4 Days in the Life at JCK Tucson

Featuring jewelry designer and exhibitor Dana Bronfman

Got your schedule chock full for your visit to JCK Tucson? If so, that’s great! If not, that’s fine, too. I’m about to lay out a schedule of what your visit could look like, if you want to take advantage of everything the show has to offer. For good measure, I’ve asked jewelry designer Dana Bronfman, a returning exhibitor who knows her way around JCK Tucson, to let us know what her days will look like. It’s all about perspective.

Wednesday, January 31

6:30 a.m.–7:30 a.m. Morning Hike Why not take advantage of the show’s serene setting and start your visit with a hiking tour of the Sonoran Desert? Your day will go from beautiful views of nature to astounding views of jewelry—not a bad deal.

“I wake up in my hotel room at the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass at 6:00 a.m., get dressed, grab an espresso from the on-location Starbucks, and head out to the hill for a morning walk among the Saguaro cacti. I love the fresh desert air and watching the pink sky turn to sun. The cacti become illuminated with a flow I don’t get to see at home in New York. It makes me feel inspired and energized for the day at the show.” —Dana Bronfman

8:30 a.m. Registration is open! Get ready for the next few days of spectacular gemstones and fruitful meetings.

10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m. The show is open! It’s what you’re here for after all, right?

11:00 a.m.–11:45 a.m. Fireside Chat—Mobile Marketing Hosted by The Technology Therapy Group CEO Jennifer Shaheen, this edition of Fireside Chat (held in the Arizona Ballroom Lounge) will take you through the fundamentals of mobile marketing—and show you how your store can meet the demands of today’s mobile consumer.  

 12:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m. Lunch! Don’t forget, today’s lunch for purchase features Southwestern cuisine on the Ania Terrace.

2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. Fireside Chat—Ethical Sourcing Featuring U.S. jewelry designer Toby Pomeroy and idazzle’s Monica Stephenson, this informal talk will explore what drives these passionate members of our industry when it comes to the importance of ethical material sourcing.

“I do try to sneak away for a bit to say hi to my neighboring exhibitors and attend a Fireside Chat or two. This year I’m pleased to see they are hosting one on ethical sourcing, as it’s a topic that’s very important to me.” —DB

 4:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Happy Hour. It’s located right on the show floor every day, making it easy for you to enjoy a libation or two!

6:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. The Legend of Arriba, Abajo—Tequila Toast What better way to end your first day here in Tucson than with a tequila toast? Held each evening on the Salud Terrace, the toast lets you catch up with old friends and new, and say ‘cheers’ to success.

“After packing away my jewels for the night, I head to the fire pit for the Tequila Toast! Because I have to be inside at the show all day, I take every opportunity to be outside while in this beautiful place. The energy of the desert is very inspiring to me, and I love to soak it up.” —DB

 

Thursday, February 1

 7:30 a.m.–8:30 a.m. Did you have fun last night? That’s good to hear—but don’t let the day start without you! Head to the desert for a hike or yoga session, or at the very least, be sure not to miss breakfast.

“I have breakfast at the hotel café at around 7:20 a.m. and then head back to my room to shower quickly and change into the typical trade show uniform: black jeans, a colorful silk top, leather jacket, ankle boots, and—of course—lots of jewelry. Then it’s time to set up the booth for the day!” —DB

10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m. Tea Tasting So you did enjoy the evening? Never fear. Brewing experts are here to cure what ails you with the perfect cup of tea, whether you’re feeling tired, a wee bit stressed (that morning hike could help, too), or just craving the taste of green tea this morning. Available each day with the exception of Saturday, Feb. 3.

10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Hit the show floor!

11:00 a.m.–11:45 a.m. Fireside Chat—Social Media Jennifer Shaheen is back to host an informal chat about the impact of social media on your business, along with strategies to help you take advantage of it. ‘Like!’

12:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m. You promised not to miss a meal, remember? Today’s lunch available for purchase on the Ania Terrace features BBQ classics!

