JET Business Network (JBN) names speaker line-up for Retail Jewellers’ Congress at NAJ Summit 2022


The NAJ JET Business Network (JBN) has announced the preliminary lineup of speakers scheduled to appear at the upcoming Retail Jewellers’ Congress, which is due to take place at the NAJ Summit 2022 on Monday, June 13.

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Focusing on the themes of digital skills and staffing concerns, this year’s speakers include social media experts, digital strategists and team-building pros who will address the main challenges experienced by JBN retail members.

 JBN Retail Jewellers' Congress Speakers 2022 - From Left to Right - Mark Saxby, Lucy Barkas, Martin Broadhurst

Mark Saxby is a former award-winning BBC and ITV journalist who established one of the UK’s first specialist social media consultancies, Status Social, more than a decade ago. He’s trained more than 6,000 delegates in eight countries on how to use social media to achieve their objectives, in addition to helping organisations generate more than £17.8 million in sales through social media. Saxby’s Retail Jewellers’ Congress talk, “The Truth about Social Media and How to Really Win over Your Audience,” will draw on examples from more than 11 years of social media experience, including myth-busting advice and guidance for generating social media revenue. By the end of this session, JBN retail members will have greater tools to “finally crack social media”.

Saxby comments: “I’m looking forward to returning to the Retail Jewellers’ Conference seven years after I last spoke and inspired the delegates there. It’s great to see that the jewellery trade wants to keep improving on social media. My aim is to ensure that their social media efforts aren’t wasted. Too many businesses make the same mistake on their channels – producing content for themselves, rather than their audience. My aim is for the JBN audience to come away with a new perspective on how to ensure their social media efforts create genuine results… and not fluff and nonsense.”

Lucy Barkas, founder of leadership and team development consultancy, 3WH, will bring her expertise in multi-generational workplaces to the Retail Jewellers’ Congress. Barkas, who is the author of the best-selling book Leader X, has helped hundreds of leaders by coaching them to create high performing workplace cultures. Her specialism is helping the next generation of leaders to “step up, take control and start leading with impact.”

At the Retail Jewellers’ Congress, Barkas will present “Leading a Multi-Generational Workforce,” focusing on the balance between GenXers, Millennials, Gen-Z and Baby Boomer generations. She explains: “Each generation is driven by different wants, needs and values, but ultimately, we are all human. You will discover that you can be the bridge between generations for business success.”

JBN attendees will also hear from Martin Broadhurst, an AI technology and marketing expert with over a decade of experience in digital marketing agency and consultancy. In his talk, “How to Maximise Your Digital Customer Experience,” Broadhurst will discuss how the digital age has changed the way we behave online and how technology can be used to provide a better digital experience for jewellery retail customers. His session will also touch on social media, online reviews, and building strong relationships with customers.

Elsewhere, Howard Levine, founder of B2B diamond trading platform, Diamnet, and laboratory-grown diamond jewellery brand, Hayes & Lake, will join proceedings to discuss “Growing Your Presence in Diamonds” with JBN members. As one of the largest stockholders of laboratory-grown diamonds in the UK, Levine will guide attendees through this fast-growing product category while discussing key issues like pricing, ‘greenwashing’ marketing tactics and sales techniques. His talk will also assess the bigger questions that retailers might have, such as whether laboratory-grown diamonds could damage their natural diamond sales and what the impact may be on the second-hand market.

Finally, among the preliminary speakers announced are a trio of JET Business Network independent retail members who will participate in a panel discussion about investment in their own bricks and mortar boutiques. Michael Donaldson, JBN facilitator and organiser of the Retail Jewellers’ Congress, explains: “Many would think, and some might say, it’s madness to have made a significant investment in bricks and mortar stores in these times of vacant units, declining footfall, increased online shopping, declining jewellery purchases, and during a global pandemic. Yet three JBN members did just that! In this session, we will hear about their personal journeys from concept to completion.”

“The theme of this year’s Congress is “Grow your Presence, Grow your People, Grow your Profit – Part 2,” representing a continuation of the topics discussed at the NAJ Summit 2021. Further speakers are expected to be added to the Retail Jewellers’ Congress line-up in due course.


Michael Donaldson adds: “This year’s speakers are best placed to address the core challenges and current market upheavals faced by JBN members. I am confident that their insights will support our community of retailers and provide them with the inspiration and encouragement needed to go back to their businesses with renewed enthusiasm and a fresh perspective.”

The JET Business Network (JBN) has been delivering value through shared knowledge, experience, and expertise since 2005. The network continues to be successful in promoting business growth for all members by providing a unique opportunity for independent jewellery retail owners and directors to meet with like-minded professionals in a confidential forum that fosters supportive and trusting relationships.

Taking place across an extended weekend from June 10-13, 2022, the NAJ Summit is an unmissable experience in the jewellery tradeshow calendar. The event’s schedule includes the three-day Valuers’ Conference, hosted by the Institute of Registered Valuers (IRV); a one-day Supplier Showcase; the NAJ Members’ Gala Dinner and The NAJ Awards 2022; the JET Business Network’s Retail Jewellers’ Congress, and a series of Better Business seminars and workshops.

Friday-to-Sunday tickets for NAJ Members are priced at £375 + VAT and £235 + VAT for the Retail Jewellers’ Congress on Monday, June 13. Further savings are available for Institute of Registered Valuers Members/ Fellows (IRV) and JET Business Network Group Members. Attendees are also encouraged to secure accommodation on site as soon as possible by calling 01327 220676 and quoting the code NATI090622 to receive the agreed discounted rate (£93 per night).

Attendance at the Gala Dinner is offered on a first-come-first-served basis, with tickets at £65 + VAT per person and tables (for 10) at £585 + VAT. Gala Dinner tickets can be combined with attendance to the Valuers Conference and/or Retail Jewellers Congress. Further information is available online. Pre-registration is critical to secure seats at popular workshops and seminars.

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