Events & Awards

14 Can’t-Miss JCK Talks Education Sessions

Events & AwardsMay 30, 2024

14 Can’t-Miss JCK Talks Education Sessions

From social media strategy to colored gemstone updates, these are a few of the sessions JCK Las Vegas goers should attend.

JCK Las Vegas show floor
JCK Talks, the education sessions at JCK Las Vegas, run from Thursday, May 30 to Sunday, June 2.
Las Vegas—The JCK Las Vegas show officially opens tomorrow, but there are select events and areas opening today, including its education sessions.

JCK Talks begin today with sessions in the Venetian ballrooms, covering a variety of topics including security, sales, DEI, and marketing.

More sessions will follow from May 31-June 2 on the Showcase Stage and the Social Stage on the show floor, located on level 2 of the Venetian.

The Showcase Stage sessions will feature individual speakers and panels in a “Track” format, which divides sessions into eight topics, including hot topics, trends, business management, sales, innovation, sustainability and ethics, development, and marketing.

The Social Stage, which debuted last year, will return with daily sessions featuring digital strategists, content creators and influencers sharing tips for content creation, social media engagement and how to stand out on social platforms.

These are a few can’t-miss sessions for attendees to add to their schedule.

Thursday, May 30

Industry experts will lead a session titled, “Colored Gemstones 101: How to Sell Colored Stones Like a Boss,” taking place from 4 to 4:45 p.m. in room 101.

Speakers include Rebecca Shukan, director of sales and development at Omi Privé, Kimberly Collins, owner and founder of Kimberly Collins Colored Gems, John Ford, CEO of the American Gem Trade Associations, and Douglas Mays, U.S. sales director for Wild & Petsch.

The experts will discuss how to buy and sell colored gemstones amid rising consumer demand.

Right after that, also in room 101, will be “Business Resources 101: Programs and Services to Support Your Business” from 5 to 5:45 p.m.

The panel includes Amanda Gizzi, director of PR and events at Jewelers of America, Malyia McNaughton, chairman of the Black in Jewelry Coalition, Katherine Bodoh, CEO of the American Gem Society, Gabrielle Grazi, president-elect of the Women’s Jewelry Association Foundation, and Mark Smelzer, vice president of content at Jewelers Mutual Group.

The sessions will focus on sharing resources offered by jewelry industry trade associations, including programs, services, and scholarships tailored to jewelers.

Friday, May 31

Friday’s sessions will kick off with “Industry Update: Natural Diamond Market” from 10 to 10:45 a.m. at the Showcase Stage.

Speakers include Edahn Golan, CEO of Edahn Golan Diamond Research & Data Ltd., Rebecca Foerster, president of Hearts on Fire, Feriel Zerouki, senior vice president of provenance, ethics, and industry relations at De Beers Group, and Susan Jacques, president and CEO of the Gemological Institute of America.

The panelists, each from various sectors of the business, will talk about the natural diamond market, including trends, market dynamics, and consumer preferences.

In the afternoon at the Showcase Stage, there will be a session titled “Unveiling the Latest Trends in Wedding Jewelry” from 12 to 12:45 p.m.

Panelists include Amanda Gizzi, Severine Ferrari, editor-in-chief of Engagement 101, Isreal Morales, owner of Sky Diamond Jewelers, and Trish Carruth, founder and lead designer at Your Personal Jeweler.

The speakers will dive into the trending designs, materials, and styles in today’s wedding jewelry market.

Laryssa Wirstiuk, owner of jewelry marketing company Joy Joya Inc, will lead a session titled “Crafting Captions that Captivate: The Art of Effective Social Media Wording” at the Social Stage from 12:30 to 1:15 p.m.

Wirstiuk will talk about caption writing and what it takes to create ones that tells a story, makes an audience feel something, or acts as a call to action.

National Jeweler columnist and sales expert Peter Smith, owner of the Retail Smiths, will lead a session on sales, titled “Talking Sales” from 1 to 1:45 p.m. at the Showcase Stage.

