By Brecken Branstrator
Retailer Bernie Robbins held an event focusing on the 14 holiday trends outlined by Jewelers of America at the JA NY Summer Show, creating separate displays with examples of each.
New York--As the most important sales time of the year, the holiday season is crucial for pulling customers in and interacting with them in order to generate sales.

Innovative, intriguing events can not only attract new customers and bring in existing customers, but engage them in a way that will keep the store front of mind. National Jeweler talked to five retailers across the country about the events they came up with to do just that.

1. Wine and diamond. 
Diamond Vault of Troy
Troy, Mich.

The Diamond Vault does an event every year called “Wine & Diamonds,” which is now in its 10th year. The store always holds it on the Thursday after Thanksgiving, with live music, food, special jewelry collections and, of course, diamonds. Last year the store offered its clients a number of treats, including food and salad stations, as well as a homemade dessert buffet. With more than 500 people in attendance at the event, and people already emailing the store to inquire about this year’s date, Diamond Vault is going to expand the occasion in 2014, draping lights and fabrics from the ceiling to make the store look like a winter wonderland. “Great food, good wine, and no pressure makes for a great evening,” says owner Randy Cole.

2. Alma mater art.
Susan Eisen Fine Jewelry & Watches
El Paso, Texas

This retailer always has found a way to combine jewelry and art, as one wall of the store is a permanent gallery. This fall, the store is holding a special event to serve as a tribute to a number of owner Susan Eisen’s professors at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) who helped her develop her skills and passion for the fine jewelry industry. The art from two of her professors will be on display alongside jewelry from two of her art metal professors for a month and a half for the retailer’s “UTEP’s Finest” event. During the Sept. 18 opening night reception, the store served drinks and appetizers for attendees. “People love when we combine art and jewelry, because the two passions so frequently overlap. Many people who collect jewelry also collect art,” Eisen says.

3. What women want.
Single Stone on Mission Street 
San Marino, Calif.

Single Stone on Mission Street said that it has found one event that continues to work well for it--its annual “Ladies Night Out,” held each year in November before the holiday rush. During this event, the store holds two to three trunk shows by its best-selling designers, conducts a raffle that benefits a local charity, and encourages women to fill out their holiday wish lists. For men, these lists can help ease the intimidating experience of picking out a special piece for the holidays by letting them know exactly what their significant other wants, store staff says. The “Ladies Night Out” event is something that women in the community look forward to every year.

4. Private dining.
J.R. Dunn Jewelers
Lighthouse Point, Fla.

This year, the store is hosting a private dinner for its top clients at a local Italian restaurant with Peter Webster, president of jewelry brand Roberto Coin. The company says the idea behind this private, and creative, dinner party is to give clients insight into Roberto Coin beyond just the jewelry, including stories from Webster about his adventures with Coin himself. At the event, customers will have the opportunity to peruse a very special jewelry collection, which includes special items from Italy that travel with Webster to personal appearances, exclusive items, and the new fall collections. The jewelry presentation will be set up inside the wine cellar within the restaurant’s private dining room. 

5. Trend visions. 
Bernie Robbins Jewelers
Somers Point, N.J.

During the JA New York Summer show, Jewelers of America held a seminar outlining 14 trends for the holiday season and beyond. Bernie Robbins created an event around these where it showcased each trend and showed consumers how to wear them. The event, held in late August, featured separate displays of each trend, such as “soulful gold” and “sculptural geometry,” placed on countertops around the store so that clients could touch and feel jewelry related to each trend. The sales team also acted as stylists for the clients to show them how to work the piece into their wardrobes. The company says it was an interesting experiment for them because, even though many of the jewels had been in the cases all summer long, “it was like they were seeing them for the first time.”

This story originally appeared in the inaugural issue of National Jeweler’s online-only magazine. View the entire publication here.

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Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.