The American Gem Society’s Conclave®, spanning four days from April 1-4 concluded on an overwhelming note from participants and attendees. The variety of networking platforms at the event added boost and interest of the attendees. Its Supplier Showcase, educational workshops, and industry addresses made for a memorable experience. “The whole week of Conclave really was a celebration,” said Ruth Batson, executive director and CEO of the American Gem Society. “We’re celebrating 75 years of outstanding service to consumers and to members of the jewellery industry, and looking forward to many, many more,” she added.
“This was an exceptional year at Conclave for many reasons,” said Mark Moeller, president of the American Gem Society. “We were marking a milestone anniversary for the Society, and invited non-member guests for the first time in Conclave history. Our staff and sponsors worked hard to make this an enriching, productive week for American Gem Society members, and from the educational programmes to the evening galas – they truly delivered,” he further said.
The event’s various segments included - The Supplier Showcase, a private, two-day selling show, hosted 41 retailers from around the world showcasing and selling their jewellery. Some of them lent their designs for the Society’s Fashion Show – a favorite Conclave tradition. Another angle to the Conclave was the educational programme, which was well received by the attendees. The programme included activities like gemology classes, new additions like the graduate-level business school courses, sponsored by Venus Jewel. “We heard from many participants who enjoyed classes like ‘Family Business Succession: Making Transition Work.’ They’re subjects so relevant and needed in today’s business climate, but we haven’t addressed them at this level during Conclave before,” said Margaret De Young, deputy executive director of the American Gem Society. “We had many people whose only complaint was that the class was so helpful they wanted it to last longer.” The programme invited a wide spectrum of speakers from within and outside the Society and held networking events.
Author and marketer Seth Godin delivered Friday’s Opening Session keynote address, during the breakfast sponsored by Hearts on Fire, speaking on leadership concepts behind his latest bestseller, “Tribes,” and on how attendees could differentiate themselves from the competition. Award-winning celebrity chef Jeff Henderson, “Chef Jeff,” delivered an inspirational message about the power of change. Also, The Titleholders’ Luncheon, which was sponsored by the National Colored Diamond Association, was held in honor of the 59 new American Gem Society titleholders in attendance, each of whom was officially recognised at the event. The Conclave added variety with segments like the dinner event, “Jeans and Jewels,”. During the Robert M. Shipley Luncheon, which was sponsored by the Gemological Institute of America, Clayton Bromberg, CG, conferred the Society’s highest honor, the Robert M. Shipley Award®, to members Charles and Ellen Lacy, a couple who owns Texas-based fine jeweller Lacy & Co. The event concluded with an evening cocktail reception, sponsored by American Gem Society Laboratories, and a birthday gala celebrating the Society’s 75th anniversary that was sponsored by Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company.