consumers shop them, and the core economic model for revenue is being reinvented. Attendees will walk away with actionable strategies for success, and if they keep on walking to The Plumb Club following the symposium they can meet the author and receive a signed copy of his book.
Do Your Homework
Renato Cruz, vice president of product development for Aneri Jewels/Sumit Diamond/Laxmi Diamond, New York, advocates jewelers plan ahead and do their homework regarding vendors, products, and opportunities to make the most of their time.
Define your objectives, says Cruz. Have a goal of what you want to accomplish, including must-see vendors, what items you need to purchase, what new product lines you want to examine, and what seminars and events you want to attend. Burton advocates a mix of appointments and flextime in a day. “Scheduling your time brings structure to what is an overwhelming, crazy busy venue,” she says, noting that The Plumb Club pavilion is ideal for making appointments in close proximity to each other and building in browsing and discovery all in one place.
Retail market consultant Kate Peterson of Performance Concepts, Montgomery Village, Maryland advocates jewelers look at the show floor plan before committing to appointments. “The layout at JCK is, as we all know, somewhat challenging. I’ve seen too many people waste far too much time and energy in transit between appointments, running from one end and level of the show to the other and back again. When considering your time with vendors think like a salesperson in your own store.”
A great place to start, Weinman says The Plumb Club pavilion offers a good overview of the market in one place that jewelers can experience in one afternoon.