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The Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre will hold a morning tea and coffee session for the fair's participants
The Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre will hold a morning tea and coffee session for the fair's participants

Brisbane jewellery fair to go ahead

Brisbane jewellery fair organiser Gary Fitz-Roy has confirmed that the fair will go ahead and reiterated the need for the industry to support the affected jewellery retailers in Queensland.
Fitz-Roy said he made his decision after careful deliberation that involved fully assessing the situation in the aftermath of the floods and talking to all the buying groups to gauge their opinions as well as detailed conversations with the venue management.

“It would have been easy to cancel the fair and that was the expected reaction but we’ve had past experiences like this with the Christchurch earthquake and the Victorian fires,” Fitz-Roy said.

“Quite often, you need to sit back and assess the situation. The most important thing here was to show that we’re not abandoning the market and we’re committed to supporting them,” he added.

Fitz-Roy said the reaction had been positive from various quarters of the industry, including exhibitors who had stood by his calls to support the local market.

Robert O’Keefe, general manager of the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre said the venue was now open for business and it had resumed full operations.

While the venue required a massive clean-up, O’Keefe said the floods only minimally affected the lower car park and downstairs surface as well as back areas of the building.

Today, the venue will host its first official event since the floods – the Premier’s Australia Day Lunch with 600 to 700 people expected. On Wednesday, the Lord Mayor’s Citizenship Ceremony is expected to draw 1,800 people and the venue is anticipating 4,000 people for the official Australia Day concert on Wednesday night.

“It’s important to get across that after the largest natural disaster in Australia’s history, we’re back in business and ready to go. If people came to the building today, they would not guess that anything happened here,” O’Keefe said.

Fitz-Roy thought the fair could not come at a better time for affected retailers.

“A number of them will be looking at ways they can restock and rebuild their businesses,” he said.

The upcoming fair will cater for flood-affected retailers through insurance booths and advice sessions on how they can rebuild their businesses.

As part of recognising the importance of the jewellery fair to Brisbane, O’Keefe said he will hold a complimentarily morning tea session for fair participants where a special five-minute video presentation on the flood-affected area and the recovery efforts that took place at the centre.

“We are discussing with Gary Fitz-Roy which morning best suits the fair. We’ll provide coffee, tea and pastries and show everyone what actually happened,” O’Keefe said.

Fitz-Roy said that he was glad the venue was making a special effort and it was likely that the morning tea would be held on the Sunday morning.

More reading:
Expertise quells fears about Brisbane fair
Jewellers fear long-term flood woes
Melbourne fair to exceed expectations

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