what are the best shows, how about the designer sections at
the major trade shows, and how does high end ($150 to $3000
wholesale) do at the ACC shows? Rosen shows? A previous
message mentioned at wholesale shows that the jewlery should
not be inside the case, but out in the open. Is this true for
expensive stuff? Is this how its done at, for example, the JCK
Vegas show? Is theft a big issue? Has anyone ever been to
the couture show in Scottsdale?
The best places for high-end designer jewelry is at the JCK Show
in Las Vegas and the ACC Show in Feb. in Baltimore. This past
show season the designers who showed at the Rosen Phili Show all
did remarkably well (there are always a few exceptions) and
there were a few more high-end (18k and gems) people there than
in previous shows. I know this becuase I work with these kinds
of designers all day long - my company produces the Design
Center at the JCK Shows and the byDESIGN pavilion at the AGTA
Tucson GemFair but since we’re a consulting firm for designers
we travel to most major trade shows and we talk to hundreds of
designers during the year. (In addition, we produced DESIGNER
DAY in NYC a few weeks ago).
I don’t know in what context it was suggested that jewelry be
shown out in the open but at these kinds of shows and for
anything higher than sterling silver - you should display it in
showcases. Basically, you should display your jewelry at a show
as you would expect a retailer to display it in their store.
Costume jewlery is often on open-air racks but fine is not.
AT the JCK Show everyone rents showcases or brings their own
custom cases. The presentation is very professional and more
upclass than at ACC. At ACC you will often see Abstracta
showcase systems or others that you can set up yourself and have
plexi windows. At ACC pleople are more crafty and more casual
about their booth decor but at the JCK and JA shows this looks
out of place and often gives off an less than professional air.
But there’s always those that seem to make the unorthodox work -
two years ago Whitney Boin built his own “wall” out of stacked
plain white shipping cartons. Frankly, knowing so many designers
and visiting designer’s trade show booths for 12
years…Whitney is one of the very few who can do something
odd and make it turn out so well.
Security is a very big issue. ACC has some security but they are
catering to so many differnt kinds of craftsman that I don’t
think their security for the jewelers is up to snuff. There are
professional jewelry theives…in fact whole familes and schools
of them…and they read the trade mags and they visit all the
trade shows too. I’ve heard of deisgners getting hit after the
ACC show in a very professional way. But that doesn’t happen too
often and you can do a lot to protect yourself.
AT the JCK Show we have very very tight security - own own
staff, state troopers, FBI and INS - since most professional
jewelry theives are from South America where it’s a trained
profession…we have had people deported right from the lobby
of the convention center! You should not leave anything
unattended at any time…at any show or selling venue it’s
common practice to not leave too many items out at a time, keep
count of what’s out in your head, never let a customer handle
more than 2 items at a time… there are sticky fingers at
every venue - some more professional than others.
The Couture Event in Scottsdale os by invitation only for both
exhibitors and buyers. Only around 125 or so of each. Cost is up
near or above $15,000 per exhibit. It’s a controlled 3 day
environment where all the meals and social events are done
together to maximize the schmooze factor. Very schmoozy. Miller
Freeman, producers of Couture, must invite you and they try to
keep the level of exhibitors up as high as possible in regards
to recognition and prestige…so without a national reputation
this show isn’t a real option for most designers.
If you need more please don’t hesitate to email me
directly at FranklyCin @aol.com.