I hope you had a wonderful New Year and are off to a great start in 2017! I wanted to reach out to personally thank everyone for playing a role in our JCK, LUXURY & JIS communities and share some important thoughts as we embark upon a new year.
After spending the weekend connecting with so many industry colleagues, I started thinking about the changes that have taken place since the launch of our first JCK show in 1992 – can you believe this will be our 25th year? The brands, the retailers, the trends, the consumers, and business models have drastically changed. The only constant that we continue to witness is that our industry is ever-changing and continues to evolve. These changes come in many forms; disruption of existing ways of doing business, consolidation of distribution channels, fragmentation of larger brands’ market share into many small players, and the exponential growth of online retail. These changes show no signs of slowing down any time soon.
With the evolution of the market comes new opportunities and challenges to our industry. We’ve seen a lot of new technology that allows us to communicate with each other (some may even say over-communicate). You name it, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, Web Pages, Texts, Apps, Emails, Video Chat, etc. In this never-ending sea of social media and digital communication, sometimes, I believe we lose our focus on what’s really impactful and meaningful.
I strongly believe in building authentic face-to-face partnerships. Nothing, not even the never-ending white noise of digital overload can replace the strength of a real relationship forged with your trading partners in person. JCK, LUXURY and JIS Events are not just “Trade Shows”. We do sell booth space to brands and we do provide a marketplace for buyers to purchase products. But first and foremost, we are a relationship-building platform. Whether it is on the show floor, a dinner or special events, the face-to-face interactions and relationships that you build at our events are exponentially more valuable than any amount of emails, texts, and social-media communications.
In the 20 years I’ve spent devoted to the industry, I have noticed that there is an authentic culture that exists inside of our businesses – WE are a true community. This authenticity is based on our shared passion around the business we work in and the relationships we have formed. This is what sets us apart.
I want to remind everyone no matter what part you play in our industry, whether you a retailer, manufacturer, distributor, wholesaler, brand, designer, or press, we value what you are. It’s incredibly important to participate in our community and to continue building relationships. I’m very excited about the future and how we can all come together, strengthen current relationships and build new ones, discuss ideas, and adapt to all the changes around us. It doesn’t matter how far you have travelled or if you’re taking a train, plane, or car. We encourage you to get out from behind your computer and to actively participate in our event community. Your presence at JCK, LUXURY and JIS is an investment towards our industry and your business.
Thank you and we hope to see you in person at any of our shows in the coming months.