How does that old saying go: "There's no business like show business"?
Applying a different interpretation of this entertainment-industry adage makes these words a great maxim for those operating in the jewelry industry. From a risk-management perspective, when you take your merchandise on the road to exhibit at trade shows, you’re engaging in a whole new business activity with its own perils and related precautions.
In addition to other jewelry businesses, these "target rich" environments are well-attended by criminals, which means that your trade show security practices must be top-notch. Here are some key considerations:
- If you are taking a line to display, have the line shipped via armored carrier to the show’s secure receiving area. After the show, have it shipped back to your place of business or to your next appointment. Carrying jewelry in and out of shows is extremely dangerous.
RELATED: Two Videos with Advice for Shipping and Receiving Valuables
- If shipping the line is impossible, immediately store the line in the show’s secure vault upon arrival. Keep your line there at all times during which it is not on display (under your watchful eye!) on the show floor.
- Having an impromptu jewelry show or sales event in your hotel room or suite is very dangerous. Show jewelry only on the exposition floor, where security is present.
- Be discreet when making your travel plans and when traveling. While you are traveling, do not tell people you’re in town for a jewelry show. Make up a “cover story” and rehearse it in the event anyone asks you what line of business you are in.
- Always assume you are a target when traveling to and from the show, and while you are there. Make sure you are on high alert, and never let your guard down.
- Put on your badge only after entering the show floor, and remove it just before leaving the exposition hall. Leaving your badge on essentially equates to having a bull’s-eye on your back for thieves.
- Consider carrying as few bags and personal items as possible to and from the show. Thieves may assume that you are carrying jewelry in them — and they have also been known to target items other than jewelry (purses, laptops, and other electronics).