JCK Wraps 30th Anniversary Show With Record-Breaking Attendance and Sales
The largest and most iconic global jewelry buying experience, JCK, operated by RX, brought a gem of a show to Las Vegas in June, exceeding pre-pandemic 2019 attendance numbers and reuniting the jewelry industry to celebrate the 30th anniversary of JCK.
Approximately 30,000 people from all facets of the jewelry industry joined JCK and Luxury, the show’s ultra-curated and exclusive jewelry-buying experience, for a week of product sourcing, education and networking. More than 17,000 attendees from 130 countries conducted business with more than 1,800 exhibiting companies in more than 20 different show floor neighborhoods. The industry gathered under one roof once again at The Venetian and The Venetian Expo for JCK from June 10-13, with the return of GEMS with AGTA Las Vegas opening a day early on June 9. Luxury welcomed retailers June 8 -13 and was open to invited retailers on June 8 and 9.
“It was a celebratory and momentous year for the JCK community, which concluded with a round of loud applause from show exhibitors across all the neighborhoods, just like the first edition 30 years prior in 1992,” said Sarin Bachmann, group vice president of RX Jewelry Group. “This edition came full circle with high energy, enthusiasm and most importantly, connection and commerce.”
Bachmann added, “This year we saw an increase in attendance, quality lead generation, customer success on-site and amplified optimism for the future of innovation and trends in the jewelry industry as well as the importance of face-to-face events.”
JCK 2022 not only celebrated 30 years but was noted by many attendees and exhibitors to be the finest JCK show to date. With a focus on ease of navigation and an enhanced show floor layout, including activations and inspirational moments, JCK provided attendees and exhibitors everything they needed to make the most of the 2022 show and have a thoroughly enjoyable time while getting business done.
Cathy Calhoun of Calhoun Jewelers has been to every JCK except one and called JCK 2022 the best she had experienced yet.
“I found it very easy to navigate, between the way the floorplan was laid out and the mobile app allowing me to enter a booth number with step-by-step directions to find it,” Calhoun said. “I was able to be very productive and enjoyed myself as well, especially at the JCK Rocks event, both the show and the after-party. Everyone I spoke to was extremely happy!”
Exhibitors felt the energy and high foot traffic on the show floor as well.
Mark Pasdon of Gioelli Group said the strategic curation and elevated ambience of the Luxury show and experience far exceeded the company’s expectations, and his team can’t wait to attend the 2023 edition.
“This year’s Luxury show brought retailers that were there to do business, including many new retailers,” Pasdon said. “With our men’s collection by Marco Dal Maso alone, we opened more than 30 new accounts and had the opportunity to reconnect with many of our current partners.”
JCK exhibitors had similar sentiments, including Stephanie Urbaetis of Urbaetis Fine Jewelry, who was highly impressed with the turnout and the new layout of the show.
“We had a ton of new clients come over because of our marketing and JCK’s marketing,” Urbaetis said. “I really love the Design Collective—it differentiates us from the rest of the crowd, which is super special.”
She added, “We’re busy, and everyone is happy to see everyone’s face.”
JCK Talks and Education
The JCK Talks education program returned in a new format to arm attendees with relevant and actionable tools, insights and information necessary to succeed in the current retail climate. JCK Talks opened the day before the JCK show floor on June 9, with special sessions located on the first-floor meeting rooms. From June 10 - 12, JCK Talks sessions were held live on the Showcase Stage in the new Innovation Hub area from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with expert speakers and panel discussions. This year, JCK Talks formatted the programming to allow for comprehensive tracks—creating a full, multi-session experience each day. Track topics included the following:
- Trends: Design, style, consumer shopping trends
- Responsibility: Sourcing, sustainability, DEI
- Sales: Team building, customer loyalty, storytelling conversion
- Relevance: NFTs & web3, digital fraud prevention, happening now
- Retail Innovation: technology, clienteling, in-store experience
- Marketing: social media, video content creation, digital marketing
JCK and Luxury once again welcomed prominent keynote speakers to open the show, including the following talks:
- Bill Benjamin, emotional intelligence, performance and leadership expert, for “The Art of Empathy: The Antidote to the Great Resignation.”
