From the Publisher, October 2020: A Year of Surprises



As I write this, we’ve just concluded the JCK Virtual show, and what a success it was! The mid-August event saw more than 4,500 participants, with 3,400+ attendees and 734 exhibiting companies, who, together, brought the product discovery, expert insight, and networking of the JCK and Luxury shows to ­attendees’ computers in a way we might not have thought possible at the start of this year.

While JCK Virtual wasn’t a substitute for an in-person show, it was definitely something special in its own right, and gave our industry an occasion to connect, communicate, learn, and sell in a year otherwise bereft of those opportunities. Congrats to Sarin Bachmann and the entire JCK Events team on their success!

Throughout the week, one surprising theme came up again and again: The COVID-19 pandemic has actually created unforeseen opportunities for the jewelry sector. Between a lack of consumer spending on travel and other disposable income categories, the eternal emotional connection with jewelry, and the indefatigable embrace of consumerism, many in the jewelry industry are reporting that they have had a relatively good year. Indeed, JCK Virtual was filled with anecdotes of success.

None of this is to take away from the ­hardship we’ve all felt during this ­pandemic or to make light of so much loss. But it is encouraging to know that the desire for ­jewelry is resilient, and that our industry can be counted on to come together and lift the tide for all while making customers happy, keeping employees paid, paying taxes, and contributing to our charitable causes.

Here’s hoping that 2021 will return to “normal” and we can look back with a sigh of relief that our industry was less affected than others.

Speaking of 2021, I’m pleased to announce some big changes in the format and types of content and resources we will produce next year.

First off, we are redesigning our online platform to add compelling new year-round content, including JCK News Daily, JCK magazine, JCK Events, and JCK Talks ­education. If you’ve not done so, be sure to subscribe to the daily newsletter to keep abreast of all our exciting developments.

In print, we are reducing our ­frequency to one spectacular preshow issue, to be distributed to our subscribers in early May and on-site at JCK Las Vegas.

While our media adapt with the times, our role as “The Industry Authority” never changes. We are so excited to embrace new platforms and new concepts, all of which we will continue to strive to make best in class!

Top: During the JCK Virtual show, I moderated a “Hot Topics” discussion with our editors.

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