(ROSEMONT, Ill.) – INSTORE hosted its first INSTORE Show in Rosemont, Illinois August 13 – 15 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center and co-located with the Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference (Aug. 11 – 12). INSTORE also partnered with MJSA to hold an education track on Cram Day (Aug. 12) ahead of the show, and MJSA also oversaw the Bench Pressure Challenge, Aug. 13 – 14. Additionally, on Sunday night August 11, a “Play It Cool Party” fêted this year’s winners of the America’s Coolest Jewelry Stores contest.
Popular speaker Shane Decker drew a crowd as the keynote speaker where he addressed “How to Double Your Average Ticket Sale.”
On the show floor, a variety of educational seminars took place. Among them were Just Be You: How to Match Your Store Environment with Your Culture and Model, How to Overcome the Most Difficult Customer Objections, How to Prep for Fourth Quarter Based on Current Retail Trends, and 3 Ways to Update Your Store on a Budget. Popular INSTORE columnists and retailers featured on the pages of the magazine led thoughtful discussions and offered tips on how to elevate businesses.
“It was great to see the pages of INSTORE come to life with so many of our columnists and peers present for the show,” said Eileen McClelland, managing editor of INSTORE.
Winners of the Bench Pressure Challenge emerged after two days of competition. Two separate challenges included a “mystery box” of materials – including one unusual item – sent to three bench jewelers who then designed a piece using the materials and brought it to the show. The jewelers explained to the audience how and why they used their materials and techniques. A second Timed Challenge involved resizing, setting and finishing a piece using materials given out at the show and completed within a three-hour period by three other competitors.
The winner of the Mystery Box Challenge was Shayna Egan from Green Lake Jewelry Works in Seattle, and the winner of the Timed Challenge was Jimmy Butts from Sissy’s Log Cabin in Pine Bluff, AR.
Exhibitors and buyers were pleased with the event’s location, layout and vibe.
“On opening day, we did triple the goal we set for ourselves for the entire show,” said Kimberly Collins of the eponymous gemstone firm. “Retailers restocked some loose colored gemstones, including a huge blue zircon from Cambodia and teal sapphires. We also sold a beautiful ruby tennis necklace, and there was also lots of interest in rainbow jewelry and Barbie pink.”
“We signed up five new accounts on our first day,” noted Larry Rodgers of Lavish Jewelry Cleaner. “We met a lot of store owners that we’ve never seen at any other show.”
“It was great to reconnect with people,” said Alan Goodheart of Goodheart’s Jewelry in Overland Park, KS. “We haven’t been to a show since before the pandemic. We’ve had two great days of buying and the party was amazing – the food, the music, the excitement.”
Dates for next year’s show are already set for August 11 – 13, 2024, to be held again in Rosemont at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about 2024 exhibiting opportunities.