The following best practices apply to both retail jewelers and manufacturers/suppliers headed to a trade show. Some apply more specifically to manufacturers/suppliers than to retailers. Being aware of your surroundings at all times is critical. The bad guys can’t tell if you’re a retailer or a manufacturer and frankly they don’t care. Their focus is to get what you have.
Don’t forget to stick to the basics. Always remain alert and aware, and don’t let your guard down.
Review these basic security guidelines to help keep you safe at shows:
•Expect, but don’t fall for, distractions.
•Carry a fully charged cell phone, preloaded with local emergency phone numbers.
•Remain alert and be aware. Watch for people chasing or following you.
•Thieves view any briefcase, bag, or container as bounty. •They don’t ask questions first.
•Wear your name badge only on the show floor, never outside the exhibit area.
•Never hold or attend informal jewelry shows in non-secured locations. This is extremely dangerous for both vendors and buyers.
•When leaving the show for the last time, surrender or destroy your badge.
Before traveling to and from your next tradeshow, take these necessary precautions:
- Review your coverage. Work with your experienced insurance agent to examine your current coverage. Most jewelers block insurance excludes coverage while at tradeshows. Therefore, increase your off-premises travel limit of coverage if your normal travel limit is insufficient.
- Plan your travel. Know where you will be traveling and how you will get there. Your planning should include an alternate route that you can take in the event you are unable to follow your original plan, as well as a destination of safety you may need to go if you suspect you are being followed.
- Proceed with caution. Whenever you travel with jewelry merchandise, always remember to keep the merchandise in your possession at all times. Make sure the vehicle you drive is appropriately serviced and maintained and that en route you keep the gas tank full. Be alert and watch for suspicious vehicles following you. If you sense somebody is following you, call 911 on your cell phone, and proceed immediately to your destination of safety. Whenever you must use public transportation, choose taxis available by dispatch.
- Whenever you fly with merchandise, pre-arrange for a private airport security screening so that you can keep an eye on your merchandise at all times during the security screening process.
To stay safe while you are attending your next tradeshow, follow these safety precautions:
- Choose the right hotel. Thefts in hotel/motel parking lots remain the sites of many off-premises jewelry crimes. Mitigate the risk of these crimes by choosing a hotel/motel with an inside room entry and with a well-lit and traveled parking area. Make sure you enter through the main lobby and avoid staying in a room on the ground floor.
- Before you settle into your room, conduct an inspection to make sure the room is appropriately secure, and lock your door whenever you are in the room. Absolutely never open your door for unexpected visitors without positive identification, even if they claim to be hotel staff.
- Buy and sell with security. Virtually all tradeshow transit losses can be prevented by using a reputable armored courier service experienced in transporting high-value merchandise, to and from the show. Whenever leaving your merchandise overnight at the show, utilize the vault or designated security area provided at the show. Avoid taking possession of jewelry at a show— rather have the vendor ship the purchase to your business. Lastly, always confirm your coverage in these situations with your insurance agent.
To learn more about Jewelers Mutual’s coverage options or to find an experienced insurance agent in your area, contact Jewelers Mutual at 800-558-6411.