One-of-a-kind Show delivers eclectic mix of conferences, exhibitors, vendors and networking events
(CHICAGO) - INSTORE’s The Smart Jewelry Show concluded its 3-day show on a high note at Chicago’s Navy Pier. With accolades from exhibitors, retailers and speakers, the Show has become an essential show in the jewelry industry.
Overall attendance came in just over 2,300 at the close of the show. “The buzz from our 2010 show was extremely positive, resulting in an increase in traffic this year,” says Dan Kisch, INSTORE/INDESIGN publisher. “Chicago has proven to be the right city for this event. From the new exhibitors and retailers to informative speakers, this show had the perfect mix of education and product to generate excitement and buying.”
With 520 exhibitor booths, jewelry brands understood the need to remain in front of key buyers, especially in this economic climate. “The show was very well attended and there is a definite turn to the upside,” said Bill Herer, President of Rare Earth Mining Company. “Customers are restocking a lot of merchandise. I was the first to re-register last year and I will definitely be attending next year,” continued Herer.
Highlights from the show included:
- Interactive and hands-on areas called Smart Stations for show-goers to stop by at their leisure to learn how to improve their businesses. “The educational programs were over the top,” said Sissy Jones of Sissy’s Log Cabin in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. “The congeniality and atmosphere of this show was absolutely perfect.”
- INSTORE’s Chicago Blast networking party attracted over 1,500 Smart Jewelry Show guests. Attendees enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while enjoying the music of Frank Sinatra and intermingling with other show-goers.
- The Ultimate Design Contest, in conjunction with Stuller, required entrants to create an original piece from rendering to finished product using either an oval chrome tourmaline or an antique square rhodolite garnet. The contest truly challenged the jeweler’s artisanship by reflecting what typically happens at a retail store when a client requests a customized piece. Tom Linenberger of Goldworks was the winner of both the CAD Rendering Category as well as the Grand Prize. Randall Hurt from AVA Goldworks was the winner in the Hand Rendering Category.
- Bench Challenges, sponsored by Stuller, were highly watched events that featured two jewelers “battling it out” in a one-on-one competition to see who could create the winning customized piece in a 2-hour period.
- Generation Next Pavilion featured an array of designers who have been in business for 3-7 years. The Pavilion provided an opportunity for retailers to learn about new emerging designers and the brands of tomorrow.
- Education sessions throughout the show were designed to bring the information and the excitement of INSTORE and INDESIGN magazines to life. “We were very impressed with the changes the show made from last year,” said Susan Klemt, sales manager for Artistry, Ltd. “The balancing of time with education seminars and encouraging retailers to get on the floor and buy was great and retailers were very upbeat.”
- One of the most attended and talked about sessions was the “You are Only as Good as Your Weakest Link” seminar delivered by Shane Decker. Retailers packed the luncheon seminar to learn more about how your staff controls your return on inventory, customer experience and overall profit.
- Founder of The Knot, David Liu, delivered the keynote speech about the importance of the bridal industry to the jewelry industry, with a focus on the next generation of bridal consumers. The data and facts presented were instrumental in order to succeed in the bridal sector of the jewelry industry.
- The Facebook Jewelers Network and the Young Jewelers Association co-hosted a gathering at the infamous Billy Goat Tavern.
- Gen-Next Jewelers sponsored a cocktail party at the Navy Pier Riva Restaurant where Smart Jewelry Show guests were able to network and schmooze after a day of selling/buying.
The 2012 Smart Jewelry Show is scheduled for April 21 - 23.