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How Useful Are Industry Trade Shows for You?




The jewelry industry has changed dramatically in the last decade, but what about trade shows? Are they still the live, beating heart of the buying process? Our readers offer a fascinating range of opinions.

  • Very important, it helps create excitement for our customers. Keeps us ahead of the competition by staying current with trends. — Laura Mease, Measetique Jewels, Shawnee, KS
  • I am not sure anymore. You used to get new ideas and new products. However, the industry seems to be going more to engagement- and wedding-ring business, with other items not selling as well. Now it seems customers come in and want something close to what they saw on Pinterest. — Kent Jester, Klasse Jewelers, Florence, KY
  • It is good to see new tools and have a chance to try them or at least see them in action. — James Doggett, Doggett Jewelry, Kingston, NH
  • By picking the right show for your business, you have the opportunity to accomplish in three to four days what might otherwise take you weeks. But, only if you plan to maximize the opportunity. — Michael Derby, D3 Diamonds and Fine Jewelry, Clermont, FL
  • We find that going to numerous shows a year is hearing the same story over and over again. However, if we don’t attend one or two good events a year we feel disconnected from our vendors, trends and the industry as a whole. — Jonathan McCoy, McCoy Jewelers, Dubuque, IA
  • It depends on how you work it. Being from a small Midwest town, buying the hottest items hasn’t worked out well. That’s why networking with jewelers in similar markets is the greatest benefit of going to a trade show. — Bill Elliott, Ross Elliott Jewelers, Terre Haute, IN
  • I think you have to hold a piece of jewelry to appreciate it, and that is where trade shows are useful. — Rosanne Kroen, Rosanne’s Diamonds & Gold, South Bend, IN

Jodi Winters headshot

“As my customers seem to have become more trend-focused, I’ve needed to become far more trend-savvy, and the shows provide that opportunity.” — Jodi Winters, J.L Winter’s Jewelers, Muncy, PA

  • With such limited time to be out of the store, we’ve found it’s better for us to go on vacations and take INSTORE magazines along with us to find out about news and new trends! I find that no matter what I do at a jewelry show, I spend too much money on inventory. — Frank Salinardi, Linardi’s Jewelers, Plantation, FL
  • Used to be very important. As a custom jeweler, it was how we kept up with trends and new stones popularity. However, with all of the coverage, Facebook “Live”, tweeting, Snap-chatting, etc. I can stay in the store and look at ideas/designs/stones as if I’m really there. — Roger Pauling, Lapidary Arts Custom Jewelry, Plano, TX
  • Very, very, very useful. We look for one item that we can promote instead of looking for many. Our routine is find it, promote it, sell it. Last year we found an earring at the Tucson show. Since then we have sold 180 copies of this earring: retail $595; cost $165. — Ragnar Bertelsen, Ragnar Jewellers, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 
  • Meh. Good for a getaway, sure. Good for a recharge, sure. But overall, meh. — Doug Mitchell, UniQ Jewelry Gallery, Three Rivers, MI
  • Not at all. The independent jewelry experience has changed, yet the trade show still focuses on doing business the same way as our grandfathers did.  — Beth Cevasco, Scott’s Custom Jewelers, Fairlawn, OH

This article originally appeared in the April 2017 edition of INSTORE.


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Wilkerson Testimonials | Sollberger’s

Going Out of Business Is an Emotional Journey. Wilkerson Is There to Make It Easier.

Jaki Cowan, the owner of Sollberger’s in Ridgeland, MS, decided the time was right to close up shop. The experience, she says, was like going into the great unknown. There were so many questions about the way to handle the store’s going-out-of-business sale. Luckily for Cowan, Wilkerson made the transition easier and managed everything, from marketing to markdowns.

“They think of everything that you don’t have the time to think of,” she says of the Wilkerson team that was assigned to manage the sale. And it was a total success, with financial goals met by Christmas with another sale month left to go.

Wilkerson even had a plan to manage things while Covid-19 restrictions were still in place. This included limiting the number of shoppers, masking and taking temperatures upon entrance. “We did everything we could to make the staff and public feel as safe as possible.”

Does she recommend Wilkerson to other retailers thinking of retiring, liquidating or selling excess merchandise? Absolutely. “If you are considering going out of business, it’s obviously an emotional journey. But truly rest assured that you’re in good hands with Wilkerson.”

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