It was a hectic end-of-summer here at JCK. We’ve been busy expanding our staff, strategizing and budgeting for next year, and, as always, enjoying a healthy dose of travel!
The travel highlight of the month was my trip to Panama City for JCK’s second annual LUXURY Privé Panama, once again held at the beautiful Westin Playa Bonita Resort just north of the city.
Privé Panama provides exhibitors with unique access to some of Central and South America’s best retailers. The show began with a speed-dating–style session, where exhibitor and retailer attendees met face to face, without jewelry, to get to know each other a bit better before the show started. I think it’s a terrific idea and one I’d love to see more of at smaller, relaxed shows.
JCK Events’ Lars Parker-Myers, American Gem Society’s Ash Shah, Victoria Gomelsky, and I enjoyed drinks in Panama City’s Casco Viejo on our last night in Panama.
It was fascinating to walk the floor and learn the objectives of the exhibitors in attendance. Clearly, those with a long view of slowly building relationships and connections in a new and very diverse region of the world are the ones who will benefit the most. I had a particularly insightful conversation with Michael Hujara of Breuning on his international growth strategy. Very interesting stuff.
Of course, the nights in Panama City were amazing too, from an all-white party at the hotel—seeing so many friends dancing in the humidity to the point of being drenched was hysterical!—to a great evening out in the city’s colonial old town. Leave it to editor-in-chief/intrepid globe-trotter Victoria Gomelsky to take us to all the town’s coolest bohemian boîtes!
I also squeezed in a quick 24-hour trip before Panama to the second annual SMART Show Dallas (the things we world travelers suffer!). Like last year, it was held at the Gaylord Resort Hotel—we nicknamed it the “Biodome,” as the entire giant central area is a glass atrium—and was a great opportunity to see our customers and friends in a relaxed atmosphere. A highlight was the Saturday night cocktail party overlooking Grapevine Lake while watching the beautiful Texas sunset.
Back at NYC headquarters, we’ve been busy expanding our staff to meet the growth and strategic demands in the year ahead. First, we’ve grown our sales staff to include Sheraz Bhatti, our newest salesperson. Look for Sheraz to be out and about at the many shows ahead! Plus, we’ve got a lot of exciting plans for our digital content in 2014. Stay tuned for some great announcements in the weeks to come.
Next up, Hong Kong. See you there!