Expo provides the education you need to hone your technical and business skills, keep you on top of trends and industry developments, and spark your imagination. Featuring renowned industry leaders and master jewelers, the seminars at Expo address the most pressing issues facing jewelry designers, manufacturers, and suppliers today—as one Expo attendee said, “I’m chomping at the bit to go back, they were that good!"
Below are the seminars that took place during the 2018 MJSA Expo.
In this session, attendees discovered how to employ SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound) objectives to create measurable training goals and track progress in everything from safe shop practices to security protocol for sales staff. It was presented by Nanz Aalund, an educator, award-winning jewelry artist, and author of the MJSA Press book A Jeweler’s Guide to Apprenticeships: How to Create Effective Programs (nanzaalund.com).
As they become faster and cheaper, new design and manufacturing technologies—cloud storage, direct-to-cast 3D printing—grow more and more attractive for volume manufacturers. This session examined the costs and strategies associated with digital manufacturing on a large scale, and compared these new technologies to the traditional methods of model making, wax injection, and other casting-related processes. It was presented by Scott Bradford, a member of the Tech Team at Rio Grande, Albuquerque, New Mexico (riogrande.com).
Although consumer expectations and tastes are changing, the reality is that the current jewelry market continues to grow. This session looked at trends, stats, and changing consumer attitudes, with a focus on how they can translate into opportunities for professional jewelry makers and designers. Topics addressed included industry revenue trends, e-commerce, Millennials, self-purchasing women, metal markets, the diamond sector, and the dynamic retail landscape. It was presented by Harold Dupuy FGA, vice president of strategic analysis at Stuller Inc., Lafayette, Louisiana (stuller.com).
Every jeweler loves it when a “genius solution” to a problem pops up out of nowhere. What if such moments could be controlled? This session explored how the brain learns, creates, and deals with the related anxiety, and showed how designers can use that knowledge to develop innovative design and business solutions in the least amount of time. It was presented by Andrea Koenig, an award-winning jeweler whose studio focuses one one-of-a-kind, custom, and limited production work (anniekjewelry.com).
Mixing theory with actual examples, this seminar discussed the importance of planning a graceful exit, touching on such topics as family succession, poten-tial estate and gift tax issues, buy/sell agreements, and how to properly value your business. It was presented by Dan Pharr, president of Pharr Valuation Inc. in Richmond, Virginia (pharrvaluation.com).
Each holiday season sees record-breaking online sales, which some days exceed $1 billion. This seminar showed to enter the world of e-commerce effectively. Topics included how to photograph and merchandise products, how to set up an e-commerce website and manage online inventory, and how designers and manufacturers can build better relationships with retailers by making it easier to see their work and place orders online. It was presented by Matthew Perosi, an entrepreneur, internet authority, and principal of the Sapphire Collaborative (sapphirecollaborative.com).
This presentation, sponsored by Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group, demonstrated how JM Shipping Solution —a platform that offers exclusive discounts, insurance options for our packages, and more—can help businesses grow. It was presented by Mark Devereaux and Tina Olm, Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group.
Technology has changed more than the ways we shop and buy: It has revolutionized the way we com-municate and market at the B2B and B2C levels. Sharing current data and case studies, this session showed attendees how they can embrace this new reality. It introduced the necessary tools and skills, broke them down into prioritized action steps, and showed how to move thoughtfully into a digital future while still running a present-day business. It was presented by Andrea Hill, owner of the Hill Management Group (hill-management.com).