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Articles from INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS (263 Articles), EDUCATION / TRAINING (185 Articles)

The fair will welcome back many retailers who haven't attended for several years.
The fair will welcome back many retailers who haven't attended for several years.

Sydney jewellery fair piquing interest

Sydney International Jewellery Fair organiser Expertise Events is predicting a mixture of some returning old faces and exciting new initiatives will lead to a busy fair next week.

JAA International Jewellery Fair (IJF) organiser Gary Fitz-Roy said he’s a little surprised at the level of interest in the year’s fair. “Given that most people are saying that retail trading conditions are tough at the moment, we are seeing a noticeable increase in first-time visitors or people who have not attended [the Sydney fair] for three or four years.”

Fitz-Roy said that there has been an increase in the number of phone and email enquiries but also, “We are seeing an increase this year in visitors who have not attended for a few years. We can say that because they [visitors] must renew their photo ID badge every three years for security reasons so our staff have been more busy this year renewing old ID cards.”

Fitz-Roy was confident of a good turn out this year even if retail trading was tough and said visitors could expect some new sights and initiatives at the fair. “Maybe it’s because things are tough that people are saying I need to get proactive and get out there and look for new and interesting things.

“We've got a whole new look foyer and registration area, we've upgraded the graphics and look and feel of the fair when you come in,” he said. “I felt that it needed to happen. When times are tough you need to be putting it out there that you're still relevant, and show you're investing in the product because you believe in it,” Fitz-Roy

He added that another reason for the increased interest could be due to there being 60 new exhibitors.

Fitz-Roy explained that there is a new registration option this year. Retailers who missed the deadline for online preregistration can now preregister in-person on Saturday afternoon from 2:30 to 5:30pm at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre.

“Retailers can come in, register and get cards on Saturday, and that means on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday they'll have automatic access,” Fitz-Roy said.

Buying Groups
Nationwide Jewellers managing director Colin Pocklington reports that he’s expecting to at least equal last year’s numbers. “We already have 130 stores registered, and at this stage we expect to equal last year’s figures. In 2011, we registered over 500 people from 203 stores. However another 60 members who had buyer cards, and had not registered via us also attended” he said.

“In anticipation of a similar turnout we have enlarged our seminar room for this year,” Pocklington added.

Leading Edge Jewellers director Josh Zarb also said there had been a “good response” from Leading Edge members.

“Most attendees from our annual conference [which runs from this Thursday until Saturday in Sydney] will stay on and go to the fair,” Zarb said. “We’re expecting about 75 members to be at the fair. It’s slightly down on last year, but I think that’s due to a combination of things, not necessarily a downturn. Some of our members just have other things on.”

Jeweller has reported extensively on the slew of new products and services that will be launched at the fair, but some of the trade associations also have exciting offerings for visitors.

The Jewellers Association of Australia (JAA) has put together a group of expert business consultants to provide members with free advice and answer questions and concerns. Patrick Ferguson from Goldrick Farrell Mullan will be available to discuss legal topics, including company registration and shareholder agreements, partnership agreements, consumer complaints, debt recovery and more.

Leasing Information Services will be offering demonstrations of its online platform and answering questions about retail leasing, while Finance for Life will be present to discuss superannuation, investments, business and personal loans. RISQ and OzForex will also be on hand to discuss risk insurance and foreign exchange services with members.

The National Council of Jewellery Valuers (NCJV) plans to make education a focal point at its stand too. National education officer Graham Easy told Jeweller he would be at the fair to provide advice to visitors interested in jewellery valuation and support for current members.

"We go to the trade fair to assist members that come with questions, problems, or procedural matters, and people having problems with valuations,” he said. “We are also there to promote the principles of valuing, and talk about the educational process with people interested in becoming valuers.”

Easy said the NCJV was getting close to finalising a new government accredited course, the Diploma of Applied Gemmology (Valuation), which has been in development for several years. He said he would be available to take any questions potential students had about it, while the stand would also provide short courses for valuers, helping them learn about new industry issues.

“We run a small educational section at the stand,” Easy explained. “It’s something there for valuers, a five-minute education, it’s a mini class. In the past we’ve discussed fake watches and led-filled rubies. To be a valuer, you have to do so many update points a year, this helps gain some of those points very quickly.”

The Gemmological Association of Australia (GAA) will also be promoting express learning with its new online courses. The GAA, in collaboration with the JAA, is offering a collection of short, web-only courses aimed at newcomers to the jewellery industry. The course list includes ‘Introduction to retail jewellery sales’, ‘Introduction to daily jewellery retail business’, and ‘Introduction to coloured gemstones’.

Terry Coldham, chairman Gem-Ed, a sub-committee of the GAA, will be at the fair and said early feedback about the courses was positive. “We're getting some excellent reviews on them,” he said. “At the fair we will use a computer setup to show visitors how they work.”

Coldham said he would also be giving a talk to Nationwide members on coloured gemstones, in an effort to ”instil some interest and excitement in working and selling coloured gemstones in jewellery”.

Win a Peugeot Competition
Also, Expertise Events will announce the winner of a new Peugeot car. The fair host has been running a competition since the first JAA fair this year, with every visitor to the three fairs, Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney, in the running to win the car. The Peugeot will be drawn on Tuesday. The competition is a part of the company’s 21st birthday celebrations together with the JAA in hosting the fairs.

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