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.
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.
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