The Texas Jewelers Association (TJA) held its convention and the Texas-Israel Diamond Show at the St. Anthony Hotel in San Antonio, Texas, September 28 - 30.
The three day event allowed attendees the opportunity to participate in the educational offerings including Jewelers of America certification testing, seminars and presentations, networking, vendor exhibits and the Texas-Israel Diamond Show.
TJA vendor/exhibitor and Texas-based sales rep Bill Ward said of the event: “The TJA Convention was a smashing success! Downtown San Antonio was the perfect setting for the gathering, which included top jewelers from across the state of Texas. The flow of the event, including the seminars, breaks and networking schedule was a huge asset to the vendors, and encouraged a lot of time for vendor-retailer interaction. My sales at the Texas Jewelers Association Convention were the best I’ve ever had for a jewelers convention, and I can’t wait for next year!”
Parag Vaidya of Authentic Gem Imports in Dallas, Texas was equally pleased with the event. “From a vendor perspective, it was an amazing opportunity for us to connect with and market to a lot of retailers from areas in Texas that we don’t get to. The fact that this event provided a unified setting with other like-minded retailers and vendors who were interested in inter-state trade was a huge bonus for us. And the detailed planning that went into the Convention schedule allowed us to not only meet with potential customers on the show floor, but to mingle with them in a social setting as well, which I see as a win-win situation for everyone.”
Praise for the successful event wasn’t limited to the vendors. Adding sparkle and a royal presence to the Texas-Israel Diamond Show was the Ambassador of San Antonio (and San Antonio-based Jeweler), “The People’s King,” Rey Feo LXVI, Jimmy Green. While Jimmy spent time lighting up the TJA Convention and Texas-Israel Diamond show and delighting attendees in his full regalia as Rey Feo LXVI, he also spent some serious time on the show floor doing business with the Israeli Diamantaires.
When asked about his experience at the Texas-Israel Diamond Show, Jimmy stated: “I am a jeweler first and foremost, and as Rey Feo LXVI, I also represent the City of San Antonio. It was an honor for me to meet and welcome the diamantaires from Israel, and make such great, new contacts for my business. The TJA Convention and Texas-Israel Diamond show was wonderful for my business, and great for the city of San Antonio. I was able to connect with a lot of new vendors, including several that filled some serious voids I had for very unusual and specific diamond calls. The relaxed atmosphere, allowed me to spend quality, one-on-one time with the diamond vendors, and I believe it was one of the best parts of the show. This type of engagement is impossible at large shows, and was a huge asset to me. I project to do hundreds of thousands of dollars in business with the contacts I met at this show over the next few years, so the show was definitely extremely successful for me.”
Sandy Lux, owner of Saunders Lux Jewelers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana added: “If you missed it, it’s your own fault. For jewelers to stay competitive in the busy and ever-changing industry we are in, you have to take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way, and this was a huge opportunity for me. Large trade shows don’t have the same type of advantage that the Texas-Israel Diamond Show offered to me. I was able to meet one-on-one with manufacturers and suppliers that are the backbone of the diamond industry, who genuinely want to do business with me, and help my business grow.”
TJA Executive Director Ann Glynn said: “We are thrilled with the results of the events. Attendance and sales, both on our TJA vendor side, and on the Texas-Israel Diamond Show side, greatly exceeded our expectations. The retailers were delighted with the Convention, and the opportunities the Texas-Israel Diamond show presented to them, and we are already in the planning stages for our 2015 event. It took a team effort to pull it off, and, of course, we couldn’t have done it without our sponsors, which included the Israeli Diamond Industry, Federated Insurance, Jewelers of America, Jewelers Mutual, and Ofer Mizrahi Diamonds.”