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Jewellery World set for another attempt at rival Sydney trade fair
Jewellery World set for another attempt at rival Sydney trade fair

Second try at new jewellery fair

In a second attempt to start a trade fair, Jewellery World has offered $250,000 if the new fair is a sell-out.
The Jewellers Association (JAA) of Australia was caught by surprise when, two days before its annual International Jewellery Fair in September, one of its members announced it was preparing to compete with the JAA by organising a second Sydney jewellery fair.

Jewellery World magazine, a JAA member, announced the launch of Jewellery World Show (JWS), a rival trade event to take place August 26-28 next year, only one week before the JAA’s own long-running show.

In a three-page self-promotion for JWS, magazine publisher and show organiser John Abolins has declared that his new show, to be held at the Royal Hall of Industries and Hordern Pavilion at Sydney’s Moore Park, would aim to donate $250,000 to a new business, Jewellery Promotion Service, to undertake a consumer advertising campaign.

Jewellery World is owned by The Intermedia Group, one of Australia’s largest business publishers and the magazine will partner with Interpoint Events – itself a subsidiary of The Intermedia Group – to establish a fourth business called Jewellery Promotion Service.

“If the inaugural JWS is a sell-out we will be able to contribute $250,000 to [Jewellery Promotion Service for] the first such campaign,” Abolins explained in his story.

Jeweller contacted Abolins to clarify what constituted a “sell-out,” but at the time of publication he had not responded. According to Greg Pullen, business manager of Royal Hall of Industries and Hordern Pavilion, the venue can accommodate 350 exhibitors.

The JAA International Jewellery Fair (IJF), which just celebrated its 20th Anniversary, is held at Darling Harbour and manages to attract around 270 exhibitors each year. The IJF is organised by Expertise Events, which recently signed a new, five-year deal with the JAA.

It is believed that the IJF represents the JAA’s second largest source of income after membership fees.

JAA Chairman Peter Beever admitted the announcement came as something of a shock: “The JAA wasn’t aware that Jewellery World was planning a fair at all, let alone a fair one week before our official industry trade fair.”

Beever added he was unsure as to why Sydney needed a second fair.

“We’re not confident that the industry could support a second event at the same time as our [JAA] fair,” he said.

Nationwide Jewellers managing director and JAA director Colin Pocklington queried why such a large private company would seek to fund a consumer marketing campaign for the Australian jewellery industry.

“The JAA wonders why it would be better for a private company to establish a promotion fund for the Australian jewellery industry given that the JAA is the peak body representing all sectors of the jewellery industry,” Pocklington said.

It’s not the first time Abolins has attempted to establish a new jewellery fair.

In August 2006, the magazine publisher announced Jewellery World Show 2007, declaring then, “More than ever now, this show is the one for the industry – right focus, right time late in August, right venue and right price for exhibitors. There’s no longer a need to accept anything less.”

Jewellery World Show 2007, which was scheduled two weeks before the 2007 JAA Jewellery Fair, never eventuated leaving a number of committed exhibitors angry and embarrassed.

Pocklington said that he, and everyone he has spoken to, is mystified. “We can’t see one sound reason for attempting to launch a second Sydney fair. Yes, five or six years ago there was some disenchantment in the industry, but even then the proposed Jewellery World Show 2007 did not receive enough support to proceed.”

Pocklington believes there is even less reason now for a second event, especially given the difficult retail climate.

“Today we have a far more unified JAA and a very well run fair at Darling Harbour. The JAA International Jewellery Fair delivers a substantial income to the JAA, which is used for the benefit of the entire industry,” Pocklington said.

He confirmed that Nationwide would again be exhibiting at the JAA fair in September 2012 saying, “In fact, we have already finalised our new floorplan.”

Abolins used the three page story in the December issue of Jewellery World to explain why he believes the industry needs a second Sydney trade fair: “It’s time for the industry to take a stand and support the Jewellery World Show [2012] so that there is real financial benefit to the industry.”

He goes onto explain that the JWS will also offer a ‘fair deal’ for retailers.

Jeweller sought clarification from Abolins about who he believes the industry needs to take a stand against, and, given that there is no cost for jewellery retailers to visit the JAA fair, we also sought clarification on why he believed retailers now get an unfair deal.

At the time of publication he had not responded.

Since announcing the new fair in September, Jewellery World has resigned from the JAA.

Publisher’s note: Jeweller magazine is the official publication of the Jewellers Association of Australia.

More reading:
Jewellery World removes fair report from website

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