Navigating America’s largest jewelry show

“What can be found at the 2005 international JCK Show in Las Vegas? In a word, ‘Everything!’ ”

So said John Tierney, group sales director for the JCK Shows, during a noontime talk Thursday on “How To Shop the JCK Show.” And advice from an expert like Tierney, who helps plan and lay out the trade fair, is useful for attendees. Now in its 14th year, The JCK Show ~ Las Vegas is the largest jewelry and watch trade show in the Western Hemisphere. This year’s edition is showcasing the products of some 2,800 exhibitors (500 more than in 2004) from 22 countries—including leaders in watches, gems, diamonds, jewelry, and equipment and support services—offering the latest trends and designs on 500,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space in the Sands Expo and Convention Center and the adjoining Venetian Hotel.

Up and down. The lower level of the Sands Expo and Convention Center, he said, includes the show’s Style Center, featuring fashion-forward merchandise; the “World’s Fair” International Pavilion; and the Equipment, Technology and Supply/Services section.

The upper level features the Hall of Time watch pavilion; Diamond Plaza, featuring loose diamonds and the Belgian pavilion; the Plumb Club and the Platinum Pavilion; the Galleria; the Luxury pavilion, which includes some of the same exhibitors from the previous invitation-only Luxury by JCK Show, the Prestige Promenade, featuring higher end, upscale products; the Indo-Argyle Diamond Council pavilion; and the Design Center, featuring new designers who have never exhibited before.

The American Gem Society Gem Fair Pavilion (held in partnership with The JCK Show) is in the Venetian Ballroom off the hall that connects the Venetian Hotel with the Sands Expo and Convention Center. In addition, three ballrooms on the other side of the hallway (where The Luxury by JCK Show took place May 30-June 2) house exhibitors from India (a new group), Russia (also new), Korea, Thailand, and Hong Kong (which also has a large number in the show’s International Pavilion).

Useful tools. Tierney also urged showgoers to take advantage of a number of “tools” that help them navigate the Show, including The JCK Show ~ Las Vegas Show Guide. In addition to detailed information about exhibitors, it has color-coded maps to quickly and easily find the various sections and pavilions, noted Tierney, and its index in back lists exhibitors under their product or service categories.

Other useful show tools include The JCK Show ~ Las Vegas Navigator, handed out at registration or at badge holder pickup; The JCK Show ~ Las Vegas Pocket Planner; new Pocket Planners for the show’s international section and its equipment, technology, and services section; the JCK Show Daily, handed out Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; directional signage, located throughout the halls; promotional signage; The JCK Product/Exhibitors locator center on the lower level; and JCK Show staff, dressed in black with a white carnation in their lapels.

In addition, there are cafes, with various cuisines, and lounges throughout the show on both levels, and concierge service in the various pavilions. New and improved. The show’s layout and operations are continually being reviewed and improved each year, noted Tierney, based on exhibitor and attendee input.

New features this year include:

* Information desks spread throughout the show;

* Added shuttle bus service in front of the Venetian at the end of the Show each day, to alleviate the wait in the taxi line; shuttle buses from the Venetian to The JCK Show Welcome Reception at the Bellagio Hotel; and the Jewelers for Children fund-raising gala, also at the Bellagio on June 5;

* Continental breakfasts in rotundas in the Venetian

Planning for 2006

It isn’t too soon to think now about The JCK Show ~ Las Vegas 2006, said John Tierney, JCK Show group sales director. His recommendations:

* Pre-register early. (You will start getting pre-show materials.)

* Review the JCK Web site ( from time to time, map out your trip, and decide whom you would like to meet.

* Make pre-show appointments and begin planning your “tour” of the show and your appointments.

* Buy comfortable shoes.