(NORWALK, Conn.) - JCK Las Vegas is moving to Mandalay Bay in 2011 as part of an over arching reinvention that is being enthusiastically endorsed by the major players in the jewelry industry who have agreed to lead the parade up Vegas' storied strip.
The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA), Hong Kong Jewelry Manufacturers Association (HKJMA), LUXURY, Plumb Club, Prestige Promenade, Swiss Watch and Vicenza Oro Italian Pavilion were among the very first to sign up for 2011 and support the move. Many other industry leading companies have also endorsed the move and will lead this exciting change.
"This has been a pure example of customer-focused decision making," said Dave Bonaparte, Group Vice President for JCK Events. "We will deliver dynamic change to meet the needs of our customers and create fresh new value without sacrificing any fundamental element that has made JCK Las Vegas so special for 18 years."
Before JCK Events made the final decision, Bonaparte said, extensive research was conducted with customers. Individual companies were consulted as well as larger groups. More than 80 of the largest exhibiting companies and organizations, representing more than 500 domestic and key international customers, visited Mandalay Bay in July and were asked to voice their opinion.
"More than 90 percent expressed support for the move," Bonaparte said. "After that, it was a matter of determining if we could meet retailer needs with the right date pattern. The existing date pattern is the one that works best for our customers, and Mandalay Bay was able to accommodate our timing. We have thoroughly enjoyed our tenure at the Sands Convention Center. Indeed, our company will continue to hold three major events at the Sands in 2011 and beyond. But for JCK's customers, this was the right decision at the right time."
Mandalay Bay offers a state-of-the-art convention facility - one of the most modern in Las Vegas - which greatly improves the overall exhibiting environment and offers a simpler, easier move in/move out process. Mandalay Bay's property is diverse, yet intimate. There is a range of hotel properties offering a variety of price points - from the renowned luxury of the Four Seasons Hotel, to the all-suites design of THEhotel and the newly renovated luxury of Mandalay Bay itself. There are also more moderately-priced hotel options next door to Mandalay Bay, linked by tram and an enclosed walkway. The boutique feel of the Mandalay Bay campus, which includes 22 restaurants, bars and clubs, will make casual networking easier and enhance after-hours business. All of these considerations are important to JCK customers, according to research conducted immediately following the 2009 event.
In 2010, JCK Las Vegas will begin its reinvention as a retailer-focused event, explained Bonaparte.
"We will continue to seek ways to reduce cost, organize the floor plan better for ease of navigation and efficient buying. And we will continue to invest in more programming and education and opportunities for networking and socializing - all important to the retail customers, based on our research. These enhancements will continue to position JCK as the number one event for the North American jewelry marketplace, in 2010 and into the future."
"When exhibitors and customers are relaxed and happy, it's easier to build relationships and write business," said Charlie Rosario, Senior Vice President, Lazare Kaplan International, Inc.
"The Mandalay Bay experience represents such an intimate environment in which to conduct business. This can only result in a win-win proposition for all of us."
"I was blown away by the service we received at Mandalay Bay," said Doug McDowell, Memoire. "Everything was first-class and no small detail overlooked... All of this adds up to my support for JCK 2011 at Mandalay Bay."
"The move to Mandalay Bay will offer an enhanced business environment, one that meets the individual needs of each retailer buyer," according to Simon Ghanimian, Simon G. Jewelry, Inc. "From the luxurious facility to the diversity of the hotels and restaurants, this move represents a great opportunity for the future of JCK and I'm happy to be a part of it."
For more information about the "Mandalay Bay Experience" in 2011, visit: www.jck2011.com.