JCK & Luxury 2023 make the industry shine
At The Venetian in Las Vegas, the two highly anticipated events managed by RX (Formerly Reed Exhibitions) JCK (June 2-5) & Luxury (May 31-June 5), have just ended. Inside JCK, the first international fair in the USA for the jewelry industry and one of the largest in the world, Luxury took place, the exclusive destination for elite exhibitors and visitors, with a very high-level positioning.
The first two days of Luxury brought retailers attending by invitation only. In this absolutely sophisticated atmosphere, inside the ballrooms of The Venetian Resort, networking events, and cultural experiences have been organized to allow participants to have a refined and engaging experience. For example, an inspirational speech was held every morning by prominent guests such as entrepreneur and Olympic champion Dominique Dawes, who spoke of her experience and how “success is a journey and not a destination”, instilling great motivation for attendees and exhibitors before the show day. From the point of view of trends, diamonds were the absolute protagonists. There was a growing interest in fancy diamonds, for example, with blue, yellow and pink noticed specifically.
Enthusiasm, energy, and positivity –these are the three keywords to define the JCK experience. The show had a sold-out show floor, and the attendance exceeded the 2022 edition, with over 30,000 industry professionals from all facets of the jewelry industry joining the show. 18,000 attendees (up 8% from 2022) from over 100 countries conducted business with over 1,900 exhibiting companies occupying 430,000 net square feet in more than 20 different show floor neighborhoods. “It was another incredibly energetic and successful year for JCK”, said Sarin Bachmann, Group Vice President of RX jewelry portfolio.
There were numerous business opportunities in all the most important areas of the jewelry sector as well as cultural, networking, and socializing initiatives. Again this year, as stated by Sarin Bachmann, “innovation was the most important focus”. “Innovation is the key to the success of the whole industry, in every aspect – said Jen Cullen Williams, Founder & Communications Strategist Jen Cullen Williams Communications – and innovation passes through education, as well as sociality”. And it is not surprising that, following this philosophy, JCK organized numerous entertainment activities throughout the show to encourage connection between the participants. We recall, for example, JCK Rocks, the event held on the evening of Sunday 4 June, which saw the performance of the extraordinary artist Andy Grammer. From the daily show sourcing side, JCK proposed a real “treasure map”, to go in search of all the activations spread throughout the floor plan. The Permanent Jewelry Activation inside the Golden Hour Lounge was an initiative sponsored by Stuller which allowed participants to get a permanent bracelet welded/soldered right on the show floor, letting them in on the this latest trend that is taking precedent in a lot of retail stores. It’s a popular marketing tool and brand loyalty generator that retail stores use to draw consumers. Its addition at JCK brought a popular innovation and new concept for attending retailers to consider for their own stores. Another was the the Jewelry Content Creation Zones, which were special areas where participants could create their own social content and share it on their own channels. “Among my favorite innovative initiatives – said Sarin Bachmann – is the JCK “Live” Hologram, the space that offers 3D content and live interactions.”
A great effort on the part of the fair has been placed in responding to one of today’s most important challenges, namely the encouragement of young people to become part of this sector, which Sarin Bachmann defined as “open and welcoming”. With this in mind, a Career zone was created, which allowed those sourcing new talent and job seekers to meet through a dedicated area within the show along with a networking event in the afternoon on Sunday, June 4. Space was also given to emerging talents and their creativity within the Design Collective area, sponsored by the International Gemological Institute (IGI), where it was possible to discover “rising stars” in the world of jewelry design, as well as established artists, with a particular focus on craftsmanship. Within this area, there was also a stand dedicated to the business development project for emerging designers Jewelry Loupe Project, curated by the Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) and supported by De Beers Group, as well as a stand by Black in Jewelry Coalition (BIJC) Association, which following the mission to support the advancement of inclusiveness towards all professionals in the industry, showcased the BIJC Collective thanks to grant funding from the JCK Industry Fund, bringing six Black-owned brands exhibiting jewelry and loose gemstones. Inclusiveness and diversity are in fact among the fundamental values of JCK: everyone was represented within the show, without distinctions of culture or geographical origin. The Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative (EDDI), created in 2021 by the Natural Diamond Council and renowned jewelry designer Lorraine Schwartz, gave a group of BIPOC designers (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) unparalleled access to education, opportunities, and resources, making them showcase their collections at NDC’s Luxury private ballroom.
The very structure of JCK made the representation of all the countries was immediately evident, offering an incredible amount of cultural stimulation. This breadth of vision has allowed us to have a complete view of the industry, to get continuously inspired and discover all the trends within the show. Among these, the increasingly widespread use of the color blue as a symbol of peace, freedom, and infinity, in a historical moment in which people need to dream of a world free from conflicts and tensions. Even maxi-pendants are increasingly present in jewelry, showing the desire for opulence of designers who want to tell the world about their creativity through jewels with an important presence. In addition, the element of movement is increasingly reflected in the world of jewelry: many designers are experimenting through the creation of kinetic jewelry that represents an evolution, a change, or a challenge.
Among the cultural and inspirational moments, JCK proposed more than 60 sessions, that started one day before the show, on June 1, and saw industry professionals such as journalists, business leaders, and experts in marketing, retail, technology, and more, discuss and share their experiences. Hot Topics, Trends, Marketing, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Sustainability, Retail Experiences, and Innovation were discussed. Among the numerous panels, Laura Inghirami, Founder & Creative Director Donna Jewel participated as official speaker in the “Social Media Panel” on the Showcase Stage, where she discussed all the news from the world of social media and the approach with the new generations together with Katerina Perez, Editor-In-Chief & Founder Katerina Perez, Janzen Tew, CEO – Owner & Photographer Denim & Velvet, and Tracey Ellison, Founder & Social Media Consultant The Diamonds Girl. Laura Inghirami was also interviewed by Jen Cullen Williams on the Social Stage, which made its debut at JCK this year, giving a space within the Innovation Hub for creativity, a platform for strategic conversations about social media and digital elements that are essential to brands trying to create a strong presence in the industry. “The response to the Social Stage was overwhelmingly positive, with a significant turnout and enthusiastic reception,” said Sarin Bachmann.
The culture was certainly not lacking at JCK. This edition saw the return of GEMS pavilion with American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) Las Vegas, which opened to the public one day before the beginning of JCK. Among the many notable guests, we recall also the International Gemological Institute (IGI), which brought many activities to the show including onsite gradings and screenings, educational and information sessions, and demos, thus offering visitors a unique opportunity to approach the world of gemology and its culture from a perspective of excellence. And as well as culture, values such as support for the most needy were not lacking. Just think of the presence of Jewelers for Children, the noble reality that collects funds to donate them to humanitarian organizations that help children in difficulty.
“The increased attendance – said Sarin Bachmann – coupled with new show branding, engaging activations, innovative experiences, and enhanced education and networking received incredibly positive feedback from both attendees and exhibitors.Our goal was to create an event that you need to attend, but you also can’t wait to attend, and we accomplished that and more. ” And we can say, it was a real success. “The desire for the future is to keep working and innovating, always improving and learning from the past,” said Jen Cullen Williams. “We will continue the great growth of these last editions to achieve more important goals for JCK” Don’t miss the next edition of JCK & Luxury, which will be held respectively on May 31 – June 3, 2024, and May 29 – June 3, 2024, to discover all the news that the jewelry industry has in store for us!