For most people, May is all about the burgeoning spring, shaking off the last chills of winter and looking forward to the coming summer. For jewelry makers—from bench jewelers to manufacturers—May is all about the Santa Fe Symposium®, the premier conference on jewelry manufacturing technology. The brightest and most inquiring minds in the jewelry industry come together for this symposium in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for more than three days of learning, collaboration and inspiration. I urge you to make plans early to come and be part of it. And, in case you’re thinking to yourself, “Why would I go? It doesn’t sound like I’d get anything out of that…”, allow me to show you why the Symposium is the event for you.
Experts and innovators from around the world present their findings from the production, the research, the testing, the learning they’ve been focused on over the past year or more. Fellow experts, colleagues, and jewelry pros throughout the industry listen, ask questions, pose challenges, and generally bask in the know-how. Every person attending becomes immersed in all things jewelry-making—from designing to fabricating to manufacturing to running jewelry businesses of every description. No matter what you do within the jewelry industry, you will find precious nuggets of information that you can build on and apply to your business…and, just as important, your knowledge and experience will provide nuggets that others will seize and build upon. The energy is palpable and the benefit to each participant is incalculable.
The experience was amazing. Coming into [the Symposium], I was terrified. When I came in, there were friendly face, friendly eye contact. I walked away [afterward], instead of being intimidated, being empowered by a lot of the people here, being encouraged and having a sense of connection. —Hannah Leigh, Pearkissee Designs.
At the Santa Fe Symposium®, your day begins with a bit of breakfast and conversations with other jewelers whose passion for their work brought them here just as yours brought you. Through the day, wide-ranging presentations draw you into one discussion after another, getting you thinking. You’ll have time to think over and talk about what you’ve heard during breaks for stretching your legs and while enjoying meals. At the end of the day, you gather for a delicious dinner and some fun with friends, new and old. A restful night’s sleep and you do it again—only better. By the end of the Symposium, you’ve gained:
Presenters at the Symposium share information, insights and know-how openly, giving you the kind of access that’s impossible to find anywhere else. The learning opportunities are endless and deepen exponentially through discussions and conversations about how these insights and cutting-edge research affect your industry.
Take what you learn, add your own experience and know-how to bring fresh ideas to the discussion and to formulate strategies that can address your challenges back home. At the Symposium, you’ll be surrounded by people who face some of the same challenges you do.
What started in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1987, inspired by a profound lack of available information in the field of jewelry manufacturing, has developed organically into a forum that is without equal. And, at its heart, is the idea that sharing ideas is the greatest impetus there is for professional development and innovation. The knowledge that the whole truly is greater than individual parts are on their own drives the event year after year.
The greatest value is talking to people, talking to speakers. And at the dinners, when you’re talking much more in detail, apart from the presentation. There is no other place in the world where there is this concentration. Are you in the field? Then here you have to come. —Damiano Zito, Progold S.p.A.
PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL NETWORKING
Santa Fe Symposium attracts jewelers and non-jewelers, too, from far and wide, creating a one-of-a-kind pool of like-minded jewelry professionals and artists. The shared experiences at the Symposium create bonds that hold firm beyond these three days, that carry over from one year to the next. And with the immediacy of the internet and social media, keeping those bonds strong and growing has never been easier.
THE SAUL BELL DESIGN AWARD COMPETITION AWARDS DINNER
Called “a beautiful mashup” by Rio Grande President Alan Bell, the juxtaposition of the premier conference on jewelry technology (the Symposium) and the celebration of distinction in jewelry design (the Saul Bell Design Award competition) galvanized both groups as they came together for the first time in 2014. It was such a success that the events will once again “rub shoulders,” as Alan puts it, with the winners of the design event being honored on opening night of the Symposium and the Symposium members welcoming the Saul Bell Award winners as attendees to the conference.
For 2015, presentation topics range from methods for blackening silver to internet marketing to investment casting of titanium to digital design to brand building—it’s all here and there will be a great deal that could directly benefit you and your business. So decide now and plan early to take full advantage of this year’s powerhouse of ideas. If you are a lifelong learner (and how can we succeed if we’re not?) who works to ride the crest of the fast-moving pace of your industry, there is no question…the Santa Fe Symposium® is for you.