THE ORLANDO SHOW: WHY DID WE DO IT?
Our press release announcing JCK’s decision to launch a new jewelry show in Orlando in February 1997 said, “We realize many in the industry already feel that we are `over-showed.'”
That fact was an important element in our thinking when we talked about starting the new venture. But, as was the case when we launched the Las Vegas show in 1992, we also paid close attention to another important factor: industry calls for action.
We started in Las Vegas because a high-level delegation of regular jewelry show exhibitors came to our offices in the summer of 1991 and asked us to make the move. That pattern was repeated this year. Actually, the pressure started as long ago as 1993 when it became evident that Las Vegas was accepted as a premier industry event. But exhibitor requests to start a companion spring show were intermittent, more friendly prods than urgent requests.
That situation changed over the past few months. By late June, the urgency that was missing earlier was very apparent. We received many messages that could be summarized very simply: “Do it now!”
So we did. About the middle of July, after many personal consultations with exhibitors and buyers, we decided to go ahead. Our choice of location:
Orlando. Our choice of timing: late February to avoid conflict with other industry spring events and with the Valentine’s Day selling period.
We expected a lot of flak from those who believe there are already too many shows. To our amazement and pleasure, we received almost none. Instead, we drew almost universal support from people who said they liked both the location and timing. These people tell us that JCK has established, through its Las Vegas show, an organization which they believe truly wants to create an event that benefits the industry as well as JCK. That is our goal and we appreciate greatly that so many see us achieving it.
Actions often speak more loudly than words. Within a week of our Orlando announcement, we had many requests for exhibit space, even though specific assignments can’t be made until we have full floor plan details from the convention center.
Orlando is a big undertaking for us. Joined with Las Vegas it involves a great commitment in time, energy, people-power and cash. But it also is very exciting for us; it’s a new challenge. I promise you that in everything we do to make Orlando a new and profitable event for both buyers and exhibitors, one abiding rule will guide us: each time we take a step we’ll ask ourselves, “Is this the right thing to do, the best thing to do for everyone concerned?”