INSTORE's 2016 SMART Jewelry Show Opens in Chicago

A new look for the only major show in the Midwest

The SMART Jewelry Show opened at Chicago's Navy Pier today. Highlights at this year's show include two VIP trips to Antwerp, a diamond giveaway in support of Jewelers for Children, and the last public appearance of the largest diamond found in the US, the 8.52-carat Esperanza Diamond,

INSTORE magazine's eighth annual SMART Jewelry Show opened at Chicago's Navy Pier today. Highlights at this year's show include:

  • Antwerp World Diamond Center is giving away two VIP trips to Antwerp at the INSTORE SMART Party tonight at Navy Pier's Aon Grand Ballroom.
  • Also at tonight's networking gala, one lucky winner will take home a diamond (courtesy of AWDC partner INDIAM) for supporting Jewelers for Children.
  • The largest diamond found in the US, the 8.52-carat Esperanza Diamond, makes its last public appearance at The SMART Show. It's on display alongside pieces from the R. Harder Gallery of Gems and Minerals from Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company. Ron Harder will be on hand to answer questions.
  • Antwerp's famous diamond boots are on display at tonight's SMART Party. The size-39 beauties are made with 38,883 diamonds totaling 1,527 carats and 4,753 grams of gold.

Also new at this year's SMART Show: the floor plan and day pattern.

"Meeting vendors is the number one reason jewelers love coming to The SMART Show," says Jim Reed, show director. "With that in mind, we adjusted this year's floor plan to encourage more interaction between retailers and exhibitors throughout the show."

Changing the show's day pattern to Sunday - Tuesday is another move that gives key decision makers more time on the show floor and helps buyers maximize the number of exhibitors they visit.

And with the day shift, this year's pre-show education conference took place on Saturday, April 16. Several hundred jewelers sharpened their industry know-how with 40 sessions covering the art of bridal sales, new merchandising innovations, delivering an engaging online experience and more. In a special lunch session, wedding industry expert Alan Berg showed retailers how the often-scary review sites can generate business-building testimonials that increase a store's online reputation and boost sales.

Additional education opportunities are available throughout the show with keynote sessions at 8:30 a.m. each day, as well as hands-on SMART Stations and mini conferences in the Experience Areas on the show floor.

The 2017 SMART Show will take place on Sunday, April 2, to Tuesday, April 4, with a full day of education on Saturday, April 1.

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