(NORWALK, Conn.) - Despite the economic slowdown across the jewelry industry and the nation, the Independent Jewelers Organization (IJO) experienced record-breaking participation at the IJO Show in Tampa, March 7-11, 2009. With 616 stores - 81 percent of its members - attending the show, IJO President and CEO Jeff Roberts said this marks a record for IJO Spring Show attendance.
Manufacturers Pandora and Fisher/LeStage reported a record number of sales at the IJO Show, and retailers said the seminars and education this year was unmatched in terms of quality of speakers and valuable information gained.
To help members succeed in business, a variety of relevant topics were presented at the show, such as tips on offering legendary service and fulfilling customers' unexpressed wishes. Mitch Joel, keynote speaker and a marketing and communications visionary, impressed attendees with his presentation on marketing in a connected world. In addition, representatives from thriving stores shared tips, skills, strategies and programs that have helped them achieve their success.
For many attendees, the IJO Tampa Show served as a refreshing break from the reality of the dismal economy. "We are constantly bombarded by the state of the economy, but as usual IJO went above and beyond," said Linda Breakiron-Lombardo, W.C. Breakiron Jewelers of Erie, Penn. "I thought the seminars and speakers at General Session were fantastic and I left with energy to push forward. I learned ways to get out there and be seen without going over the top in my advertising budget."
IJO's continual increase in trade show attendance can be attributed to its independent and member-oriented structure that distinguishes the organization from competitors. IJO is a leader in member training - helping its members to be profitable and successful through a wide array of methods. Some of the organization's top priorities include training through IJO's seminars and exclusive programs, the unique sharing of ideas and information between members, the savings its members receive through the 185 jewelry manufacturers (the IJO Buying Group), and IJO's exclusive products and programs.
In addition, IJO hand selects top retailers to join the elite Master IJO Jewelers program and only allows one store per town or market area. To be a Master IJO Jeweler, members must embody IJO's high ethical standards and superior professional integrity, as well as adhere to an ethical code-of-conduct offering the honesty, trust, integrity and "Brilliance You Deserve"®.
As Roberts and IJO prepare for the upcoming summer show in Charlotte, N.C., being held July 18-22, 2009, members and show coordinators anticipate another record-breaking event.
For more information on IJO membership or its shows, please visit www.ijo.com.
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