2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. Fireside Chat—Emerging Designers Join a trio of fabulous designers, including Baiyang Qiu of Baiyang Qiu Jewelry; John Easley of Carbon 6; and Caitlin Royal of Garnish for a chat moderated by JCK Magazine editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky. You’ll be amazed by the inspiration and insight you’ll gain from these tremendous talents.

6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m. Gems After Dark: A Larger-Than-Life Industry Celebration Our second annual Gems After Dark celebration unites the industry with an evening of games, spirits, bites, and simply put, a very good time. Hosted in partnership with GenNext, the Women’s Jewelry Association, and AGS Young Title Holders, this is an event you won’t want to miss.

“Almost every night in Tucson there is some kind of event. The Gems After Dark celebration is one I look forward to every year. It’s always wonderful to see friends from the industry who live in other cities and who I don’t get to see at any other time of the year, especially since Vegas is so hectic.” —DB

 

 Friday, February 2

7:30 a.m.–8:30 a.m. Yoga Gives Back With Jewelers for Children Hosted by Jewelers for Children (JFC), this morning yoga session (held on Thursday, Feb. 1, as well), helps to rejuvenate your body, mind, and soul—while helping others at the same time. Your fee of $10 to participate will go directly to JFC.  

“Once the show opens, I am usually manning my booth and getting to show people my collection all day long. I meet many new faces—including retailers, editors, bloggers, and designers—but I also look forward to visits from my industry friends Benjamin Guttery (@thirdcoastgems) and Monica Stephenson (idazzle.com), the JCK team, of course, and some of my wonderful retailers, like Jesse and Sarah from Iris, Meg Carroll from Meg C Gallery, and Michele Mercaldo. If you are walking the show, stop by and say hi at booth DC19!” —DB

 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m. The show floor is open!

11:00 a.m.–11:45 a.m. Fireside Chat–Storytelling in the Marketplace Presented yet again by The Technology Therapy Group’s Jennifer Shaheen, this chat will examine the importance of storytelling in the digital marketplace, with a look at how the rise of ad-blocking software can make it tricky.

12:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m. Your lunch for purchase option today on the Ania Terrace features Italian cuisine! Mangia!

 1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m. JCK Tucson Design Challenge Award Ceremony In partnership with UncommonGoods and Worthmore Jewelers, this challenge awards the brightest designers and the creations they dream up. The ceremony will explore the stories and inspiration behind their collections, crowning winners in a number of categories.

6:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. The Legend of Arriba, Abajo–Tequila Toast Go ahead and raise a glass. You’ve earned it! May this be the beginning of a beautiful evening in Tucson.

“We end the night again by the fire pit. Other nights, we go out to dinner in downtown Tucson and sometimes even pay a visit to the Hotel Congress, where everyone congregates for drinks!” —DB

 

 Saturday, February 3

7:30 a.m.–8:00 a.m. Mitakuye Oyasin Morning Ritual Head to the resort’s Salud Terrace to participate in the centuries-old ritual of burning sage, and convey your intentions to the universe for your day, month, or even year. (Note that this ritual is held each day of the show).

“After my walk, I go down to the fire pit for the sage ceremony. I grab some sage pieces, fold up the four corners, bundle it up, and throw one into the fire, setting my intention and taking a moment to notice my gratitude for having the privilege of experiencing the day and getting to share my work with people who love jewelry and gemstones as much as I do. I keep one bundle with me in my purse throughout the day because sage is my favorite smell in the world.” —DB

 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. It’s the last day of the show! Time to check all those boxes and make it count!

11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Mimosas & Networking A citrusy cheer to yet another successful show, and one more opportunity to meet and greet industry friends old and new.

 “I am happy that this year JCK ends Saturday, so on Sunday I will be heading to shop for gemstones at GJX and AGTA! I will likely be looking for interesting salt-and-pepper and natural-colored rose-cut diamonds, malachite, and anything else that may inspire me.” —DB

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