Better Safe than Sorry: Security Tips for Exhibitors and Buyers

Exhibitors attending jewelry trade shows are prime targets of South American
theft and robbery gangs. These gangs travel to all major jewelry shows.
Exhibitors should assume that they are targets of these criminals and be
extremely cautious, especially during arrival and departure.

Virtually all show-connected losses could be prevented by shipping directly
into and out of the show location with an armored courier service. Exhibitors
traveling with merchandise are at increased risk at hotels, car rental agencies,
restaurants, parking lots, and while traveling to and from the show city. Gangs
use “money drop” scams, hotel-room invasions, distractions, and
thefts from unattended vehicles to steal exhibitor merchandise.

Buyers beware, you too are at risk.

When South American theft and robbery gangs see people going to and coming
from jewelry shows with bags, they assume they are carrying valuable
merchandise.

Criminals can mistake buyers who are not carrying valuable merchandise with
exhibitors who are. Gangs also have particularly targeted laptops and other
valuable items with which people travel. Therefore, all jewelers, whether
carrying valuable merchandise or not, must take proper precautions or risk
becoming another crime victim.
The following tips can help keep both exhibitors, buyers, and their jewelry
safe.
Ship your lines using an armored courier service. Do not carry it.

If you cannot ship your line, store it immediately upon arrival in Las Vegas in the show
vaults at the Sands Expo and Convention Center. Keep it vaulted there during
your entire stay at the show.

Carrying bags or cases that could be mistaken for a jewelry line can make
you a target.

It is very dangerous to host or attend informal jewelry shows in hotel
rooms. Show jewelry only at the Sands-for your own safety, the safety of your
customers and the protection of your line.

It is extremely dangerous to make sales calls on accounts in show cities
before, during, and after jewelry shows.
Gangs are rampant in show cities around show time and will target salespeople
calling on retailers.

If working at a booth, you could be victimized by switches, distractions, or
other theft crimes, just as retailers are victimized. Exhibitors must be in
control of their goods at all times. If you don’t have enough personnel to
control the security of your booth, consider hiring a guard.

Be discreet. Do not wear show badges or display identifying materials
outside the show floor.
When leaving trade shows, avoid cabs and limousines cruising for fares. Use a
properly identified phone-dispatched car service or shuttle bus provided by the
show.

Buyers-do not accept delivery of jewelry merchandise inside or outside the
Sands Expo. Have all goods shipped to your place.

Do not leave valuables such as personal jewelry in your hotel room when you
are not there. Unneeded personal jewelry can be checked in a safe deposit box
in the lobby of the hotel.

Make sure the door to your hotel room is bolted or chained at all times.
Look through the keyhole to determine who is there if someone knocks. Do not
open the door to strangers or even to those who appear to be hotel employees
unless you have requested service.

Never leave laptops, briefcases, luggage, or other valuables unattended. If
you must put items down, put them between your legs and keep them in contact
with your body.

Be discreet in carrying easily identified jewelry-related bags or other
materials outside the exhibit hall, and be discreet in your conversations
concerning jewelry and the show. When not on the shuttle bus or at organized
show-related events, try not to identify yourself as a jeweler.

If you travel by plane, do not put personal jewelry in your checked
baggage-keep it in a carry-on bag.
When traveling to Vegas, bring only the credit cards you expect to use. Leave
all other cards at home.

Do not venture into unfamiliar neighborhoods at late hours.

Don’t let your awareness of security matters be clouded by excessive alcohol
consumption.

For additional information on security, visit the JSA web
site
.