July 1, 2021
Last year’s trade show season was like no other. Our focus was directed away from the norm and towards the unprecedented; pivoting our business strategy to facilitate meaningful connections virtually.
Now that in-person trade shows are on the horizon once again, it’s important to refresh your memory on the jewelry security measures necessary for in-person events. With extravagant booths, award-winning designs, and the opportunity to meet new customers and greet existing ones, it may seem like more of a celebration than a business affair. Don't forget who else may be in attendance, though. Criminals mark their calendars for these action-packed events too, and after a year in quarantine, may be turning out in even larger numbers this upcoming season.

With such vast quantities of high-value merchandise all in one place, criminals are naturally drawn to what could potentially be the heist of their careers. This is especially true if you’re in a large, busy city such as New York or Las Vegas, where theft may be a greater risk. 

Thankfully, most shows themselves are highly secured within the exhibition space they’re held in. The risk of your safety being compromised may be relatively low during the show, but it’s much higher before and after.  Keep these safety tips in mind to boost your security during all phases of jewelry trade shows: 

Before: 

  • Check with your insurance company and review your coverage limits.
  • Arrange for your line to be shipped to the show by an armored courier service.
  • If you can’t have it shipped, immediately utilize the vaults at the location of the trade show – never trust that your hotel safe will suffice.
  • Book a reputable hotel that is highly secure and secure all locks on the room doors. Also, use the peephole when someone knocks. 
  • Be discreet and don’t share your plans or identity with other travelers. Consider creating a cover story, like you’re visiting family or going to a business conference. Get creative and be prepared to give a few specifics in case additional questions are asked about your itinerary.
  • Try not to look like a tourist. Get familiar with where you need to go before you depart.
  • If the security offered at the trade show is lacking or non-existent, contemplate whether it’s worth the risk to even go in the first place.

During: 

  • Never leave the booth unattended during show hours.
  • Provide one-on-one attention to each customer.
  • Show only one item at a time. If masks are being worn, it’s a good idea to ask for ID before showing an item. 
  • Regardless of how many times you must go in and out, your displays should always be locked up.
  • Utilize a wrist key holder or other accessory to ensure that your keys are not easily accessible. It will also prevent you from setting them down and forgetting them somewhere.
  • Switch thefts are common at trade shows, so carefully re-examine each piece after it was handled by another person.
  • Whether it’s with merchandise or markers, trays should always be filled so you can quickly recognize any discrepancies.
  • Only wear your badge at the venue or official sponsored events.

After 

  • Take your badge off immediately after leaving the show so criminals can’t identify you.
  • Showing and selling your jewelry is meant for the trade show floor, not informally back at your hotel room after hours.
  • For the safety of you and your customers, ship all jewelry that is bought at the show.
  • Even if you are not returning with additional merchandise, avoid displaying any bags, cases, or other branded merchandise of show vendors that could potentially make you a target.
  • Arrange for a ride to pick you up and avoid hailing a cab at all costs.

Stay Safe and Secure – Enjoy the Show 
Whether exhibiting or attending, everyone wants to be able to enjoy their first public industry event following lock-down. To ensure the most productive, headache-free experiences during this highly anticipated trade show season, make sure to create a comprehensive security plan that includes the show safety policy and any checklists you think will come in handy. Then, meet with your staff to review the recommendations and address questions or concerns so your team can get ahead of any potential threats quickly and confidently.  

The anticipation and excitement of reuniting with our peers, clients and customers face-to-face is evident in the industry. Taking these simple steps before, during, and after your upcoming trade shows will give you and your team peace of mind so you can make the most of the events.

Make sure to check out The Clarity Blog on the Jewelers Mutual® Group website for more great tips on protecting your business from unexpected threats.

Interested in other tips, tools, and techniques aimed at helping you run a more secure and successful jewelry business? Browse more of our Business Tips.

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