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WJA Announces Keynote Speakers for In The Know Conference

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Randi Zuckerberg and Hitha Prabhakar will keynote the WJA’s “In the Know” conference on March 10.

(Press Release) NEW YORK, NY – The Women’s Jewelry Association has announced its two keynote speakers for the 2016 WJA In The Know Conference on March 10. The annual educational conference returns to its location at the Convene Conference Center on 730 Third Avenue in New York City.

At 9 a.m., WJA In The Know will kick off with opening keynote speaker Randi Zuckerberg, CEO of Zuckerberg Media and the author of “Dot Complicated,” a New York Times bestseller about her personal journey on the front lines of Facebook and her thoughts on how technology has profoundly changed people’s lives. Zuckerberg talk is titled "Finding the Balance" and will address how to be a three-dimensional woman in today’s digital age.

Following Zuckerberg’s presentation will be Hitha Prabhakar, chief retail analyst at Aitchpe Retail Advisory, a boutique consumer and retail research firm. Prabhakar will discuss retail trends and shifts in consumer attitudes and how they are affecting shopping behavior.

WJA In The Know’s conference programming is shaped around the theme, "Blurring the Lines," and will address how consumer behaviors and technology are changing the way jewelry is sold both on and offline. Interactive presentations, on-stage conversations, power talks and other experiential elements will be a part of the agenda.

In addition to the two headline speakers, the WJA In The Know lineup will also feature a new fireside chat format that includes brief conversations with industry movers and shakers who are changing the jewelry sales paradigm. Confirmed so far are designer Kara Ross, who will speak about her new Diamonds Unleashed initiative and women’s empowerment; as well as the founders of AuRate, an online gold design jewelry buying site with a philanthropic point of view. These talks, peppered in throughout the day, will showcase and highlight innovation.

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An afternoon event with moderator Ben Smithee of the Smithee Group, will feature four jewelry consumers live on stage. Smithee, a popular speaker at past WJA In The Know conferences, will interview his subjects and drill to the core of what’s important to them when they shop, including what they are purchasing, and where they are shopping. New this year, WJA In The Know will also offer breakout workshops for new business owners and designers, to help them dive into budgeting basics and social media best practices.

Convene will also host the 2016 WJA In The Spotlight Gala, following the educational conference. The gala honors WJA regional chapters’ 2016 Shining Stars (chapter members who have given extraordinary service to their individual chapters throughout the past year) and 2016 WJA DIVAS, winners of the association’s annual design competition.

Tickets for both events will go on sale later in January. Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Contact WJA Executive Director Bernadette McGovern Mack at [email protected] for details.

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