Twelve months ago the JAA Brisbane Jewellery Fair had to contend with the devastation of the Queensland floods, while this year the devastation was wreaked on the Queensland Labor government.
And while the fair’s banter on the opening morning was just as much about the historic election result on Saturday as the current state of the jewellery industry, the first day’s trading received mixed reports.
Many exhibitors were extremely happy with their results while some complained about a lack of business, however the general feeling by the end of the first day seemed positive.
At least two exhibitors used the Brisbane fair as a launching pad for new collections and services.
One of the surprises was a new Danish jewellery range unveiled by Sams Group. Blossom Copenhagen, a new collection of sterling silver, gold plated personalised jewellery inspired by nature, seemed to be an outstanding hit yesterday.
Sams Group managing director Steve Der Bedrossian said he only finalised the distribution rights for Blossom Copenhagen at the recent BaselWorld and after its first day on display he was very confident about its prospects in Australia and New Zealand.
"This is the first showing of it [Blossom Copenhagen] and whoever has seen it on our stand has stopped. It has created a lot of business for us today."
Peter W Beck launched its new website on the opening day, with marketing manager Laura Sawade saying the initial feedback was great.
The website is an online tool for jewellers that offers retailers a range of brochures, catalogues and technical data sheets.
"It only went live on Friday, so we haven't really had much feedback before the fair," Sawade said. "However, the few jewellers I have shown it to today so far have loved it and found it very interesting."
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Other exhibitors, such as Renee Blackwell and Ellani, were also more than happy with the amount of business they were able to do on the opening day. Blackwell attributed her success to the pre-fair marketing she did inviting buyers to the fair.
“We go out of our way to design and mail beautiful invitations to our customers reminding them to come along and see our new products,” Blackwell explained.
For some exhibitors, however, the fact they did not exactly fill their books with orders was not a huge concern as they view the trade fair as a chance to network and simply put their product before a large audience.
Peekays Findings' David Wrenn said, "I think 80 to 90 per cent [of the fair] is getting our face out there," Wrenn said. "It is nice to log a few orders as well, but the more we get our faces out there the better. We also use the trade fairs as a public relations exercise."
Expertise Events' business manager of jewellery fairs, Jason Berman, said while he would prefer to view the event as a whole rather than half way through, overall there was plenty to be happy with after the first day.
"On the whole we are pleased with the first day," Berman said. "We have put all of our marketing in place for this event and that has been received really well. The reports we are getting from the exhibitors are they are largely satisfied with the event so far and we are looking forward to a successful second day as well."
* Jeweller will have a full report tomorrow after the fair closes.