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The statuesque Royal Exhibition Building will play host to Melbourne's debut jewellery fair
The statuesque Royal Exhibition Building will play host to Melbourne's debut jewellery fair

Melbourne fair to exceed expectations

Melbourne’s debut jewellery show expects 80 exhibitors - a third more than initially predicted while people are optimistic about Brisbane proceeding.
Gary Fitz-Roy, managing director of Expertise Events, which is organising ‘The Autumn Jewellery Fair’, said the promising exhibitor numbers for the April fair meant visitor levels could be anywhere between 2,000 and 3,000.

Plans to establish a Melbourne fair had been in the pipeline for five years but had intensified after the Global Financial Crisis (GFC).

“On the back of the GFC, we wanted to provide an effective platform for certain amounts of stimulation for the distributors, wholesalers and retailers in Melbourne and the surrounding southern states,” Fitz-Roy said.

“It made sense to hold a fair in the second largest city in Australia,” he added.

The fair will be a welcome relief to suppliers and retailers in and around Melbourne who may grapple to pay the security and staffing costs required to attend interstate fairs.

Similar to the Brisbane fair when it first launched, the Melbourne fair will have a simple, streamlined exhibition style and a basic display system.

The fair will be held in one of only two world-heritage listed buildings in Australia - the Royal Exhibition Building.

“It’s an iconic venue. As a building, its artwork and structure in itself compliments jewellery,” Fitz-Roy said.

The building’s accessibility to public transport users and its cost effectiveness for drivers both contributed to its selection.

Fitz-Roy emphasised that the fair was still only in its early conception stage. “If the industry dictates a growing demand for the fair, we will change it to meet those needs,” he said.

Brisbane fair to go ahead
On a separate note, Fitz-Roy remains optimistic about the upcoming Brisbane fair after receiving positive comments from exhibitors and the industry in general.

“At this stage, it’s going ahead. I don’t want to abandon the Queensland market because we as organisers have a responsibility to support the jewellery industry,” Fitz-Roy said.

Colin Pocklington, managing director of Nationwide Jewellers, echoed Fitz-Roy’s sentiments.

“The fair should definitely proceed. Very few stores have suffered damage but their communities have so the biggest impact will be reduced trading for a fair period of time,” Pocklington said.

He said retailers could use the fair as a platform to look for specials that they could use in in-store promotions and urged exhibitors to come up with special deals for Queensland retailers.

“Also, we [Nationwide] will have someone from Marsh and probably the assessor to help with any ongoing claim issues. The assessor would also be there to help non-Nationwide members,” Pocklington said.

Aside from highlighting the benefits the fair will bring to jewellery retailers, Fitz-Roy said the Brisbane fair would be a welcome “stimulus to the city and would drive traffic to hotels and transport systems”.

Due to Australia Post halting deliveries for two weeks during the Queensland floods, Expertise Events' letters to fair participants - normally mailed at this time of year - have been delayed. Fitz-Roy said these letters should arrive soon if they have not already reached mailboxes.

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