b'SHOWS THE LAB- 5 RETAILTRADEWRAP-UPWENTGROWNTRENDS SHOW DARK QUESTION SWEET SPOThad launched virtual trade show or meeting platforms in the prior 60The Continental Buying Group moved its June event in Las Vegas days, during the peak of the pandemic in the United States.to Sept. 11-13, while NY Now and the Atlanta Jewelry Show both There are even those that allow an attendee to have an avatarpostponed their events to October. walking the show floor.For now, show organizers are all making decisions as they go and DuBois says his own association will adopt a hybrid approachworking in tandem with venues to ensure everything is in place. this coming winter for its Expo! Expo! event, dubbed as the show for shows. The association will offer a virtual component for attendeesWhether you were closed for five weeks, who arent ready to be there in person, begging the question: Willsix weeks, eight weeks, 10 weeks,jewelry and watch shows take a similar approach, going partially orwhether you got PPP money or not,even completely virtual? all of our revenue was seriously impacted. As jewelry industry show veteran Hauben mentioned, it remains to be seen when jewelry retailers will feel not only that business isEveryone I know whos prudent is taking a back, but back to a place where they need and want to attend tradegood hard look at their expenses.shows again.Holly Wesche, Wesche JewelersFor some, a virtual aspect might be just the ticket. Hauben, for his part, remains skeptical. Its exciting to think that lots of people would show up digitally and do business, he says. I have my doubts as to how compelling that is to everyone.But the important part, all reiterate, is the feeling these new tools wont replace the physical events the trade is used to, just complement them. Reed Exhibitions Bachmann says the post-ponement or cancellation of so many jewelry and watch events this year has underlined both the importance of in-person events and the industrys ability to connect virtually. Reed will launch a JCK Virtual program in August, offering the industry a chance to reconnect, set virtual appointments and product reviews, and attend education sessions, Bach-mann says. Jewelry designer Stephen Webster, a longtime Couture exhibitor, says there will always be a need for trade shows in Retailer Wesche says a couple of vendors arethe industry, especially as forums for gathering feedback on a new collection. Pictured here is Websters No Regrets looking for new ways to do business with clients,Lounge at last years Couture show.and its likely she will do Zoom meetings with them to see new jewelry.Regarding health and safety measures, several organizers say Theres a caveat with these online meetups, she notesits likelytheyre working with the staff at all properties to assure the layout to work best for vendors with which a business has a longstandingmeets guidelines, and, while the list is still subject to change, relationship and knows their quality.are implementing a number of measures including temperature From an exhibitors perspective, trade shows already were having tochecks, controlled occupancy, distribution of personal protective change and adapt, and due to the pandemic might have to further haveequipment and hand sanitizer stations. a rethink about what theyre offering exhibitors, says Webster.CBG Chief Operating Officer Joe Murphy says organizers are Still, the London-based designer sees a definite place for shows inwaiting to see what safety measures and guidelines Caesars Palace the post-COVID-19 world, especially those that offer more focusedputs into place. In case its September dates dont work out, CBG has environments for exhibitors.Oct. 6-8 on hold at Orlandos Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress. I think a lot of it is to do with the vendors as well as the show,What will happen after Dec. 31 is anyones guess. where people can decide for themselves how they best want to useWesche predicts the future for next years trade show schedule that time at a show; I dont think its all about writing orders. depends on a few factors: if theres a second wave of COVID-19, as several experts expect, the strength of business in the second half WHAT HAPPENS IN FALL 2020? of the year, and how firmly vendors and clients embrace the use of A few jewelry shows were still on the 2020 calendar in the U.S. attechnology to maintain relationships.press time.For now, the maddening, if necessary, watchwords are wait and The Select Jewelry Show is planning a show in Dallas from Sept. 13see. to 14 and at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut from Nov. 1 to 2. 14 MARKET ISSUE 2020'