CBG Vegas 2021: The First Jewelry Trade Show Back!
Las Vegas—The Las Vegas jewelry shows have been pushed to late August this year due to the pandemic, but one lone event stuck to its typical schedule, and could be an indicator of what’s to come.
The Continental Buying Group held its first in-person trade show in more than a year, from June 1-3 at Caesar’s Palace.
According to retailers, the event was a success.
“We were the first convention to take place at Caesar’s,” said CBG retailer Bichsel Jewelry’s Mark Callis in a statement from CBG.
“I’ve got to tell you, the CBG members have just gone nuts. It has been so much fun—the buying has been a frenzy. The vendors were happy, the jewelers were happy, and we got to see our friends we hadn’t seen in almost two years!”
Deciding when to hold the first in-person event since the start of the pandemic was a struggle for CBG owners Joe Murphy and Andie Weinman with healthy and safety guidelines continuously changing as the vaccine rolled out to Americans.
The option of aligning with JCK Las Vegas in August was off the table, due to availability.
The CBG team contacted each of its retailers to assess show interest. Due to social distancing measures, CBG would be able to accommodate half of the usual number of exhibitors and wanted to ensure at least a one-to-one buyer-supplier ratio, or attendance of 50 percent of its retail membership.
On April 1, Murphy and Weinman made the call to proceed with the June dates, for the first time inviting a handful of guest retailers to bolster the numbers.
One of those guests, Jeff Turnbo of Nacol’s Jewelry, said, “Our experience so far throughout our first CBG show has been extremely surprising. A lot of the time people in the better end of success in this industry are not always so open to sharing, but this has not been the case [at CBG]!
“We have been welcomed with open arms. Many retailers in the group have been so friendly, inviting us to sit down and talk business. It’s been great getting advice and hearing stories from such a wide variety of stores, retailers, and manufacturers.”
The CBG event benefitted from some lucky timing as the number of vaccinated Americans increased and COVID-19 numbers dwindled as the show approached.
A week before the show, Caesar’s Palace informed CBG that all COVID-19 restrictions would be lifted June 1, the event’s opening day.
Accordingly, masks were optional for fully vaccinated attendees. The same will be the case at JCK Las Vegas. The Couture Show will not require fully vaccinated attendees to mask up, but is encouraging them to do so.
Weinman said, “The energy was off the charts! The showroom floor was always busy. The retailers were all there to do business and reconnect with their CBG supplier partners.”
Following the success of the Vegas edition, CBG will host its first “CBG Retreat” in Tampa, Florida on October 4-6, which will combine a typical trade show element with networking and social time.
For more information on CBG membership, contact Estelle Hedaya at (305) 868-9004.
Among the jewelry trade shows happening in August are JCK Las Vegas, from Aug. 27-30, and the Couture Show, from Aug. 24-26.