The events calendar at JCK Las Vegas is chock-full of fun industry get-togethers
It’s often said that business deals are done during the off-hours—on the golf course, around the dinner table, or, in the case of JCK Las Vegas, at one of the many events that populate the show’s social calendar. Because few industries appreciate a good party more than the jewelry crowd, we spoke to JCK senior vice president Yancy Weinrich about the nighttime gatherings no self-respecting JCK-goer should miss in Las Vegas.
JCK: We’re four weeks out from the show. What are you most looking forward to?
Yancy Weinrich: I’m most passionate about the people and the product, so that’s what I’m excited about. This industry is unique in that we all like to spend time together. The tagline for JCK’s first marketing piece is “It’s not just business, it’s personal.” And that’s how I feel about the jewelry industry. It’s not just business.
JCK: Let’s talk about the nightly happenings. What’s on tap for Thursday, May 28?
YW: Thursday night you’ve got the Diamond Empowerment Fund gala. It’s a relatively new association. They give money to educate people in diamond-producing countries in Africa and now India. With their Diamonds Do Good campaign, they’re trying to reach consumers with the message that diamonds do a lot of good in diamond-producing countries. No one will leave Las Vegas without understanding what that campaign is, so retailers can get excited and encourage their millennial customers to support nonprofits.
Gavin DeGraw joins the tradition of JCK Rocks the Beach performers like Bruno Mars and OneRepublic.
JCK: What about Friday night?
YW: Friday night at the Four Seasons is the annual Indian Diamond & Colorstone Association dinner. The IDCA is a not-for-profit organization that supports the Indian diamond and colored stone community. JCK has worked really closely with this group and their board of directors over the last five years to put the right kind of food in the association’s pavilions—Jain cuisine—and to help promote its members and their association. There are four honorees this year: The retailer of the year is Shane & Co., the banker of the year is ABN AMRO, the diamond mining company of the year is Alrosa, and I’m what they call the doyenne of the year.
JCK: That’s great—congrats! Now, for Saturday night. It’s Plumb Club night, right?
YW: That’s right. Plumb Club traditionally brings the industry together. The organization has 44 members and they invite tables of retailers to the Vegas gala. All in all, there are more than 1,000 people at the dinner. There’s always headline entertainment, and it’s always fun-filled. This year, the theme is celebrating America and patriotism.
Last year, some 1,300 people attended the always-popular Plumb Club gala at Mandalay Bay.
JCK: Sunday night is usually my favorite night—tell us about what’s going on then.
YW: Sunday is the Jewelers for Children gala. This is another great organization—they raise millions, and it all goes back to children’s charities. The honorees this year are Philippe Mellier from De Beers and Pandora’s Scott Burger. The event is followed by a celebration of the industry with JCK Rocks the Beach, our Sunday night beach party at Mandalay Bay. Gavin DeGraw is this year’s performer. He’s a Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter, well known for his hit singles.
JCK: It’s not all big galas. Can you remind us again about the daily happy hours?
YW: Because people in the industry like to see each other so much, we’re formalizing JCK happy hours—JCK Wine(d) Down takes place every night at 5:30 p.m. from Thursday night through Monday. They’ll be in the restaurant corridor at Mandalay Bay, right across from Strip Steak.
JCK: Will we see you there?
YW: Oh yeah, absolutely!