Bench Jewelers Conference thoughts

Did anyone attend the Bench Jeweler’s Conference & Expo in Buffalo
this past weekend?? What were your thoughts?

Gene Rozewski

These thoughts are only mine as to the past weekends Bench
Conference. Sparse and then a refining company took two, two-hour
tours from the Saturday group and made the attendance that much
moreless. Friday seminars were very good, but too many folks were
complaining too much to view and get to, but too many worthwhile
classes. I think that seminars would have been much better if spread
or doubled up so those who wanted them could attend. Mine two were,

As for myself, I faired rather well for in the contacts
department…:>) thats what networking is all about, right? As for the
companies who had booths during the two days of showing, some were a
bit peeved at the lack of advertising for the show, pity!!! I heard
this from many visitors who only heard of this conference a few days

Imagine preparations for months prior and little advertising, double


Hi Gene,

The Jeweler’s Bench Conference in Buffalo was great! This was my
second, and I promise to not miss one again, if possible!

There were a wide variety of lectures and working demonstrations to
attend, round table discussions and the opportunity to talk with a
substantial number of vendors, large and small.

I was there to speak on jewelry photography and handling colored
stones at the bench, both of which seemed to be well received. It
was sure fun for me to answer so many questions and help get people
on the right path with photography. It was also an opportunity to
debut my guide “Jewelry Photography Made simple” and sales of it
were pleasantly brisk, so, of course, I’m happy.

One of the greatest features of these sorts of gatherings is the
re-neweing of old acquaintances of many years and the opportunity to
meet new friends. It is amazing what happens in a room full of
kindred spirits, all talking shop, whether it be in a classroom,
over dinner or lunch, or in the lounge!

There was a handful of folks in my room until almost 4 am every
night, just “talking shop”. I was exhausted at the end of it and
loved every minute of it!! I can’t wait for Los Angeles!


I was there on Saturday for the tour of United and the the suppilers
Expo. Saw Howard and Gene from R Findings, Nate from Stuller, Phill
from Rio,and met many others. The tour of United was very
interesting, Doc is a wealth of Finally got to meet
Karen, I have talked with her many times by phone.Thank You to all at
United for the tour. I also met some very nice people from MN but
can’t remember their names. [sorry ] I also enjoyed the Expo, was
able to try a laser [thanks Phil], see the wax mills. Would have
liked to attend the the educational seminars, I am looking forward to
next year.

Iverson &Co. Jewelers
Canandaigua, Ny.


<snip> It was also an opportunity to debut my guide "Jewelry
Photography Made simple" and sales of it were pleasantly brisk, so,
of course, I'm happy. 

Wayne - where can one purchase your book? What is the price?


On April 26th through 29th hundreds of Bench Jewelers from all over
the country united for the 4th annual Bench Jewelers Conference &
Expo in Buffalo, NY, which many participants described as the best

The Educational Conference provides seminars, bench demonstrations,
discussion groups, and numerous networking opportunities for Bench
Jewelers. “Most Bench Jewelers live in our small boxes and this is a
chance to get out, socialize, meet new people, find out what is
happening in the industry, meet some wonderful vendors-just an all
round excellent opportunity,” said Wayne Emery of Bettendorf, IA.

The Bench Jewelers Conference & Expo is not just another jewelry
show or seminar. Instead, it’s a conference setting where jewelers
share meals together, converse with one another in the lounge,
hallways and other area of the hotel; in addition to a full schedule
of educational seminars and demonstrations. Heath Rackley from
Greenville, SC, explained “It’s neat to have a venue where we can get
together and learn new things and share with one another. Just to get
together with other people who understand what we are talking about.
It’s wonderful.”

Jewelers enjoyed a wide range of seminar topics, including stone
setting, fabrication, laser welding, jewelry photography, repairs,
platinum, marketing, and pricing. "I’ve been very impressed with the
quality of the teaching and the camaraderie of the jewelry artist. I
learned so much from the teachers. It’s a party, but you come home
with your head full of new " said Patty Conlin of St.
Paul, MN.

In addition to the Educational Conference, the 2007 Bench Jewelers
Conference & Expo included a 2 day Suppliers Expo. Jay McCamis of
Rofin/Baasel thought that “The Conference & Expo was extremely
successful. It’s very educational, that’s what brings most of the
jewelers to the conference. But it’s also very good for the vendors.
We are quite happy with the results here. It was a very successful
show for us; we had a good turn-out.”

“We are proud to be a supporter of the Bench Conference. It’s nice
to be able to be here to meet with fellow bench jewelers to pick up
on the latest tips and the latest items being sold. I highly
encourage jewelers to come to the Bench Conference,” said Gene
Callaway of Southeastern Findings.

In addition to the exhibitors, there were many demonstrations on the
show floor and several of the vendors provided seminars in the
Exhibitors Presentation Theater. All of the seminar leaders from the
educational conference stayed throughout the weekend and mingled
among the jewelers answering their questions. “I think there was a
good mix of exhibitors. It’s wonderful to be able to compare products
side by side and then be able to verify what the sales people say
with so many jewelers in the room with experience in their shops with
those products,” said Wayne Emery of The Gem Cutter.

During the Saturday evening networking reception, jewelers attending
had the opportunity to “Come on Down” and play the Price Is Right
game. Participating jewelers walked away with thousands of dollars
worth of prizes generously donated by the suppliers.

“The Bench Conference is great. There were a lot of opportunities to
network and you get to see the latest in technology, tips and tricks
for working with tools,” said Mike Zagielski of Foredom; likewise,
Elesa Dillon of Southern Jewelry News concluded, “The Bench
Conference this weekend in Buffalo was a huge success. All the
jewelers and exhibitors were very excited. It was a great show.”

The 2008 Bench Jewelers Conference & Expo will be held next April in
Los Angeles.