This year's JCK will be much like yesterday's Oscars, a glum affair. Just as Oscars were boring, plain and un-trendy, JCK 2008 will be repetitive, uncreative and depressed. Just as writers strike was harbinger of things to come for Oscars, the recession fears bode a very bad omen for JCK 2008.
You can expect the usual players at the JCK but do not expect the "pizazz" and the dazzle at the show. The executives will be chasing hard to find deals. Like Oscars, you can expect a strong showing by international players. There will surely be a lot of companies from China who will be putting booths. But judging by the economy, I am skipping this yearly ritual in Vegas.
Is it worth it to fly to Vegas even if it seems to be a lackluster event? I do not think it is worth it to spend the time to this show. If you are genuinely interested then you are better of taking the 2007 list, visiting every company's website and talking to them on phone. Most of the companies will be very eager to get your business. If analyzing trend is the sole reason you want to visit Vegas, then I will suggest you sample your jewelry on the main page of all the prominent retailers. This will be a good substitute. With economy in dire straits, it will make sense to keep your expenses as low as possible.
It has been amazing as to how many people have contacted me about my series "Designing in Recession". That truly gives you an idea of whats weighing on people's minds these days.