Las Vegas Jewelry Week, happening Aug 22-30 this year, will be a smaller affair than in years past. International travel is down due to COVID-19, and some Stateside retailers and manufacturers are avoiding large gatherings.
But we’re talking about the biggest and most comprehensive collective of jewelry shows in the U.S.—the event will by no means be small. All the usual shows will be there (see the full list of Vegas events here).
So what can buyers expect at the shows? We checked in with reps from the week’s leading jewelry shows—JCK Las Vegas, LUXURY by JCK, and the Couture Show—on what’s changed, what’s new, and what retailers can look forward to.
JCK Las Vegas and LUXURY
“We’re so excited to welcome everyone back, but in a safe and cautious way,” Kate Youngstrom, vice president of brand and content marketing at Reed Exhibitions, which owns the JCK Las Vegas and LUXURY shows, tells The Zing Report. “Our outlook for the show is bright. There’s nothing better than that busy show floor feeling.”
Here’s what’s happening at LUXURY and JCK Las Vegas:
- JCK Talks, the shows’ live panel series that formerly took place in individual meeting rooms, has been reimagined as a series for the show floor. “We thought it would be easier and more comfortable for people,” says Youngstrom. JCK Talks will also be broadcast via two “viewing pods” on different floor levels.
- A new Podcast Zone at the shows will feature industry podcasts broadcasting live, with hosts, experts, and retailers gabbing about jewelry and the show scene. “If you feel like talking, walk by and you might get roped into a conversation!” Youngstrom enthuses.
- A new “hands-on content creation zone” run by renown jewelry social marketing firm The Smithee Group will walk interested retailers through the process of creating all kinds of content—including video—for their social media channels.
- The LUXURY show has a swishy new sponsor: Bentley Motors. The iconic car company will showcase an actual Bentely automobile in the middle of the LUXURY show floor. The upscale show will also feature a cold brew coffee station, in addition to its usual (super yummy) high-end snacks.
- Industry nonprofit Jewelers for Children will host its annual Facets of Hope event Aug. 29 at the Venetian, along with its charitable run/walk.
Shopping at the 2019 Couture Show (courtesy of the Couture Show)
The Couture Show
Michelle Orman, founder of Last Word Communications and the marketing lead for the Couture Show, said the biggest change in 2021 will be the event’s new digs inside the Wynn Las Vegas.
The show has historically spread out across several spaces at the Wynn, and though a handful of brands will still show in smaller ballrooms, most companies will now occupy one main area—the resort’s swanky new Cristal ballroom.
Here’s what’s happening at the Couture Show:
- The new Cristal ballroom is “phenomenal,” says Orman. And directly outside its doors will be another new space—an outdoor event pavilion that will host an opening night event (invite only) and a design awards event (open to everyone). “When we planned for this show, we thought everyone would feel more comfortable outside,” she adds (and with the Delta variant’s spread now a concern, that decision proved prescient).
- A preview event showcasing Couture’s designers, open to all badge holders, is scheduled for Aug. 23 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. “Brands will be prepared to present their collections, and give retailers a jumpstart on appointments,” Orman says. “It’s going to be such a great reunion for so many of us.”
- The show will serve its usual (scrumptious) food, but meals will be served differently: “Because of COVID, breakfast and lunches will still be buffet, but we will have a server and individual packaging,” explains Orman, who adds that over 90 percent of the Wynn’s staff is vaccinated against COVID-19.
- Couture 2021 will be slightly smaller compared to 2019, but Orman says she and her team are anticipating that it will feel a little like the original Couture Show which took place in Scottsdale, Ariz. “Couture has always been an intimate show,” she says, “and I think this year it’s going to recall the original show in a positive and nicely nostalgic way.”
Top photo: Attendees at the 2019 LUXURY show (courtesy Reed Exhibitions)
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