- Emmitt Smith, pro football Hall of Fame running back, businessman and entrepreneur, for “A Championship Vision: How Your Achievements Start With Your Vision and Dream.”
- Swan Sit, former global head of digital marketing at Nike, Estée Lauder and Revlon, dubbed the “Queen of Clubhouse,” for “Web3 Is Coming–Navigating the Past, Present and Future of Retail.” Swan Sit shared insights on innovative platforms and technologies, including the metaverse, NFTs and Web3, which are emerging and disrupting the way retailers engage with customers and tell a brand's story.
Events and Activations
For its 30th Anniversary edition, JCK brought back popular entertainment such as its JCK Rocks event, featuring Miguel Cervantes, who plays the current Alexander Hamilton in the Broadway musical “Hamilton,” and other current and former Hamilton cast members for a high-energy, exclusive performance of Hamilton Remix followed by an after-party.
New to JCK were the Activations & Instagrammable Moments on and off the show floor, a few of which included the following:
- JCK Magazine “You” On Cover, a photo booth to envision yourself on the cover of JCK Magazine
- Vogue Vignette, a live fashion sketching to capture the spirit and style in a one-of-a-kind fashion art keepsake
- NFT Art Exhibit, featuring NFT artwork created by Rozes that brought jewelry to life and was unveiled for the first time at Luxury
- JCK Commercial Video Booth, a sharable short video featuring attendees and teams
Other new areas included the Innovation Hub, where attendees could stop by for expert-led education and discovery from the people and brands that are revolutionizing the industry, and The Shoppe, featuring both a gift JCK show swag made by artist KicksbySammy and various designer products available to sell.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
At JCK and all RX events, “everyone belongs” is a prevailing message. The cultivation of inclusion and diversity was celebrated at JCK through an increased presence of emerging BIPOC designers, discussion, brand features and education.
For the first time, JCK sponsored the Black in Jewelry Coalition (BIJC) with booths in JCK’s Design Collective featuring various collections from six BIJC members: Adore Adorn, Christian Stone, Jam + Rico, JNCY Jewelers, Made by Malyia and The Personal Jeweler.
“History was made at this JCK event,” says Adrianne Sanogo, co-founder of BIJC. “I want to personally thank [JCK] for being a visionary and being committed to changing the narrative. This will always be a part of your legacy and ours, for bringing about change and ensuring that everyone in the industry shines together.”
Nellie Barnett, BIJC board member, said in her three years of attending JCK, there was a noticeable difference this year in the amount of diversity and level of comradery among the exhibitors.
“It was spectacular to see and be a part of,” Barnett said. “This is just the beginning.”
Natural Diamond Council and Lorraine Schwartz also hosted six emerging designers through the Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative. Their collections were seen June 9-12 at Luxury.
JCK Talks also featured a well-attended panel discussion called “Attract and Reach New Customers Through Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.”
The Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA), partners of JCK, held the “Generating Impact Community Breakfast,” featuring a presentation by Karine Bah Tahé, founder and CEO of Blue Level Training, a Black woman-owned enterprise focused on diversity, equity and inclusion training, and special remarks from Latoya Boyd, WJA's 2020 Veteran Grant winner, sponsored by Jewelers Mutual Group.
Continued Partnership With AGTA
The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) and JCK announced that AGTA GemFair Las Vegas has extended their partnership with JCK through at least 2025.
“This is exciting news for AGTA and our members, especially after such a successful show for us at JCK,” said Kimberly Collins, president of AGTA.
AGTA GemFair Las Vegas will be located on the main floor next to the Luxury and Plumb Club Pavilions at the Venetian Expo.
Bachmann added, “We are thrilled to bring an important partner such as AGTA back into the fold with an expanded long-term commitment. We received great feedback on having AGTA back at JCK and are excited to let the industry know they can count on finding AGTA at JCK in Las Vegas for many more years ahead."
JCK 2023 will take place June 2-5 at The Venetian and The Venetian Expo, with Luxury taking place May 31 to June 5 (by invitation only May 31 and June 1.