Reconnecting at JCK Las Vegas 2021

It’s hard to believe that it has been over two years since the jewelry industry has come together in Las Vegas for the JCK Show.

While our emergence from the pandemic that kept us apart delayed the event from early June to late August this year, the opportunity provides a chance to reconnect and recalibrate, as we move into what’s expected to be a strong holiday selling season.

Scheduled Aug. 27-30 at the Sands Expo and Venetian Resort, the postponement allows for show organizers to facilitate an in-person event in the most positive and safe way possible, shares Sarin Bachmann, group vice president of the Reed Jewelry Group, noting that the show’s safety guidelines

are in line with CDC, local public health guidance, and Sands Expo and Venetian Resort protocols. As of a June 10th update, JCK Show protocols require only those who are not fully vaccinated to wear a mask.

JCK is returning with so many of the elements that make it a must-attend event, including a robust education schedule. Popular JCK Talks will be scheduled throughout the show dates and available in various ways, like streaming in podcast zones on the show floor, where live podcast shows will also occur.

Returning with more than 1,500 exhibitors, JCK Las Vegas presents its popular curated neighborhoods, spanning over three levels of the property. Each one of 20 is designed to represent a product category to help attendees shop the show and ensure vendors meet with buyers looking for the products they sell.

Among the must-see pavilions is The Plumb Club, Level 2 at the Sands. What makes The Plumb Club unique is that the Pavilion is like a show in a show. It’s a destination for smart retailers maximizing their time on the sprawling JCK show floor, as Plumb Club members represent every product category important to jewelers, and more than 100 brands.

“As JCK reunites the jewelry industry this August in Las Vegas, we are thrilled to welcome back The Plumb Club, as a key partner and popular show pavilion,” Bachmann says. “The Plumb Club brings the latest collections from their extensive jewelry and watch brands, and always adds interesting retail insights, attendee amenities, and experiences you can’t find anywhere else. JCK and the Plumb Club have worked together to ensure that this year, JCK is the industry event that will reunite the industry and provide unmatched opportunities to buy, sell, network, and celebrate this industry we all love – in person.”

From the cushy carpeting to the complimentary refreshment lounge and fully equipped business center, guests can get a lot done while staying comfortable, hydrated and connected.

“This is the first major jewelry show since the pandemic hit in March 2020, and it’s coming right before what will be the first normal holiday since 2019,” reminds Lawrence Hess, executive director of The Plumb Club. Despite the later date, he believes those attending the show will be there to not only network, but also to buy. “There is a need for product. The industry overall is in a strong place. Our members have done well through COVID, some reporting their best year.”

Many of the manufacturers showing in The Plumb Club Pavilion are eager to interact face-to-face again, and say that their customers are too.

Undoubtedly, online meetings will remain an important part of how we do business. But Zoom calls and online other sales platforms work best when complemented by periodic face-to-face meetings.

“This show is a great step in that direction,” cheers Heather Brown, public relations and communications for The Kingswood Company, Columbus, Ohio manufacturer of jewelry care products. “Our customers are eager to get back to business outside of Zoom.”

For some, show withdrawal is real, says Theresa Namie, Merchandise Manager, Ostbye, Minneapolis Minnesota. “After a very long year, our customers say that they’re ready to get out and see what the industry has to offer. We’re looking forward to being there. I expect it will be beneficial for all who attend. I also expect there will be a good turnout.”

Namie says that what she has missed the most in the absence of live trade shows is spending time with retailers and getting their feedback on what’s trending in their locations across the United States. “Tradeshows give us the opportunity to connect with other industry leaders to help us to decide what we can do to help retailers be successful using our products and sales tools. There’s camaraderie at trade shows that we like being a part of.”

Certainly, the upcoming show will serve as a good post pandemic opportunity to understand where customers have landed, says Harry Fiorentinos, director of sales for Novell, a subsidiary of Continental based in Rahway, New Jersey. “And, access how we can be a better product supplier in the current environment.  We’re looking forward to reconnecting with industry friends and acquaintances. Hopefully, we can all work together to lay the groundwork for a new normal.”

Having just returned from a successful in-person tradeshow in Phoenix late May, Allison Peck, director of design for Brevani, a division of Color Merchants based in New York, says that she’s confident JCK Las Vegas is going to be a success. “Retailers and exhibitors alike are excited to be in-person, see live goods, and catch up with industry friends.”

Make Plans
JCK advises jewelers to stay on property at the Venetian.

“It’s convenient and easier to travel from your room at the Venetian to the show at the Sands,” says Bachmann, who suggests taking the scenic route through the Grand Canal Shoppes to enter the show on Level 3. “August in the heat, it’s much better to remain indoors.” She notes that guests never have to leave the hotel with 25 restaurants from which to choose.

Another tip: Bachmann shares that when bored with the concession stands on the show floor trek up to Level 4 and visit the JCK Café. A favorite lunch spot for the JCK team, it offers a step-up in food from typical convention fare.

Ways to prepare for the show:

  • Download the 2021 JCK Las Vegas Mobile App
  • Have a plan before arriving at the show
  • Make appointments, but work in time for browsing

Things to carry with you as you venture about:

  • Mask for occasions it may be required or provide comfort
  • Personal hand sanitizer in the event nothing is handy
  • Hand moisturizer, lip balm and eye drops to weather dry environment
  • Water to stay hydrated and protein bars to stave hunger
  • Phone charger
  • Consider contactless business cards (QR code can pull up on phone)

Things to think about to be successful:

  • Arrive to the show well rested
  • Wear comfortable attire that can be layered and smart walking shoes
  • Take breaks to hydrate and recharge
  • Take notes and snap pictures regarding people met, products and technology discovered, ideas garnered, and new things learned
  • Share what you are doing and seeing with customers on social media, your adventures make for great behind the scenes posts
  • Tease first looks at new products and collections your customers will find for the holidays

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