16 Oct 2021
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JCK Las Vegas: The Show Must Go On, Even if it means Fewer Exhibitors & Visitors
The entire jewellery industry is excited to be participating in a physical show after almost two years. Exhibitors and buyers alike are eagerly waiting to meet one another at the JCK event in Las Vegas, notwithstanding the fact that footfalls might not be too heavy
By: Diamond World News Service
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Aug 12 2021 4:52PM
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Reference: 25785  

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"Don’t believe any rumors, say JCK show organizers. The Las Vegas show will go on!" reported JCK sometime back. With the new Delta variant, or should we say variants making its way into the U.S., and Nevada's newly released health requirements, there were many questions being raised about the possibility of the show happening. But, Sarin Bachmann, group vice president for Reed Jewelry Group, assured the partipants and the visitors, "JCK is very much looking forward to reuniting the jewelry industry safely in person after more than two years without an opportunity for retailers to explore JCK, Luxury, and Jewelry Week in Las Vegas. We know how important it is for the industry to get back to business, restock cases, discover what is new, and be ready for another very strong holiday season."

The lack of exhibitors from India and Belgium will be felt, particularly diamond manufacturers. “This year will be a bit different than previous years, and some of our valued international partners and attendees will not be able to be with us due to governmental travel restrictions. Our team is diligently working to get attendees and exhibitors to the show safely.” 

However exhibitors are certainly excited to be at the show and meet their old clients and hopefully meet new ones. “We can’t wait to get to Las Vegas! It will be the first time in a while that we’ll be able to spend time with our customers and industry friends, so we’re looking forward to sharing our new ideas, innovations, and latest developments. We know that others feel the same way. We certainly anticipate the crowd to be smaller than usual but expect that visitors will be on a mission,” exclaims Hayley Henning, CCO, Greenland Ruby.

Garnering business interest and converting potential clients into real ones has been quite challenging for many business houses across the globe since the outbreak of the pandemic. Opines Darshit  Hirani of P Hirani Exports Pvt Ltd, “People will be excited about being at the show. We are surely looking forward to it. Gemstones and semi-precious stones and also white diamonds need that kind of push that one gets at physical shows. People do not want to buy loose diamonds or even gemstones via virtual shows – they need to examine the pieces offered for sale in real time.”


Fewer Visitors, Greater Passion

Industry players are bringing their A-game to the event. For instance, Virtual Diamond Boutique (VDB) is launching an all-new, fully customizable ring builder that can be incorporated into retailers’ websites,with their own branded colours and fonts. It is exciting technology that allows customers to engage with the website, build their own ring by combining settings with natural diamonds, lab-grown diamonds, or gemstones, either using stones from the global marketplace or from a retailer’s inventory or approved suppliers, to create the perfect, personalized design. This new tool will enhance sales for all three categories (natural diamonds, lab-grown diamonds and colour gemstones), both online and in person.

“Given the international and corporate travel restrictions still in place, we do not anticipate that the JCK show will have the same size attendance as it usually does. Many people are still being cautious, given the aggressive Delta variant strain of COVID-19.  While we expect fewer foot traffic, we feel confident that the buyers and attendees who are at the show will be mission-driven, attending with more purpose, focus and commitment,” says Tanya Nisguretsky, CEO, VDB.

 Physical Shows Bound to Become More Niche

Looking at the global situation, it is indeed difficult to tell whether the event will have the same impact and vigour as in the pre-Covid days. There would be visitors from the USA, but countries are going through different phases of the pandemic and some international flights are being cancelled, so industry personnel from these countries may not be able to participate.

“Now, technology has allowed us to connect more efficiently in the virtual world as well, making it possible to continue doing business all year long. At VDB, we are perfecting the art of doing business virtually.  We hosted the first virtual trade show with the VDB Expo, co-hosted by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and Israeli Diamond Institute (IDI) in the spring of 2020. It was so successful that the organizers hosted a second one later in the year,” adds Nisguretsky.

 

The virtual shows do not have any impact on physical shows. “We are confident that JCK and Vegas Shows will be a huge success. Our products need highest precision, especially in calibrating colour diamonds. So, all our products have great precision. We have a competitive and unique product range on offer. We also offer excellent services to our clients,” Hirani adds. He feels footfall on the whole will be good. Clients may come with different viewpoints. Traffic-wise, there could be less rush. “At the Vegas Show, we usually have a lot of South American buyers,” informs Hirani.

Diamonds do Better in Physical Shows

Industry players are preparing enthusiastically for the event. Says Ankit Shah of Ankit Gems, “We plan to display some larger diamonds at the international shows. We have made some longer shapes because they are in demand. For loose diamonds, virtual shows were of no use. We need to participate in physical shows only – that is where we get good number of clients.”

Industry players are of the opinion that diamonds need to be examined and selected physically, which is why the JCK event is so important at this juncture. "Real-time exhibitions allow exporters to meet clients face-to-face, which works out well for long-term relationships.We are very enthusiastic and positive about this show. The pandemic has taught all of us a lot of lessons about how to conduct business over the Internet and we all have emerged stronger because of the adversity we faced. In a virtual world we are all eager to conduct business via a physical show. JCK and such other exhibitions offer all of us an opportunity to conduct business physically,” feels Priyanshu Shah, executive director, Asian Star.

 Henning sums up: “Like all our trade show preparations, we are anticipating interest in our gems, and will be inviting guests to our booth to learn more about us, and the rubies and pink sapphires from Greenland.  We will also be demonstrating our new RubyCloud™ platform, comparing online images with the ‘real thing’ and encouraging gem and jewellery professionals to register.  We will also be having some fun with our Polar bear ice sculpture.”

The JCK Show will take place Aug. 27–30, 2021, at The Venetian Hotel and Sands Expo in Las Vegas (pictured). Luxury by JCK begins Aug. 24 at the same venue, with the first few days—until Aug. 26—by invitation only. After Aug. 26, Luxury will be open to all attendees and run concurrently with JCK.

 



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