From the Publisher, July–August 2018: What a Terrific JCK Show!



JCK publisher Mark SmelzerI’m still recovering from the six-day marathon that is JCK Las Vegas, but I’m feeling great about the week and the industry!

Despite this being a challenging year for trade shows around the world, JCK was a solid success. Of course, some exhibitors did better than others (typically those with new product lines, preset appointments, etc.), but overall the mood was positive. Beyond the buzz around the debut of De Beers’ new lab-grown diamond brand, Lightbox, retailers were talking about an improved economy, and exhibitors said those retailers who attended the show were truly there to buy.

This year’s show held several highlights for me.

Thursday night saw the 2018 edition of the Diamond Empowerment Fund’s annual Diamonds Do Good gala. Congratulations to DEF’s Nancy Orem Lyman on a great evening.

On Friday, opening day of the show, it was my pleasure to be a part of the first JCK Industry Trends Breakfast, where I got to announce and congratulate the winners of the 2018 JCK Jewelers’ Choice Awards from the stage.

Friday night was our annual team dinner, hosted by our partners in the production of JCK, Headline Studio (a division of Advance Publications, parent company of Condé Nast). I love our team and it’s always a delight to gather together, with members coming from as far as Bangkok, Hong Kong, Mumbai, and Warsaw.

As usual, Sunday was the busiest day. JCK editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky and I were delighted to host our fifth annual JCK Think Tank, the show’s answer to ABC’s Shark Tank. In our version, competitors present an innovative product or service to a panel of judges and an audience, which votes via text for the one with the best idea. Congrats to winner Shelia Bayes for Gem + Jewel, an online marketplace connecting shoppers, retailers, and brands.

Next up was the annual Le Vian Red Carpet Revue, with its traditional forecast of ­fashion and fine jewelry trends, followed by an ­amazing performance by singer Macy Gray.

Later that night, we once again juggled the dressy Jewelers for Children Facets of Hope gala and the casual JCK Rocks the Bowl at Brooklyn Bowl. Kudos to the honorees at JFC, and to JCK Events for pulling together a rocking time!

On Monday, we capped off the show by gathering some great friends and colleagues and exploring the Neon Museum. We were given a guided tour of an incredible “boneyard” of old Las Vegas signs—some iconic, some obscure—with plenty of Sin City history mixed in. Put it on your itinerary for next year.

Speaking of next year, I, like everyone I know, am very excited about JCK Las Vegas’ return to the Sands Expo and Convention Center. Let the countdown to the 2019 show begin!

Top: An out-of-service (but still cool) sign at the Neon Museum

(Smelzer photograph by Nicholas A. Prakas; grooming: Claudia Andreatta/Halley Resources)