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The jewellery fair had an upbeat atmosphere
The jewellery fair had an upbeat atmosphere

Brisbane jewellery fair buzzes

The JAA Australian Jewellery Fair Brisbane – which closed yesterday – has received an overall positive response from both suppliers and retailers, who remarked on the large range of unique product available. 
The general consensus from the suppliers who spoke with Jeweller, pointed to a successful first day on Sunday 17 March. Opening day is traditionally busy but this year visitors arrived particularly early and the halls remained active well into early afternoon.
In keeping with tradition, Monday was much quieter although many exhibitors noted a largely upbeat atmosphere.  
Brisbane fair organiser Gary Fitz-Roy said he believed the event was successful and he was pleased with the positive buzz on the floor.  
“I think the word that most exhibitors used was that they were very ‘surprised’ by the strong attendance numbers and upbeat feeling from the retailers,” Fitz-Roy added. 
Renee Blackwell, director of Renee Blackwell Jewellery Design, said she was extremely happy with business on Sunday and hinted that fellow suppliers had a similar sentiment. 
“I don’t think I’ve spoken to a single stallholder who didn’t have a decent day yesterday [Sunday]. I would say we had an above average day. And today, although there hasn’t been a lot of people in, the people who have stopped by have been good for business,” Blackwell explained. 
Blackwell signed a number of new accounts, including one that had been five years in the making. She credits this to the company’s long history of exhibiting at the fair. 
“I think for us the secret is just the longevity of being at the show year after year.”
Similarly, Disney Couture managing director Michael Tran found Sunday to be very successful and said that although the following day may be been low on visitor numbers, the company’s existing stockists turned out in full force. 
He also commented that the fair was busier than last year in foot traffic and sales. 
Larry Porter, chief executive of Ice-Watch’s Australian distributor Bolt International, explained the company generated a lot of new business from the fair and many existing customers ordered its latest product ranges. 
While Bead Them Up director Dixie Paloumpis said Sunday was very successful, she could not help but comment on how slow Monday had been. 
“The fair on the very first day was brilliant but today it’s much slower,” she said. 

Renee Blackwell Jewellery Design
Renee Blackwell Jewellery Design
Disney Couture
Disney Couture
Ice-Watch and APM Monaco
Ice-Watch and APM Monaco

First-time exhibitors
Raksha Jewellery is a relatively new brand to Australia and has not exhibited in Brisbane before. As such its sales and marketing executive Pamela Salaverry said it was using the fair as a way to build awareness and get a feel for the market rather than trying to generate a lot of new customers. 
“What we have achieved since being here is to gather some contact details from retailers that we can approach. I’ve got one and a half pages of follow-up that I’ll do when we get back.”
First-time exhibitor in Brisbane, Black Orange managing director Martin van der Horst, said he believed the visitors were not as open to new products as he would have hoped. Black Orange is the Australian supplier for jewellery brand Buddha to Buddha and Tembi. 
“In Sydney [2012 jewellery fair] everyone was really looking for new things and new companies and new products and here everybody seems to be very settled in doing the same as what they have been doing before,” van der Horst said.
There were, however, some retailers who appreciated some of the unique jewellery pieces on offer. Bruce Tully, managing director of jewellery retailer Depazzi, said he had not been to the Brisbane fair for many years and was happy to see a few new interesting items. 
Furthermore, Butterfly Silver marketing and brand development manager Kylie Keioskie also commented on the large offering presented at the event.
“There seems to be quite a good range. We specialise in silver jewellery so we’re quite limited I suppose in what we can stock, but certainly from our perspective there’s quite a range in that sort of area,” Keioskie said. 
New product launches
A number of suppliers used the Brisbane fair as a launching pad for new products. 
John Worth, managing director of New Zealand-based jewellery supplier Worth & Douglas, said the company had a lot of new silver and titanium jewellery on offer as well as wedding and diamond ring designs and Karen Walker pieces. 
Renee Blackwell Jewellery Design also released a new range of Turning Pendants, which incorporated Czechoslovakian glass buttons from the 1940s. Blackwell added that her Antique Buttons line had been given a makeover. 
Furthermore, Disney Couture launched a new silver collection.
Simon Dell, director TwoCents Group
Simon Dell, director TwoCents Group
Further learning
The Brisbane fair was also host to two new seminars – something which hasn’t taken place for a couple of years.
Led by director of creative marketing agency TwoCents Group Simon Dell, the presentations focused on how retailers could adapt to the changing retail landscape as well as making the most of the digital environment.
Dell explained that retail was about creating an emotional experience for customers and suggested that jewellery retailers should focus more on attention to detail. 

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