The HardRock Summit, the gemstone show that debuted last fall feeling like a fully formed, veteran industry event (in the dicey days of Omicron’s initial creep, no less) has grand plans for its second annual show.
The event will once again take place at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, this time Sept. 8-11. But its organizers (more on them in a minute) have added a significant attraction to the menu: The AGTA GemFair. Yes, the HardRock Summit has signed a two-year deal with the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) that promises the widely respected gemstone organization will present its signature event at the event this year and next.
“We’re very excited to make this announcement of a long-term partnership with the HardRock Summit and AGTA GemFair Denver,” said Kimberly Collins, AGTA’s board president and interim CEO, in a prepared statement. “This is the perfect time to let the industry know that after the huge success of Tucson, the year of the rebirth of shows is back in full swing…this show will be electric!” (We interviewed Collins last month on AGTA’s new direction—read that story here).
The HardRock Summit will also debut the LLD Denver Mineral Hall, organized by LLD Productions, which will host “a cross-section of dealers featuring gems, minerals, fossils, jewelry, beads, décor and metaphysical products,” according to the statement.
All in, the 2022 event will occupy over 310,000 square feet of show floor space and feature over 450 exhibitors, up from 190,000 square feet and 180 exhibitors in 2021.
The main exhibitor areas will be the Evolution show (fine minerals and fossils) in the Four Seasons Ballroom; Sparkle & Joy (fine gemstones and jewelry) with a dedicated area for the AGTA GemFair in the Mile High Ballroom; the Denver Gem & Mineral Show in the 200-block meeting rooms; and the LLD Denver Mineral Hall in the 100-block meeting rooms.
The splashy event was founded in 2021 by Wolter Mehring, a California-based entrepreneur who acquired Tucson’s Pueblo Gem & Mineral Show in 2006, and Christoph Keilmann, who grew up in the gemstone world (his parents founded mineral and gemstone fair The Munich Show) and founded the popular Gemworld fair in Munich, Germany.
“I’m thankful for the amazing success of last year’s launch of the HardRock Summit and equally excited for the future of the fair,” said Keilmann. “Given the current shuffles in the international markets caused by political insecurities around the globe, we are grateful to have established the HardRock Summit as a counterpoint that offers the community stability, dependability and—last, but not least—a joyful time in the United States.”
Photo: The Colorado Convention Center in Denver (courtesy of the HardRock Summit)
Will there be section(s) open to the public and those not in the trade? If so, will that include faceted gems and finished goods? I often feel and have witnessed sales transactions occur at big box and specialty stores occur where the consumer really had no awareness of the significance of their purchase or the actual value/worth of it. I’ve also witnessed poor sales person training and education and believe public education can only occur by those at conventions such as these.