Events & Awards

10 Can’t-Miss Sessions at AGS Conclave 2024

Events & AwardsApr 15, 2024

10 Can’t-Miss Sessions at AGS Conclave 2024

From lab-grown diamonds and AI to the inevitable Taylor Swift mention, here are some of Conclave’s most intriguing educational offerings.

AGS Conclave 2024 logo Austin
Austin, Texas—American Gem Society Conclave 2024 is slated to begin Monday in Austin, Texas.

As always, the three-day conference is packed with educational offerings, including discussions on diamonds (both natural and lab-grown), artificial intelligence (AI), and responsible sourcing.

To aid attendees in scheduling, National Jeweler has selected 10 sessions it thinks jewelry store owners should not miss.

Here they are, in chronological order. All times given are local to Austin (Central Daylight Time).

1. “Chair Yoga and a New Approach to Customer Service”
Monday, April 15, 9-10 a.m.

There’s nothing wrong with kicking off Conclave 2024 with a little bit of yoga. On Monday morning, Preferred Jewelers International Creative Director Laurie Miller will mix stress-reducing yoga moves with a lesson on the art of truly listening.

2. “Giving Back: Stats and Facts from the Ground in East Africa”
Monday, April 15, 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Rachel Merisheki, executive director of Gem Legacy, the organization focused on training, entrepreneurship, and community development in East Africa gem-mining communities, will share stories of the nonprofit’s success and failures, as well as information on how to get involved.

3. “Beyond Swifties: Adapting Your Sales Approach for Women”
Monday, April 15, 4-5 p.m.

In the wake of the “influential female economy of 2023” in which Beyoncé, “Barbie,” and Taylor Swift generated huge streams of revenue, Anna Samsonova will lead a panel discussion on how the growing number of women leaders and buyers is shaping the jewelry market.

4. “Female Sex Trafficking in Diamond Mining”
Monday, April 15, 4-5 p.m.

Industry veteran Brandee Dallow, Grandview Diamonds chief communications and sustainability officer, will be joined by Abigail Sibanda, a gender focal person with the Marange Women’s Alliance, and Responsible Jewelry Transformative founder Susan Wheeler to shed light on the atrocities being perpetrated on women and girls around diamond mining operations in Zimbabwe.

5. “What’s #Trending on Social Media 2024”
Tuesday, April 16, 10:45-11:45 a.m.

Communications expert Jen Cullen Williams will be joined by TikTok influencer and social media juggernaut Julia Chafé as well as Loudr Creative Director Dewey Taylor and TheDiamondsGirl Tracy Ellison to talk about what’s currently hashtag-hot on TikTok, Instagram, Pinterest, and more.

 Related stories will be right here … 

6. “Real People, Real Impact: Telling the Real Story Behind Natural Diamonds”
Tuesday, April 16, 12-1 p.m.

Diamonds Do Good’s Madison Harvey will lead a discussion with jewelry designer Constance Polamalu, owner of Zachary’s Jewelers, and DDG Executive Director Nancy Orem Lyman on how natural diamonds benefit the countries where they are mined and how retailers can share those stories with customers.

7. “AI and the Jewelry Industry: What You Need to Know Now!”
Tuesday, April 16, 4:30-5:30 p.m.

National Jeweler Associate Editor Lenore Fedow attended Ford Saeks’ session on ChatGPT at AGS Conclave 2023 and found it to be informative. The president and CEO of Prime Concepts Group Inc. returns to Conclave this year to talk all things AI.

8. “Laboratory-Grown Diamonds-Policies, Procedures, and Pricing: What the Retailer Needs to Know”
Wednesday, April 17, 10:45-11:45 a.m.

Jewelers Vigilance Committee CEO and General Counsel Tiffany Stevens and John Carter of Jack Lewis Jewelers are among the panelists for this panel discussion on the need for in-store policies and procedures on lab-grown diamonds and how to navigate pricing.

9. “Cracking the Code: Marketing, Selling and Collaborating with Gen Z”
Wednesday, April 17, 12-1 p.m.

Williams and Chafé return for this panel discussion of Gen Z jewelry professionals that will cover how to market and sell to Gen Z consumers (currently ages 12-27) and best practices for hiring and working members of this generation.

10. “Recycled, Repurposed, Fairmined: ... Oh My!”
Wednesday, April 17, 12-1 p.m.

Wheeler heads this panel discussion on precious metals, their supply chains, and how to source them responsibly. She will be joined by panelists Dani Cutler of Hoover & Strong, jewelry designer Jennifer Dawes, and Melissa Quick, president of Steve Quick Jeweler.

For a full list of education sessions at Conclave 2024, visit the AGS website

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