Smith has more than four decades of experience working with brands and retailers, and has written several books on sales.

 Related stories will be right here … 

Saturday, June 1

JCK kicks off Saturday with its keynote session, “The Power to Win,” led by boxing champion Sugar Ray Leonard.

The keynote will be held in the San Polo ballroom. Doors open at 8 a.m. with the session beginning at 8:30 through 9:30 a.m.

The Olympic gold medalist will share stories from his life and career as well as his strategy for success.

Later that morning, there will be a session titled, “Industry Update: Lab-Grown Diamond Market” from 10 to 10:45 a.m. at the Showcase Stage.

Speakers include Edahn Golan, Zulu Ghevriya, CEO and co-founder of Smiling Rocks Inc., George Prout, president of Surreal Diamond, Sean Moore, vice president of luxury sales at Borsheims Jewelry, and Nick Smart, commercial director at Lightbox Jewelry.

The panel will dive into the latest developments, technological advances, market trends, and consumer attitudes and preferences regarding the lab-grown diamond market.

Next up is “Beyond the Bling: Ensuring ADA Compliance Online and in Retail Spaces,” held from 11 to 11:45 a.m. at the Showcase Stage.

Tiffany Stevens, CEO of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, and Sara Yood, deputy general counsel at JVC, will lead a session about what it means to have a website that is compliant with The Americans with Disabilities Act following a rise in lawsuits.

There will also be information about the accommodations that need to be made to in-store customers and how to use “people-first” language when talking about customers with disabilities.

At the Social Stage, tech expert Jennifer Shaheen, president and founder of Technology Therapy Group, will lead a session titled, “Social Media: Dive-In, Dig Deep or Ditch It,” from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

In the session, Shaheen will address the question of whether a business needs to be on every social media platform or if it should narrow its focus.

She’ll outline the changes happening within the top platforms, share the difference between organic and paid reach, discuss the role of influencers, and more.

Sunday, June 2

Sunday will begin with a session titled “Industry Update: Colored Gemstone Market,” held from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. at the Showcase Stage.

Speakers include David Nassi, president of 100% Natural Ltd., Stuart Robertson, president of Gemworld International Inc., Victoria Gomelsky, editor-in-chief of JCK Magazine, and Kimberly Collins.

The panel will delve into all things colored gemstones, including latest trends, discoveries, popular colors, rarities, and market insights, as well as what’s driving consumer demand.

In the afternoon, there will be a session titled “Jewelry Tech Tools of the Future,” from 2 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. at the Showcase Stage.

Speakers include Madeline Fraser, founder and CEO of Gemist, Jen Cullen Williams, founder of Jen Cullen Williams Co., Zach Lipsky, founder and CEO of Boss Logics, Ross Cockerham, CEO and co-founder of Punchmark, and Maxwell Orloff, watch specialist at Orloff Jewelers Inc.

The panelist will discuss the latest in jewelry technology, including artificial intelligence in custom designs, 3D printing, and how virtual reality can be used for immersive shopping experiences.

At the Social Stage, there will be a session titled “How to Effectively Target Each Generation from Boomers to Gen Z on Social Media,” from 2:30 to 3:15 p.m.

Led by Shea Curry, CEO and founder of Catch Social, the session will discuss strategies for tailoring your content and messaging to each generation to bolster engagement and conversions.

Next up at the Showcase Stage is “Mine to Market: The Importance of Traceability and Transparency in the Industry,” from 3 to 3:45 p.m.

Speakers include Brecken Branstrator, editor-in-chief at GemGuide, Adriano Mol, professor at the University of Minas Gerais State, John Ferry, founder and CEO of Prosperity Earth, Sheahan Stephen, president of Sheahan Stephen Sapphires Inc., and Lotanna Amina Okpukpara, creative director of Mina Stones.

The panel will discuss the challenges and benefits of achieving traceability throughout the supply chain, as well as the latest technologies, standards, and initiatives driving transparency in the industry.

For a full list of education sessions, visit the JCK Las Vegas website.

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