The Midwest Jewelers Conference & Show Is the New Jewelers Education Conference

Bill Jones of Sissy’s Log Cabin will give the opening keynote

The Jewelers Education Conference, a 16-year-old jewelry trade show that historically showcased merchandise geared toward retailers located in Middle America, has been rebranded for 2016 as the Midwest Jewelers Conference & Show.

The regional show and educational conference, which will be held April 1–3, is also getting more urban—it’s moving from its longtime suburban digs outside of Kansas City, Mo., to the city’s hip Power & Light District downtown. The change, according to a press release on the event, was made to “accentuate a restructured agenda that eliminates slow time for vendor-sponsors and consolidates educational and social time for jewelers and their families.”

The event schedule is packed but includes some key networking time. Day one, a Friday, is “is earmarked for meetings of the state associations sponsoring the show,” along with time to grab a long and winding dinner with friends, customers, or retail contemporaries in the restaurant-heavy area.

Bill Jones (pictured, above), president of Sissy’s Log Cabin Fine Jewelry in Pine Bluff, Ark., will be the event’s opening keynote speaker and will, according to the statement, “share the story of how his mother, Sissy Jones, began a jewelry store in a rented log cabin.” We at JCK can attest that the Joneses are nothing if not amazing storytellers (see a recent interview I did with the family here)—so be sure not to miss Bill’s speech. 

Day two of the event marks the beginning of the educational programming and vendor displays, which will continue throughout the day and conclude midday Sunday (the third and final day).

The speaker lineup, beginning with Jones, looks very solid: Terry Chandler, president of the Diamond Council of America, will moderate a Town Hall Meeting called “Diamond Grading Reports: The Jeweler’s Ticking Time Bomb.” David Brown, president of the Edge Retail Academy, will give a speech, along with Edge Retail Academy’s sales and training manager Becka Johnson Kibby, who will present a series seminars on succession planning.

Doug Hucker, president of the American Gem Trade Association, will host a seminar on “Falling in Love With Color,” while Shannon Oleen, a professional speaker and a former cheerleader for the Kansas City Chiefs, will give a seminar on working with different generations.

Registration for all three days, including seminars, meals, and access to a hospitality room at the venue, will set you back $175, with hotel rooms starting at $159 per night. Visit the website for additional information on the show and to register. And drop me a line at to tell me how it went!

(Photo courtesy of Sissy’s Log Cabin)

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JCK Senior Editor

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