Highlights and testimonials from this year’s show
The 26th edition of JCK Las Vegas concluded its weeklong show at the Mandalay Bay Resort convention center on June 6, leaving its more than 35,600 industry professionals (including exhibiting brands, retailers, media, and more) that attended with buckets of knowledge, new connections, products, and memories. While the annual jewelry event reports strong attendance, abundant networking opportunities, and informative panel discussions, there were also some new additions that made the highlight reel.
The 2016 revamped show floor—divided into “neighborhoods” for an easier shopping experience—complete with a reorganized Design Center and an extended lineup of (21!) JCK Rising Stars and design students, proved a crowd favorite. As JCK’s premier high-end show event, LUXURY opened its doors to an invitation-only crowd for three days, allowing qualified retailers to do explore its lineup of 250 elite brands. The LUXURY show went on to host all badge holders of JCK Las Vegas on June 3, when the crowds arrived in droves to explore the more than 2,400 exhibiting brands and manufacturers.
The well-received JCK Talks had visitors doing just that this year—talking about all manner of interesting topics and industry issues (in 18 informative discussions, to be exact). From the keynote to the much-talked-about “Lab-Grown Diamonds: Threat or Opportunity (or Both?)” panel, which played host to a standing-room crowd and debated what jewelers need to know about buying and selling lab-grown diamonds, the 2016 JCK Talks series was another one for the books.
On June 3, JCK opened and touted more than just layout changes: There were more opportunities to learn, take in the trends, celebrate, and network than ever before. The Plumb Club–sponsored breakfast featured a memorable education session hosted by Jason Dorsey on Selling to Gen Y and millennials, where step-by-step actions aimed at driving sales, enhancing communication, and creating engagement were divulged. Over at the Showcase Stage housed right beside the Design Center, a series of runway-inspired merchandising events, panel discssions, and competitions were held. Costume designers Lyn Paolo, Lauren Bott, and Ann Foley discussed trends featuring jewelry pulled right from the show floor, and Gemologue‘s Liza Urla talked blog inspiration and how to make it work for retailers—to name only a few. Instagram darlings Hanna Becker of Diamondoodles and Angie Crabtree delighted showgoers with their incredible work, through live demonstrations and interviews.
There was cause for celebration, too, and a number of events did just that: The Design Center’s Top 50 Retailers of the Year Awards sent Quadrum Gallery home with the top prize; the Editor’s Choice Awards honored Vicky Lew London as Kickstarter recipient, Doryn Wallach as Rising Star recipient, and Deeta Thakural as Resident Designer recipient; and the Think Tank Award for technology went to HoloJem from Jewelers Mutual Insurance in collaboration with Excelion IT.
The event culminated on the beach of Mandalay Bay to the rocking sounds of San Francisco band Train, where, despite Las Vegas’ record-breaking heat, attendees danced the night away.
Here is what just a few attendees had to say about their experience at JCK Las Vegas 2016:
“Today’s economic malaise can be best battled by experiencing all this show has to offer. More than simply North America’s largest assembly of the world’s very best wholesale jewelry companies, this is an invaluable opportunity to learn new skills, from how to make social media work for you to the proper way to greet customers. There has never been a more important time to coalesce with suppliers and fllow jewelers—and this show has that and more.” —Bruce Audley, Beverly Hills Jewellers
“JCK Las Vegas really exceeded our company’s expectations. Despite market conditions and a new location, we were extremely busy. We met with current clients, opened new accounts, and visited with industry leaders from all over the world. The mood was definitely upbeat, evidenced at countless social events and networking opportunities both on and off the show floor. The JCK show remains the most important event for our business during the calendar year!” —Phyllis Bergman, Mercury Ring
“This year’s JCK show was a turning point for us. For the first time in a long time, we were all together in one booth showcasing everything we have to offer to help the retail jeweler be successful, from bridal jewelry to findings to customization solutions. I think our customers appreciated the convenient, easy shopping experience.” —Matt Stuller, founder and CEO of Stuller
“For our first time exhibiting at JCK Las Vegas, the least we can say is that it exceeded our expectations. It has truly become a must-attend event for us, and the response to our collections was great. The organization is flawless and the quality of traffic allowed us to open new doors in one of our most important markets.” —Melissa Boussou, Rosefield Watches
For more information on future JCK events, visit jckonline.com/shows.