Whether you make jewelry or not, holding a jewelry show can be a fun and entertaining way to have a party or generate buzz for your business. Themed gatherings encourage conversation and enthusiastic participation. The presence of a jewelry craftsperson who's a talented storyteller and can answer questions in a lively, fun way is almost as effective as hiring a professional entertainer to keep a party running smoothly. Having all that shiny, wonderful jewelry on display doesn't hurt either.

The difference between holding a themed gathering like a jewelry show and just having a get-together is that there are definite rewards for hosting a themed party that may translate to free hostess gifts, depending on how profitable the show turns out to be. You're probably familiar with the concept from lingerie shows and cooking equipment parties you've attended. If you have a wide circle of friends with similar interests in fashion, makeup and jewelry, it can be an enjoyable way to spend an evening. It's also a good way to make sure the benefits flow your way if you've attended some of your friend's shows in the past and want to be the big winner this time around.

Actually, hosting a jewelry show isn't as intimidating as it looks. There are a number of ways to approach it, though:

  • You may be hosting a show to promote your own jewelry designs or those of a friend.
  • You may be hosting an in-home show for a professional jewelry retailer who specializes in marketing through informal parties.
  • You may be hosting a small jewelry trunk show in your retail space. This can be an effective marketing gambit for boutiques, nail salons and hair salons.

For this to work, you'll have to make sure the people you include on your guest list are interested in jewelry, or that your business customers are likely to be open to the idea of looking at jewelry while they shop. (If you own a pool supply outlet, this could be a stretch.)

You'll also need a plan. If you've ever seen a craft table loaded down with earrings, bracelets and necklaces, you know how many small items there are to deal with. This is one instance where preparation and presentation make a big difference. Costume jewelry is often an impulse purchase, and niceties like good lighting and beautiful packaging can transform mild interest into an eagerness to buy. Making low pressure suggestions using small signs, and encouraging combined purchases by grouping items like earrings with coordinated necklaces are also ways preplanning can pay off.

On the next page, let's take a look at some other handy ideas that will make your first -- or next -- jewelry show a big success.