With JCK Las Vegas 2016 just around the corner, June 3-6 at Mandalay Bay, planning your trade show strategy now will help you buy better, learn more, and maximize your time, resources and energy. Billed as “the destination to discover what’s new and next in the fine jewelry market” this mega-event approaches 1,000,000 total square feet including more than 2,400 vendors, with must-see special sections from rising designers to the Plumb Club Pavilion.
There’s a lot going on, from browsing and buying to education and networking, so having a clear strategy in mind is the first step toward success. “Make a list of the goals you want to accomplish by visiting the show, personal and professional,” advises consultant and author Susan A. Friedmann, aka The Tradeshow Coach, Lake Placid, New York. “Every subsequent decision that you make should put you closer to achieving your goals.”
Read through the trade show promotional materials to help devise your plan of action. “Create a list of must-see and want-to-see booths,” she says. “Research vendors so you know who you need to see and what you need to learn.”
On average, 39% of all trade show-attendees spend less than eight hours on the show floor, cites Friedmann. Decide how much time you want to spend at the show then allot an appropriate amount to each booth. Include extra time for browsing, distractions and waiting in lines.
Make appointments with exhibitors you really want to meet, scheduling the must-see booths first in your day. For jewelers attending with staff, divide and conquer to browse and visit with vendors and attend seminars. Develop a lead form, advises Friedmann, to record vendor names, products, contact details, and follow-up notes.
“We encourage our brand partners and new account prospects to make appointments and carve out a schedule. With so much going on, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and distracted,” says Wendy Fox, senior director of sales, independent division for Richline Jewelry, New York. “Focus on areas you’re looking to grow, current accounts you want to work with, and new opportunities you’re looking to preview.”
Get a map of the show floor and prioritize your route. This is especially important this year, as Mandalay Bay has undergone an expansion that will alter some sections like the Plumb Club on level two. The Plumb Club Pavilion has relocated and will be adjacent to where it was last year, across the hall from Luxury rather than behind it.
The Plumb Club is a destination for jewelers who are best in their category to find manufacturers and brands best in theirs—47 vendors will be exhibiting this year.
“The Plumb Club pavilion further enhances the one-stop shopping concept for our buyers, which is the essence of JCK Las Vegas,” says Corinna Bhasin, general manager F.D. Worldwide Merchandise Group, New York. “Plumb Club members account for approximately 20% of the $8 billion domestic fine jewelry market. Buyers could get their assortment needs addressed in the most efficient way within this pavilion. The convenience of being just doors away from the buyers’ other appointments makes it easier for them to cover more in a short time.”
The synergy of Plumb Club members makes it a strong group for buyers, says Neil Shah, Shah Luxury, New York. “The Plumb Club is an important, hand selected group that represents a diverse mix of companies. It has been very good for us being part of this group of jewelers working together for a common good. It’s rare to see that kind of collaboration in events and marketing on the vendor side.” He’s also a fan of the ultra cushy carpeting unique to the pavilion.
Undoubtedly, the Plumb Club is an inviting and comfortable place to walk and view some of the finest jewelry in the show, with a vendor base attentive to driving traffic into stores, says Jay Gerber for the diamond manufacturer, WR Cobb Company, East Providence, Rhode Island, He also cites the pavilion’s popular central meeting place and lounge to chill, chat and chew with complimentary snacks and refreshments for retailers. An ideal environment for trends trackers, he describes the vendors there focused on top trending items and programs for the holiday season. “Buyers get to meet teams of experts that can guide them to grow their business and meet consumer expectations.”
JCK is the perfect venue to gather information not only from vendors, but also experts in trends, sales, marketing, and merchandising that are part of the JCK Talks educational series, beginning June 2. Take advantage of as many seminars and workshops as you can and/or have staffers attend and share what they’ve learned.
Mark your calendars to attend the Plumb Club’s annual Breakfast Symposium, Understanding and Selling to Gen “Y” and Millennials on Saturday, June 4th in the South Seas Ballroom, level three, Mandalay Bay. Click here for more information and to RSVP
Make time to hobnob with friends and colleagues at some of the exciting networking events planned during the show. If you’ve done your pre-show homework, you’ll make the most of your convention experience and still have fun!