The JAA International Jewellery Fair will have over 250 exhibitors
Sixty new suppliers flock to Sydney Fair
With dozens of first-time exhibitors confirmed to showcase new products,
the JAA International Jewellery Fair in Sydney still appears to be an
essential event on the jewellery industry calendar.
The Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre will play host to more than 250 jewellery suppliers, including around 60 newcomers, when the JAA International Jewellery Fair begins on the first weekend of September.
Expertise Events CEO Gary Fitz-Roy told Jeweller that while some suppliers were booking less space to exhibit due to financial constraints, supplier numbers were not dropping and the raft of new exhibitors was encouraging.
“They're booking but they may not be booking as big a display space as they've done in the past,” he said. “Numbers are still good though, and they [exhibitors] are still wanting to have a presence at the fair.”
Fitz-Roy said that suppliers saw the fair as a vital chance to meet retailers to develop relationships, while retailers still believed the fair couldn’t be missed because a new product could fundamentally change a retail business.
“The reality is the fair still represents the best opportunity to meet face-to-face,” Fitz-Roy said. “While a lot of industries are evolving and taking on social media and being affected by other media, jewellery is still definitely something you need to see in the flesh to understand the opportunity. Since a little company called Pandora, retailers understand just one brand can create a huge change in the industry and change your business. People are looking out for the new big offering.”
New suppliers won’t be the only updates to the fair this year though; the hall will also be split into precincts for the first time. The ‘Retail’ precinct will showcase retail services and equipment, such as point of sale, professional services, shop-fitting and security; the ‘Brilliance’ precinct is devoted exclusively to suppliers specialising in precious gemstones; and the ‘New2’ precinct focuses on new innovations and faces in the industry.
Gary Fitz-Roy, CEO Expertise Events
“What we've tried to do is create destinations, things that can help people spend their time well,” Fitz-Roy explained. “By grouping some of the products into precincts, if retailers want a particular kind of a service, they can go straight to the source. The fair is 21-years-old and we’re constantly looking at how we can evolve it and change it to give new features and reasons why people should visit.”
Last year’s popular catwalk-style live show ‘Jewellery Runway’ will also return to be a focal point of the fair.
“It's building off last year, we’ve moved it right into the middle of the hall so it’s literally the centrepiece of the fair,” he said. “To appreciate jewellery, you really need to see it on someone. So, with this the trade can put jewellery on models and display it in front of the retailer. Fairs are not just a buying and review event, but also an opportunity to get inspired.”
Fitz-Roy said the buying groups had indicated they had received a record number of inquiries about the fair, so retail attendee numbers looked promising. However, he believed that for the fair to be truly successful, both exhibitors and retailers needed to keep a positive mindset.
“The truth for me about the fair is that for suppliers to be successful they need to have great products and be ready to engage and smile and understand buyers’ needs,” he said. “A problem with the industry is not believing the glass is half full. It’s easy to talk something down, but there are a lot of new fantastic things going on here that retailers should be open to.”
Fair results split supporters
Posted July 31, 2012