The following article is from JCK Shows in response to The Retail Jeweler's editorial in the Jan/Feb issue of The Retail Jeweler. JCK asked if we would print a response to the editorial entitled “Show Wars Have Started.” The Retail Jeweler appreciates JCK’s response because we want both sides of the story presented. Read the original editorial here.
As the JCK Las Vegas show prepares to bid farewell to Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino following the 2018 show (June 1 – 4, 2018), management at Reed Exhibitions is taking advantage of the move to the newly renovated, upgraded Venetian/Sands Expo Convention Center to completely transform the event experience and better align the show with customers’ evolving needs. Moving over 2,100 exhibitors is a daunting task but offers a unique opportunity for management to re-design the show and elevate the experience for everyone, from vendors to buyers, press and visitors. The 2018 show in Las Vegas will be just the beginning as the teams look forward to making a bold and lasting impact in 2019.
Capitalizing on Customer Feedback, Listening
The JCK Las Vegas Show was built over 27 years ago with the industry, for the industry. It has grown over time as the industry’s needs have continued to change and expand. Every decision being made by show management today is based on customer input. Each of the 30,000 jewelry industry professionals who participate in the show have a variety of channels for offering feedback, such as serving on the prestigious JCK & Luxury Advisory Boards, face to face visits with staff throughout the show, 500+ in person retail store visits completed by the JCK and LUXURY teams throughout the year, post event digital surveys, social media engagement and show leadership representation in various trade groups and at other industry events. JCK Las Vegas and Reed Exhibitions are actively listening to the customer in a wide variety of ways and using that feedback to re-imagine the show experience and better serve the needs of jewelry professionals from every aspect of the industry and from all distribution channels.
Like its Participants, JCK is Planning for the Future
Through a dedicated advisory committee, JCK places a focused effort on reaching the next generation of business owners and millennials. At JCK’s planned return to the Sands Expo Convention Center in 2019, exhibitors will have even more support. Options for location and neighborhoods will provide value to the exhibitor and create more choice in pricing. They will be provided with tools and resources to promote their exhibition, including matchmaking lead retrieval, dedicated landing pages, mobile app listings and GPS technologies, all of which will help retailers find the vendors in their new booth locations at the renovated venue.
Elevating the Business Experience in a Convenient, Secure Environment
In an ever-changing retail environment, the JCK Las Vegas Show is committed to ensuring that the retailer’s time away from the store is productive. Innovations to the show experience now provide everything under one roof, creating an efficient platform for conducting business and supporting every aspect of the retail store from merchandising and education to security and networking. For example, just as technology becomes increasingly important in sustaining a retail business, the show’s technology area continues to grow and expand. And in the same way that retailers must now enhance their customer service to maintain relevance and a competitive edge, show management is increasing its customer service, with continual retailer outreach, personal concierge service, improved navigation with GPS functionality for locating vendors/services/products, as well as an industry leading matchmaking program to assist with exploring new buyer to exhibitor relationships and a team of on-site “Ask JCK” hosts who will personally walk customers wherever they need to go. The entire show experience is designed to conveniently connect buyers and sellers more efficiently, more accurately - and more securely than ever before. JCK works closely with the venue, corporate security, state, local and federal law enforcement authorities to identify risks, assess them and develop security plans for events so attendees can take advantage all the show has to offer without worry. Building a safe environment for business is a top priority.
Aligning Objectives with the Business Goals of Customers
Recent research results and customer feedback have identified specific trends and changing goals for jewelry retailers, including elevating the in-store customer experience, maintaining and improving margins and adapting the product offering for millennial consumers. JCK is now aligning its objectives to help meet these specific retailer needs and creating an environment to foster unlimited potential for education, inspiration, networking, sharing and referrals.
JCK is implementing the latest, cutting edge technology to help buyers shop more efficiently and to personalize their show experience through “JCK Match.” The innovative program organically recommends exhibitors to buyers based on personal sourcing needs determined at registration. In 2017, 68% of participating retailers reported doing business with one or more of the recommended new vendors. As the program evolves, JCK Match will incentivize buyers with cash for shopping with their recommended vendors.
JCK also works to help buyers and suppliers maintain and even improve margins by adding new product and service segments on the show floor. New show neighborhoods include the novel “Global Gemstone Pavilion”, “Security”, “Retail Experience”, “Lab Grown Diamonds” and the continual growth of “Essentials and Technology”. These new areas expand product offerings to assist retailers who seek to diversify, discover new products or enhance their retail environment by something as simple as buying gemstones closer to their origins.
Inspiration comes to life at JCK through “In Store Experience” where retailers can be inspired by events, installments and unique experiences that they can apply to their business to attract new customers and build loyalty.
JCK Talks features peer to peer sharing at Retailer Roundtables and highly regarded subject matter experts, from both inside and outside of the industry, to give diverse, fresh perspectives unique to this event. JCK Talks allows retailers to walk away with real solutions and knowledge that they can apply to improve their store, business or customer experience.
In addition to JCK Talks, JCK creates many other avenues for organic networking. From small, intimate lounge gatherings, happy hours and on-floor fashion shows, to larger scale celebrations and award ceremonies, there is an event for everyone.