AGS Conclave 2016 Hits Washington, D.C.

The 2016 American Gem Society Conclave is coming to the nation’s capital April 13–16, and if you’re looking to get educated on the jewelry industry’s most salient issues, you won’t want to miss it. The four-day event—at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City hotel—features keynote speakers former secretary of state Colin Powell, Shawn Achor (aka the “Happiness Guru”), military hero Marcus Luttrell, and management expert Joel Zeff. Plus, Peter Sheahan and Doug Lipp will address attendees on change and leadership, respectively.

Beyond Conclave’s always-anticipated pep talks and inspirational speeches, expect a full roster of educational offerings, such as seminars by JCK’s news director, Rob Bates, who will speak about millennials, and senior editor Emili Vesilind, who will dish on the future of retail. Jewelers of America will again stage a fashion show reflecting current jewelry trends.

Networking opportunities will also be plentiful. “Conclave is the highlight of our year because of our great networking,” says AGS deputy executive director Katherine Bodoh.

John Carter, AGS Conclave chair and CEO of Jack Lewis Jewelers in Bloomington, Ill., shared his most most anticipated moments: a panel to solve common retailer dilemmas; a discussion on the pros and cons of cause-marketing events; and a session with Jeffrey Post, curator of the Smithsonian’s National Gem and Mineral Collection. 

Another Conclave bonus: no sales pressure. “Because it’s a networking event not attached to a trade show, I can have a drink with a vendor with no pressure to buy,” Carter says. But perhaps most important: AGS is evolving and isn’t the same group your grandfather joined. “Multiple generations attend, many younger ones insisting that their parents go,” he says. 

Earrings in platinum with 13.24 cts. t.w. sapphires and 1.15 cts. t.w. diamonds; $100,000; Omi Gems, West Covina, Calif.; 877-664-4367;

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