JCK Las Vegas Gets a Makeover

An updated floor plan, new accommodations, and revamped conference program cement JCK Las Vegas’ reputation as a must-attend event

From May 29 through June 1, JCK Las Vegas will take over the Mandalay Bay Convention Center for the fifth year in a row—but it’s far from same old, same old. The event is being reimagined with a slew of updates to the show floor and a slate of new amenities, according to Yancy Weinrich, senior vice president at Reed Exhibitions. She talks to JCK about the show’s stylish makeover (including its chic beige and black color palette).

JCK: What’s new for this year’s show?
Yancy Weinrich: We’re going to be improving the JCK experience by expanding and moving some of the specialty pavilions, further curating the show floor based on buyer preferences and traffic patterns. The look of the show will be improved with new neighborhoods, landmarks, and relaxation areas—and we’re adding a new Technology Pavilion that will be home to companies that make wearables.

JCK: Will we see any matchmaking-style events in Las Vegas?
YW: Definitely. We’re hiring 10 customer experience consultants. Exhibitors and buyers will tell us through their mobile apps what they’re looking for and we’ll have 10 people to call them, to take it to the human level in the follow-up stage. So, if someone says they’re looking for pearl vendors, our customer service experts will call and say, “We’ve got five companies you should visit.” That started in January.

JCK: In the five years that JCK has been at Mandalay Bay, what’s the key takeaway about the venue?
What we know about Mandalay Bay is the convention center works better than other convention centers we’ve been in. The lighting, the high ceilings, the fact that it’s all above ground work really well. We’ve actually put down mats and quads that track traffic patterns. We know based on that where we can beef up activities to draw traffic, and we know where traffic already flows. Also, in 2014, we put beacons on the show floor, where we’re tracking cellular activity so we know where the crowds are and where they’re not.

A new beige-and-black design scheme will greet showgoers in Vegas this year.

JCK: Are there any new developments as far as accommodations?
YW: We’re creating a new low-cost hotel option to offset some of the costs of staying in Vegas. The Excalibur and the Tropicana will have rooms for $62 and $102 per night, respectively. The Tropicana has been completely renovated. We will have shuttle buses from all our properties. And THEhotel [the boutique property adjacent to the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino] has been converted into the Delano, and looks really nice.

As part of the low-cost hotel options—we’re calling it “Vegas on a Dime”—we’re promoting some of the lower-cost restaurants, like Shake Shack at New York, New York, to give people more options for dining.

JCK: As the show evolves, what do you want attendees to keep in mind?
YW: The goal is to assure our constituents that JCK Las Vegas Jewelry Week continues to be the must-attend event for everyone in the jewelry industry. The JCK show is the anchor, but the events that go around it—the Diamond Empowerment Fund event, Jewelers for Children, The Plumb Club—support that. We have the best of the best exhibitors and we’re continuing to help retailers grow their businesses.

We’re evolving our conference program this year. We’re creating an area on the Web that will be called JCK Talks, like TED Talks, and we’ll bring people from the outside world to talk about technology and redefining retail to help our retailers jump-start their businesses and stay on the cutting edge. They’re looking for help and we’re providing it.