Representatives from more than 300 independent jewelry stores around the United States gathered at the Convention Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota last weekend for the biannual Retail Jewelers Organization (RJO) Show.
In addition to a trading floor where retailers could learn about products and services from hundreds of suppliers and providers, the two and a half day event featured a series of educational sessions for representatives from the 337 stores in attendance. IGI participated in two of those sessions on the show’s first day.
1. The Future of Diamond Marketing
The first session addressed strategies for marketing of diamonds and jewelry to younger generations of consumers. IGI Senior Director of Education John Pollard discussed market trends, emerging technologies and the importance of authenticity, human and environmental stewardship and traceability.
Guest speaker George Prout, President of Craft Diamonds, emphasized the need to adapt to the evolving values and new learning styles of consumers coming of age in the bridal market.
Pollard noted how the accelerating pace of change in our industry has created a need for continuous improvement among professionals. IGI is serving that need by offering cutting edge services and education for both professionals and consumers, designed with younger generations of consumers in mind.
2. The Art of Selling Lab Grown Diamonds
Pollard was also a guest speaker for a presentation by Mercury Ring called “The Art of Selling Lab Grown Diamonds.” Keynote speaker Ateet Shah, President of Mercury Ring, outlined market trends, identified areas of opportunity and invited RJO retailers to share buying and selling strategies which had brought success. Shah also underscored the need for education and training, such as the eLearning Courses offered by IGI.
IGI Training and Education
Pollard gave supporting observations about the lab grown diamond market, worldwide, and provided information on all of IGI’s services for retail jewelers; screening diamonds and mounted jewelry, co-branded grading reports for jewelry pieces, independent appraisals, eLearning and consumer-facing education which can be accessed at point of sale with a QR code.
The Retail Jewelers Organization has existed for over 50 years, serving hundreds of retail and vendor members across the United States. In addition to monetary benefits, RJO promotes idea sharing among members and prioritizes educational opportunities for members.