Jewelry Trade Shows: Security for Before, During and After
With extravagant booths, award-winning designs and the opportunity to meet new customers and greet existing ones, trade shows can 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.
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 tips in mind to boost your security during all phases of jewelry trade shows.
Jewelry Trade Show Tips
Before the Tradeshow
- Check with your insurance company and review your coverage limits, ideally at least one month in advance, to ensure you have proper protection to, from and during the show.
- Arrange for your line to be shipped to the show by an armored courier service – it is the safest option! Make sure to declare full value through the armored car carrier to ensure the paperwork will match the shipping documents and the carrier will exert due to get the package to the destination.
- If you must carry or travel with your own merchandise to the show, consider hiring a guard to accompany you for protection – again, make these arrangements well in advance. Be sure to plan with parties on the receiving end to ensure smooth and safe storage and delivery of product once you’ve arrived.
- If you can’t have it shipped, immediately utilize the vaults at the location of the trade show – do not trust that the safe in your hotel room will suffice.
- All of your travel plans should be made discreetly. Only share travel itinerary with a close circle of known associates (i.e. exact flight details, hotels and car service pickups).
- Purchase and bring along a portable camera device for use at the show in your booth for a temporary video redundancy. You will then have 24/7 access from an app on your phone of your booth when you are present or away from your designated area. This additional recording will be extremely useful if you experience a loss at the show.
- Inquire with your hotel regarding storage options in a main hotel vault and/or rooms if you plan on taking merchandise with you personally to the show, or during and after the show.
- Stay up to date with any developing crime information at the show by closely monitoring Jewelers Security Alliance (JSA) bulletins.
During the Tradeshow
- Never leave the booth unattended during show hours. Leaving your booth unattended could void any insurance coverage you may have – make sure to check these details before you leave for the show.
- Provide one-on-one attention to each customer and show only one item at a time. All merchandise should be controlled behind lockable cases if not being actively shown.
- Have more than one associate available for set-up, take-down, and working the booth with you, and ensure they are trained in proper security procedures.
- If/when you are receiving your merchandise from a reputable armored car service, take inventory immediately upon event set-up. If you are carrying merchandise while at the event, split the items between your traveling party and have an escort/guard with you.
- 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.
- Take an inventory three times daily - morning, afternoon and closing. At the end of the day, ensure all pieces are inventoried and placed neatly in protective materials and packed for overnight storage (safe or other approved show storage protocol).
- When you are at the show, have a contact person back at corporate that you are checking in with daily to give updates of the event and ensure a “check and balance” for your safety and security.
After the Tradeshow
- Take your badge off immediately after leaving the show so criminals can’t identify you.
- If you are wearing any product outside of event hours at night, have security with you if you are wearing significant value and have adequate overnight storage available when the night is over (main hotel vault is preferred, room safes are not ideal).
- For the safety of you and your customers, ship all jewelry that is bought at the show.
- Use social media to promote your brand (of course!) but stay away from naming your hotel, address, time, dates and specific details about your merchandise or amounts you have at the event.
- 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.
- Be conscious of who is in earshot of your conversations such as Uber or cab drivers, even cellphone conversations.
Stay Safe and Secure – Enjoy the Show
To ensure the most productive, headache-free experiences during this 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.
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 upcoming season.
Reach out to [email protected] and one of our loss prevention experts will be happy to assist with recommendations specific to your business.