Tucson Gem Shows From A Slightly Different POVby Jim Gressinger on Feb. 05, 2013, under Things To Do In Tucson, Things To Do With The Kidz, Tucson Gem & Mineral Show
Jane Roxbury is the Director of Convention Services at our Metropolitan Tucson Convention & Visitors Bureau (MTCVB). While most of us know about our Gem Shows, and some of you have even attended a few, I thought it would be interesting to see the Gem Shows from a slightly different perspective.
Jane is a fairly newcomer to our area, having moved here seven years ago after a nineteen-year career as an association executive in Washington, DC, and was a client of the MTCVB. She grew up in South Florida, and wanted a return to the sunshine without the humidity … can you blame her?! She has a BA in Business from Florida State and attended grad school at George Washington University.
The gem shows have begun! Some shows opened last week, and several opened on Saturday. You will notice several still have yet to open, including the Main Show—TGMS (Tucson Gem & Mineral Show)—the show that started it all. One show opened mid-January!
Confused by all these starts and stops? Know this: The Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase is comprised of more than 40 shows (44 this year!). Each show has its own start & end dates, venue, vendors, systems and listings at our web site www.tucsongemshow.org , all driven by the show owner or promoter.
The show owners and promoters are my clients. I communicate with them year-round, and one-half of my year is dedicated to serving these clients and assisting them with everything from promoting their shows to finding temps for their check-in desks, to connecting them with local (and sometimes state and national) policy makers. The official Showcase dates (this year, Feb. 2-17), are set in advance to signal to our various audiences: the show owners, their vendors & buyers, the City of Tucson and the public; when they may expect to see enhanced City services, Welcome Program materials distributed, as well as many other special initiatives underway.
Within our community of clients, there are many different business models: the 501c3 nonprofit TGMS is a year-round local gem (had to say it), offering members and local residents ongoing opportunities to learn, network and share the love of gems, minerals & fossils. Many shows, like JOGS, Gem & Lapidary Wholesalers and African Art Village, are family-owned & operated! Some show owners also own the venue at which the show takes place, like Pueblo Gem Show at Riverpark Inn, Superb Minerals India, and others.
Throughout the Tucson metro area, you will find thousands of visitors who are here for this collective of gem shows and the vendors they represent. So many languages are spoken throughout the stalls and the halls, yet the common language centers on the unique rock, the rare find, the item you need to make your collection complete. Sure there are gems, minerals, fossils, rocks and finished jewelry; but there are also home furnishings & accessories, wearable art, beads galore, petrified wood, glass, clothing…and a holiday gift for everyone on your list! This is why Tucson’s Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase is the largest event of its kind in the world. Go forth and shop!