Jewellery fair dates move again
By Coleby Nicholson
After announcing changes to the dates of the Melbourne and Brisbane
jewelley fairs next year, the schedule has been changed again to
accommodate Darling Harbour’s redevelopment.
Following the announcement by NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell that the Sydney Entertainment Centre, Convention Centre and Exhibition Centre at Darling Harbour will be closed for three years while it undergoes a $1 Billion redevelopment, Expertise Events has moved quickly to make alternative arrangements for the industry’s most important annual event, the Sydney Jewellery Fair.
At the same time the company has reviewed its recent announcement to move the dates of the Brisbane Jewellery Fair.
Fair organiser Gary Fitz-Roy said, “Right now it appears that Darling Harbour will be demolished late next year, after our September jewellery fair and sometime around the end of November, but we can’t be sure.
“While the government is currently reviewing options for a replacement venue in Sydney until the new centre opens in 2016/2017, we have a number of strategies in place including alternative bookings next year, should there be a need.”
Fitz-Roy said that the timing of the NSW government’s announcement was unfortunate given that Expertise Events had recently announced new initiatives for the Melbourne and Brisbane jewellery fairs, which would co-locate with the Reed Gifts Fairs in 2013.
The Brisbane dates were moved to July in part to put more time between the Melbourne and Brisbane Fairs but also to coincide with the Reed Gift Fair.
Fitz-Roy explained that until such time the NSW Government details specific plans, he wouldn’t be making a hasty decision to move the Sydney Fair interstate or to another venue, however it meant a review of the changes to Brisbane.
“Given the unfortunate timing of the NSW government’s announcement it means that we now have to review our recently announced initiatives to co-locate the Brisbane jewellery fair with the Reed Gift Fair in July,” Fitz-Roy said.
“With this new information now available we believe it’s in the best interest of the industry to move the Brisbane Fair back to its original March dates [17-18 March] and not co-locate with the Gift Fair in July,” he added.
This latest announcement is likely to please some exhibitors who were not happy with the Brisbane fair’s new July dates, believing them to be too close to the Sydney Fair. As it stood, the 2013 Sydney Fair was scheduled nine weeks after the new Brisbane dates.
Fitz-Roy said he was confident that next year’s International Jewellery Fair in Sydney would not be affected by the redevelopment of Darling Harbour, however he was making alternative arrangements just in case.
Sydney Convention Centre wll be demolished.
“These things can change. The [NSW] government is currently looking at their options for a replacement venue in Sydney until the new centre opens in 2016 or 2017, so we have a number of strategies in place but I think we will be OK for 2013 [Sydney Jewellery Fair].”
“But to be very safe, we have moved the Brisbane dates back to where they were,” Fitz-Roy told Jeweller.
He explained that while it means one of the original goals to put more time between the Melbourne and Brisbane fairs was now being achieved he said, “I still believe that the Melbourne Jewellery Fair being co-located with Reed Gift Fair is a very positive step so there will be no change to MJF. It will remain co-located with the Gift Fair as scheduled February 2-4, 2013.”
According to news reports, the redevelopment project is aimed at boosting the competitiveness of the NSW major events industry, particularly in the Asia-Pacific.
“NSW has already lost $150 million in economic benefit over the four years to 2010-11 because the current facilities have not been able to accommodate 169 conventions and 12 exhibitions," O'Farrell said.
When completed the new facilities will include:
* An upmarket replacement for the Entertainment Centre with seating for at least 8,000 people, 2,000 less than the existing venue.
* An increase in size of the Exhibition Centre from 25,000 square metres to 40,000 square metres making it Australia's largest exhibition space;
* A convention hall with capacity for more than 10,000 people which can host multiple events simultaneously, making it the biggest such facility in the country.
* Dedicated banqueting facilities for 2,000 people, almost double the current capacity.
* A hotel with at least 300 rooms
While the redevelopment of the venue will cause some initial problems Fitz-Roy believes it will eventually be beneficial. “The new development is going to be a great addition to Sydney and the strategy of doing all the building work in a condensed way makes sense, so whilst it certainly throws some challenges up on the short term its great news for the future,” he said.
$1 billion facelift: Darling Harbour set for major revamp
Posted April 23, 2012