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Kathleen Cutler

Here’s How to Host That High-End Estate/Vintage Event

These subtle strategies can take it from ho-hum trunk show to sought-after soiree.




FROM OPEN-INVITATION trunk shows to highly exclusive private events for your VVIPs, events of all types are becoming the most sought-after shopping experiences. But when it comes to presenting antique, estate, or otherwise rare pieces, bringing in an element of education is key to making your collectors feel at ease and motivating their purchases.

Setting the stage for these kinds of interactions takes a certain nuance, but with a few simple considerations, they can become some of your most popular (and profitable) endeavors.

1. Curate your jewelry selection strategically. Whether you specialize in rare pieces like antique jewelry or would need to bring in a few pieces on memo to present a special collection, being thoughtful about presenting various types of jewelry and price points can create an atmosphere that inspires your attendees without overwhelming or pressuring them.

2. Bring on the local small bites and libations. Go all out with the help of a sommelier and supper club or create your own in-studio sampler with a bottle of women-owned wine and fresh picks from your farmers’ market.

3. Mix up your guest list to get the party started. Avoiding the temptation to invite only collectors is the key to creating a more dynamic experience and taking some of the sales pressure out of the equation. Consider how inviting your most personable gem dealer to give a presentation or extending a plus one to your VVIPs can instantly elevate your event into a sought-after soiree.


4. Get your sales team in on the conversation. According to our director of client communications, Suzy Pasqualetto, “Many will say that having an educated sales staff is a must – but their ability to effectively convey that expertise to your client base is what matters most. Translating complicated specs and elaborate histories into everyday language is key to creating deeper connections.”

5. Send those invites early (and follow up regularly!). Most events have low in-person sales compared to the sales that come in one-on-one conversations with your collectors before or after the event itself, which is especially true for intimate gatherings with more affluent and private guest lists, as well as when showcasing rare and one-of-a-kind items.

Each step can be made easier by working with private consultants to identify your ideal guestlist, generate communication templates, develop new strategic business relationships, create training playbooks for your team, and so much more.

Whether you’re thinking about going all-out with an elegant and exclusive gala once a year or simply want to start hosting quarterly cocktail hours and offering your VVIPs private viewing and shopping appointments, providing more opportunities for education and conversation can be a game-changer when it comes to inspiring word-of-mouth referrals, client loyalty and increased sales.



She Wanted to Spend More Time with Her Kids. She Called Wilkerson.

Your children are precious. More precious than gold? Absolutely! Just ask Lesley Ann Davis, owner of Lesley Ann Jewels, an independent jewelry store that — until the end of 2023 — had quite a following in Houston, Texas. To spend more time with her four sons, all in high school, she decided to close her store. Luckily, she was familiar with Wilkerson and called them as soon as she knew she wanted to move on to bigger, better and more family-focused things. Was she happy with her decision? Yes, she was. Says Davis, “Any owner looking to make that life change, looking to retire, looking to close, looking for a pause in their career, I would recommend Wilkerson. Hands down!”

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