| FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
New York, NY (February 17, 2016) - The Women's Jewelry Association (WJA) has added additional programming and new networking/experiential opportunities to its 2016 WJA In The Know Conference on March 10th at Convene, 730 Third Avenue, New York City. The conference, with the theme, "Blurring the Lines," already announced keynote speakers Randi Zuckerberg, CEO of Zuckerberg Media, who will discuss how technology has profoundly changed people's lives; and Hitha Prabhakar, chief retail analyst at Aitchpe Retail Advisory, who will analyze retail trends and shifts in consumer attitudes.
Among the new elements this year:
Power Talks are 20-minute, moderated conversations with industry influencers who are innovating in the jewelry and watch industry. Designer Alexandra Mor of Alexandra Mor has joined other Power Talk participants Kara Ross of Diamonds Unleashed and Bouchra Ezzahraoui and Sophie Kahn of AURate, an online gold design jewelry buying site with a philanthropic point of view. More innovators will be announced, and these conversations will be peppered throughout the day, moderated by industry personalities such as Amanda Gizzi of Jewelers of America, Brandee Dallow of Rio Tinto, and Victoria Gomelsky of JCK magazine.
Breakout Workshops are classroom-style presentations for business owners, designers, retailers, and marketing professionals, to help them dive into budgeting basics, marketing, and social media best practices. Attendees will have the opportunity to choose two sessions among four, which include: "Using Excel for Business and Financial Development," by Kristie Nicolosi of The Kingswood Company; "Educating your Employees and Customers on Your Core Values," by Lisa Bridge of Ben Bridge Jeweler; "Partnering with Digital Influencers to Increase Brand Awareness," by Kelly Palmisano and Lorianne Lacey of Influence Central; and "How to Tell Your Story Online and through Social Media," by Hannah Becker of DiamondDoodles.
A Focus Group, featuring a panel of consumers, is designed to educate attendees about what's important to today's jewelry shoppers, including what they are purchasing, where they are shopping, and what most impacts their purchase decisions. Ben Smithee of the Smithee Group will moderate.
Enhanced Networking Opportunities include a one-hour on-site lunch, during which WJA leaders will facilitate networking and introduce table topics to further increase attendee engagement and interaction. In addition, WJA will be introducing a new mobile event app produced by CrowdCompass. The app will increase attendee engagement through real-time activity feeds, interactive polling, and attendee messaging. It will also provide access to further information about the speakers, sponsors, and the venue.
Professional Head Shots. WJA has partnered with Kevin Luker Photography to provide professional head shots at the In The Know conference during registration from 7:45-9:00 am. For only $50 (WJA discounted price), attendees will receive three retouched head shots. Appointments are on a first-come, first-served basis and space is limited. Contact Jill Moynihan at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve an appointment.
"There are countless changes and disruptions happening throughout the luxury marketplace at present," says Desiree Hanson of NPD Group and co-chair of WJA In The Know Conference. "Consumers no longer think about or make purchases in the way they once did, especially as a result of advances in technology and digital marketing. Throughout the conference, attendees will gather insights and actionable tools 'outside the proverbial box,' which will prove effective in reaching this new consumer today and in the future."
Adds In The Know Co-Chair Jen Cullen Williams of Luxury Brand Group: "Critical components of this year's programming mix are new occasions for networking and 'active engagement.' Therefore, in addition to providing a stimulating, day-long program of education, we have added a plethora of opportunities, during which participants can mix, mingle, and activate relationships that lead to their personal and professional advancement."
"Our annual In The Know conference is an integral part of WJA's mission to provide first-class educational programming, not only to our members, but to everyone in the jewelry and watch industries seeking the tools necessary to develop and further their careers," says WJA President Brandee Dallow, director of Rio Tinto Diamonds North America Representative Office.
"I am thrilled that we have such a robust and diverse lineup of speakers this year, from nationally acclaimed entrepreneurs and influencers to industry experts. They will speak to the most relevant issues we face, both inside and outside of our businesses. The conference is also made possible by our all-important sponsors: Berkley Asset Protection, JIS, JIS Exchange, Signet Jewelers, and Synchrony Financial; as well as our in-kind and gift bag donors, and our committee volunteers. We are most appreciative of their incredible generosity," Dallow continues.
Convene will also be the venue for the 2016 WJA In The Spotlight celebration, following the educational conference. In The Spotlight honors WJA regional chapters' annual Shining Stars, chapter members who have given extraordinary service to their individual chapters throughout the year. Also honored at In The Spotlight are 2016 WJA DIVAS, winners of the association's annual design competition.
Tickets are now available for both events at early bird rates, and prices increase on March 1. Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Interested parties should contact WJA Executive Director, Bernadette McGovern Mack, email@example.com, for details.
Click here to register for In The Know and In the Spotlight.
Hashtags for the two events are: #WJAInTheKnow and #WJAInTheSpotlight.
2016 WJA In The Know Full Presentation Lineup
- Randi ZuckerbergITK will kick off with opening keynote speaker Randi Zuckerberg, CEO of Zuckerberg Media and the author of Dot Complicated, a New York Times bestseller about her personal journey on the front lines of Facebook and her thoughts on how technology has profoundly changed people's lives. Zuckerberg's talk, entitled "Finding the Balance," will address how to be a three-dimensional woman in today's digital age.
- Hitha HerzogFollowing Zuckerberg's session, the WJA will welcome Hitha Herzog, chief retail analyst at Aitchpe Retail Advisory, a boutique consumer and retail research firm. Herzog will discuss retail trends and shifts in consumer attitudes and how they are affecting shopping behavior. Herzog, a popular television analyst on retail trends, also boasts a keen sense of style and love of jewelry that she promises will be a part of her presentation.
- Power Talks
New to the ITK line up are "Power Talks" - 20-minute, moderated conversations with industry influencers highlighting innovation throughout the jewelry and watch businesses. "Power Talks" will be moderated by various industry experts including Amanda Gizzi of Jewelers of America, Brandee Dallow of Rio Tinto and Victoria Gomelsky of JCK Magazine and will peppered in throughout the day.
- Diamonds Unleashed, Founder and Designer, Kara Ross
- AURate, Co-Founders, Bouchra Ezzahraoui and Sophie Kahn
- Alexandra Mor, Owner and Designer, Alexandra Mor
- Additional "Power Talk" presenters to be announced
- LIVE Focus Group Panel DiscussionBen Smithee of the Smithee Group will moderate a discussion amongst real life consumers designed to educate attendees about what's important to today's jewelry shoppers, what they are purchasing, where they are shopping, and what most impacts their purchase decisions.
- Breakout Workshop SessionsThe breakout workshops are intimate classroom-style presentations targeted for business owners, designers, retailers and marketing professionals to help them dive into budgeting basics and education or social media and marketing best practices. Attendees will have the opportunity to attend two sessions.
Business Track 1: Tools and Functions - Using Excel for Business and Financial Development; Presented by Kristie Nicolosi of The Kingswood Company
Business Track 2: Communicating Your Mission - Educating your Employees and Customers on Your Core Values; Presented by Lisa Bridge of Ben Bridge Jeweler
Marketing Track 1: Influenced - Partnering with Digital Influencers to Increase Brand Awareness; Presented by Kelly Palmisano and Lorianne Lacey of Influence Central
Marketing Track 2: Your Digital Footprint - How to Tell Your Story Online and through Social Media; Presented by Hannah Becker of DiamondDoodles