(LAS VEGAS) – JCK Las Vegas opened the palatial doors of its new venue, Mandalay Bay Resort & Convention Center on June 3, 2011 to welcome thousands of excited jewelry buyers from around the globe. An optimistic mood and increased buying on the show floor indicated positive signs of market renewal for the holiday season.
The Show started with a keynote presentation, offering advice on thriving in the new economy, presented by President & CEO of Mandalay Bay, Chuck Bowling. Immediately following, JCK celebrated its 20th anniversary with an opening ceremony acknowledging the industry’s support over the past two decades.
“What an amazing start to JCK Las Vegas,” said Yancy Weinrich, JCK Industry Vice President. “Our 20th Anniversary Opening Ceremony was the perfect way to kick off the event. I’m excited for all JCK customers to see all the improvements that have been made to enhance their experience.”
Retailers commented on the directional and welcoming signage that was added to assist in navigation of the huge event, while human show ambassadors – outfitted in “Ask Me” T-shirts – were on-hand to answer questions. Additional information could be found on touch-screen kiosks throughout the venue.
JCK Mobile – a veritable GPS and event guide – made its debut. Usable on all web-enabled devices, JCK Mobile presented maps, key locations, educational content, services and special events.
“The new venue is outstanding and the effort that JCK made to make sure we were comfortable getting around is appreciated,” said Lara Alexander, a JCK VIP Buyer from Alexander’s Jewellers. “From the red carpet that was literally rolled out when we arrived to Mandalay Bay to the detailed signage and JCK Staff in the ‘Ask Me’ shirts throughout the Convention Center, the overall experience was so enjoyable.”
With over 2500 exhibitors on the show floor, the new venue provided numerous opportunities to make navigational enhancements based on retailers’ requests for easy sourcing and buying. Bridal, Fashion Jewelry, Pearl and Silver comprised the new product areas offering unique décor touches that highlight their market appeal.
“I have been attending JCK for almost ten years and continue to be blown away by the amazing choices and the sheer size of the show,” said Richard Bennett of PK Bennett Jewelers. “I’ve always wondered how any jewelry store could be in business and NOT go to JCK… it has everything!”
The JCK Design Center celebrated the industry’s most innovative retailers for their excellence in merchandising, selling and display of designer jewelry. These retail stores are nominated and selected by the exhibitors located in the Design Center. The Top Designer Retailer was awarded to Ivan Gorman, I. Gorman Jewelers, Washington, DC. The Design Center also presented the Design Center Showcase award for the best overall design piece as voted by retailers. This year’s award recipient, voted on by retailers visiting the Design Center, was Walt Adler.
“My experience in the Design Center has been dynamite,” said Adler, a first-time Design Center exhibitor. “There is such a strong balance between design and price-point, which keeps buyers happy. From what I’ve seen the exhibitors in the Design Center bring something unique to JCK; fresh new pieces from some of the top up and coming designers in the jewelry industry.”
The AGTA GemFair™ at JCK presented over 200 exhibitors offering a comprehensive selection of natural colored gemstones, cultured pearls and colored gemstone jewelry. Color trends are defined at the AGTA GemFair™ and were worth a look for all jewelry professionals looking to buy current color trends.
According to Victoria Gomelsky, Editor-in-Chief, JCK Magazine, colored gemstones and diamonds were being shown a lot at JCK. The royal wedding and the desire for bright jewelry by consumers is what’s driving this trend.
“We are encouraged by the level of buying on the show floor,” said Yancy Weinrich. “This suggests that the recovery is picking up momentum as jewelers are looking to refresh and purchase new inventory for the upcoming holiday season.”
The International flavor of JCK was highlighted during the World’s Fair Cultural Ceremony as 22 countries represented at JCK Las Vegas were featured by a live parade of models showcasing jewelry trends for each country.
On the entertainment side, over 4000 JCK attendees hit the Beach at Mandalay Bay on Sunday night, June 5 to put their toes in the sand and listen to good music at the JCK Rocks the Beach! Party featuring Grammy Award-winning artist Bruno Mars and opening act Mayer Hawthorne & the County.
“JCK Rocks the Beach! was an overwhelming success,” said Weinrich. “From the first strum of the guitar to Bruno’s finale, ‘Just the Way You Are,’ the evening was a unique experience for all. There’s no better way to spend an enjoyable evening with industry colleagues and friends!”
While most exhibits’ last day was Monday, June 6, AGTA GemFair™ at JCK and JCK’s Equipment, Technology and Supplies (ETS) stayed open longer to buyers for additional product sourcing and new business services.
The AGTA GemFair™ offered buyers a way to differentiate themselves from their competitors by sourcing natural colored gemstones, cultured pearls and jewelry – those categories most in demand by consumers – from over 200 exhibitors from around the world. The AGTA’s dedication to maintaining high ethical standards among its members, and within the industry, stimulated confidence to shop the AGTA GemFair™ during the extra days.
“Over the past several days, ETS was crowded with retailers looking at the many demos, products and technologies offering business solutions,” said Dave Bonaparte, Group Vice President, JCK Events. “ETS is always one of the busiest places on the show floor and the extended day… provides additional time for retailers and manufacturers to complete their business plans for the future.”
The dates for 2012 JCK Events have been set: LUXURY, May 29-May 31; JCK Las Vegas June 1-4; and Swiss Watch, May 31-June 4.
The series of JCK Events are designed to serve the worldwide jewelry industry by offering the most comprehensive and complete buying and selling opportunities on a business-to-business basis. For more information on any of the international JCK Events or to view the event’s image and video galleries, please visit www.jckshows.com or call 800-257-3626.