Virtual jewelry trade shows have become the norm in the COVID-19 era—but it may not be long before we all meet in person again.
The 66th Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair, which was originally scheduled for Feb. 23–27 by its organizer, Thailand’s Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP), announced today that it’s making the switch from an in-person fair to an all-virtual trade show, now dubbed the BGJF Virtual Trade Fair, to take place in May.
But the show following the May event—the 67th Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair—is being planned as a hybrid experience, meaning it will take place virtually and in-person. The event is scheduled for Sept. 11–15 at Bangkok’s Impact Muang Thong Thani.
In a year where staying safe has meant staying away from people, gem and jewelry trade show organizers have managed constant uncertainty, made countless tough calls, and faced fearsome learning curves in the process of pivoting from hosting live shows to producing complex online events for thousands.
A return to Before Times when it comes to trade shows will not be quick or easy. But the momentum toward in-person shows seems to be building. Last week, the JCK Show announced it would host its annual JCK Las Vegas and Luxury shows beginning Aug. 24. The twin shows will take place at The Venetian Resort & Sands Expo in Las Vegas. Another JCK show, JIS, will take place in-person March 22–24 and Oct. 8–11 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.
Of course, a lot can change in a few months (probably the understatement of the year). And the ability to produce large-scale indoor events is heavily dependent on COVID-19 infection rates, and how quickly and efficiently the current vaccination rollout goes, both in the U.S. and abroad. Our fingers are crossed.
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