Q&A With JCK Las Vegas

JCK magazine: What’s all the talk about JCK being “more retail-focused”?

DAVE BONAPARTE: Over the past 18 months or so, the retail jewelry landscape has been quite challenging. Our goal is to provide a platform and venue that allows retailers to gain knowledge and insight to run their businesses better. We offer a robust educational program and also provide numerous opportunities to network and source the latest collections that make their debut at JCK.

How do you know what retailers want?

DB: Throughout the year, we are consistently in touch with our customers, both exhibitors and retailers, through in-person focus groups, in-store visits, and online research and surveys. We use this information and insight to stay on top of current market conditions and the impact it has on the retail jewelry marketplace. This enables us to provide key educational sessions, organize and plan the show floor layout, and add or subtract programs according to relevance and value.

How can retailers best navigate the show?

YANCY WEINRICH: First off, we now provide a 24/7/365 days Web platform for retailers to pre-shop the show—www.jckshowdirect.com. This site allows our retail customers to preview who and what will be there. The JCK Events Web site at www.jcklasvegasshow.com is also quite helpful, as it provides maps and appointment-setting capabilities.

What about during the show?

YW: Once at the show, the JCK Show Planner and touch screen kiosks are quite helpful in seeing floor plans and layouts and the pavilion areas that organize products by categories.

Does the Web site have other features?

YW: Yes. At the bottom of every page on the site, they’ll find a series of gray boxes that contain links. The first one is for www.jckshowdirect.com which takes them to a product gallery for at-show and year-round sourcing. The next box contains links to search by exhibitor listing, product category, and by the floor plan.

Is education also more retailer focused?

DESIREE HANSON: Yes, we’ve made a change for this year. As a result of retailers’ feedback, all of the educational sessions will be held on the show floor. That means they can continue to shop the show floor but can also take a session without leaving.

Any other changes to know about?

DH: Yes! JCK will be throwing a big welcome reception—JCK Rocks at the Mandalay Bay Beach. This reception will be open to all JCK Exhibitors and attendees, and several industry associations such as the Women’s Jewelry Association, Gen-Next, and the American Gem Society are taking special beach cabana areas for their members.

Anything new at the show itself?

DH: Yes, there will be Group Therapy roundtable discussions on Friday and Saturday afternoon. Retailers can discuss challenges, opportunities, solutions, and ideas with each other. Shane Decker, from Ex-SELL-Ence, and Paula Peterson, from Crown Luxury, will be on hand to facilitate.

Are there any “can’t miss” booths or areas?

YW: The JCK Design Center. They’ll find not only designers but those who are on the rise. Six industry designers are making their trade show debut and will share their design philosophies in a new program called “Meet the Rising Stars.”

How can retailers keep up with all the show-related information?

DH: JCK has gone social! We’re tweeting on Twitter [handle is @jckevents], and we have a JCK Events fan page on Facebook. We also have a LinkedIn page.

Any special ways you’re using those tools?

DH: Each Tuesday afternoon at 3 p.m. (Eastern Time) we conduct a “Twitter-view” with Design Center Rising Stars, industry luminaries, and education speakers that we call “JCK’s Conversation Pieces.” It offers a sneak peek at who they’ll meet at JCK plus some great information about our Rising Star designers.

Any bargains for retailers this year?

YW: We’ve created a number of programs that we like to call “Vegas on a Dime.” We created it to highlight some of our favorite—and economical—ways to experience Las Vegas after JCK each day. Retailers can check out the Vegas on a Dime link on the Web site to start planning.