(DALLAS) - The second annual Smart Jewelry Show Dallas was held August 23 - 26 at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center.
Retailers interviewed on the show floor enjoyed both the convenience and timing of the event.
Buyer Kim Burgan, owner of Nine-Eighteen in Dallas, TX, says she and her brother, co-owner Darin Kunz, enjoyed speaking face-to-face with suppliers they generally deal with regularly on the phone or online, as well as the opportunity to actually touch the products. “And, of course, the location is super convenient for us,” she says. “And the timing is good heading into the fall to talk to the people we order from and fill in extra pieces in their collections for Christmas.”
J. Shea Leech of Abilene, TX, who also attended last year, says he is thrilled about the location of the Smart Show Dallas since it’s just a two-and-a-half hour drive from his town. “There’s a good array of quality products and vendors and it’s convenient to my location,” he says. In fact, it’s the only show he attends all year.
John Mikesell of Mikesell’s Fine Jewelry in Hamilton, MT attended the Show for the first time and gave an enthusiastic review. Said Mikesell: “We didn’t go to Vegas this year, and we found a lot of vendors who we really liked here in Dallas. It was a relaxed environment that we enjoyed shopping in.”
Exhibitors were pleased with the percentage of high-quality retail buyers at the show.
“Gems One loves the show,” said George Prout, vice-president of sales and marketing at Gems One. “It’s like the Smart Show filtered down the jewelry industry to bring exactly the kind of customers that we need.”
Exhibitors also praised the show’s unique atmosphere. Kirsten Boedecker of Kir said her favorite thing about The Smart Show is its “intimate and friendly” feel. “I want to feel comfortable and relaxed when I’m doing a trade show,” she said. “For me, by far, my favorite show is the Smart Show - both Chicago and Dallas. We just get the warm fuzzies at this show.”
Show highlights included a rousing keynote speech from football star Deion Sanders on Saturday as well as a Sunday pep talk on boosting jewelers’ holiday performance from an industry favorite, sales guru Shane Decker. The pop-up bar/restaurant called Smarty’s Bar and Cafe, which launched earlier this year at The Smart Show Chicago, was a popular and relaxing hang-out during the show.
One more show highlight borrowed from The Smart Show Chicago was the popular Bench Pressure Challenge featuring some of America’s very best jewelers. Kelly Williams of K.W. Goldsmith in Minneapolis, MN was the big winner, taking the overall Bench Pressure Challenge championship, as well as top honors in the engraving competition and a new “mystery challenge” that required use of multiple bench skills in a single project. Williams became the first woman to ever win the overall title. Earlier, David Phelps of John David Jewelers in Durham, NC won the setting challenge and Brett Edmondson of Besco Custom Jewelers in College Station, TX won the overall CAD challenge division.
Summarizing this year’s show, Smart Show Director Jim Reed said: “We were pleased that such a high percentage of the shoppers attending came on a mission to buy. We think this indicates that our Dallas event has earned a more important place on retailers’ annual shopping calendars.”
About The SMART Jewelry Show
Now in its sixth year, The Smart Jewelry Show Chicago takes place April 5 - 7, 2014; the next Smart Jewelry Show Dallas is slated for September 13-15, 2014. (Educational conferences start a day prior to the show openings.) The Smart Jewelry Show is presented by InStore and InDesign magazines. Learn more at www.smartjewelryshow.com.