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The JIA will focus on the people and businesses that make up the industry
The JIA will focus on the people and businesses that make up the industry

Expertise Events launches jewellery industry awards

The Australian and New Zealand jewellery industries have many awards recognising jewellery design, but a new industry competition will focus on the “people” and their contribution to the trade. 
Expertise Events, organisers of the Australian jewellery fairs, has launched an awards program that acknowledges the excellence of retailers and suppliers within the jewellery industry. 

Unlike traditional awards that concentrate on jewellery design, the Jewellery Industry Awards (JIA) will focus on the people and businesses that make up the industry, Expertise Events managing director Gary Fitz-Roy said.

“The current awards covering various industry categories like diamonds and opals as well as the JAA Design Awards don’t actually acknowledge the retailer or the supplier and what techniques they have to use to sell the end product. It’s more about the actual jewellery pieces and, in a lot of cases, the winning design is a one-off item that will never go into production. Some of them are ‘ jewellery art,’” Fitz-Roy explained.

Fitz-Roy believed it was time to recognise the “business” side of the jewellery industry as well as the “design” side.

Gary Fitz-Roy, managing director Expertise Events
Gary Fitz-Roy, managing director Expertise Events
“Our new awards are about recognising outstanding service at both a trade business-to-business and business-to-consumer level,” he said, adding, “I think the people and the personality side of the industry is the bit that has been missing from of any award program so far.”

He added that running an awards program like JIA was particularly important during difficult economic trading periods. 

“The fact is, during tough times, retailers not only need to know how to merchandise well but they are required to dig deep in order to sell and build relationships with customers. We need to recognise all of the factors involved in this industry.” 

Categories for the inaugural annual JIA have been divided into three groups: Retailers, Suppliers and Open. The awards will be judged by Australian-based jewellery retailers and suppliers that have registered to vote as well as a panel consisting of industry experts, to be revealed in the coming months. 

Winners will be announced at a gala dinner held on Sunday 23 March 2014 during the Australian Jewellery Fair at the Gold Coast. The event will run from 23 to 24 March at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Nominations for all categories will open on Friday 1 November 2013 and are due to close in early 2014. Top contenders will be published online in late January 2014 to coincide with when industry members are able to cast votes.

Additional information regarding the criteria for each category will be available from 1 November.

The JIA categories include:

Retailers (awarded by supplier vote)
Best jewellery retailer – small, medium and large
Best customer service
Best merchandise display/window – general
Best merchandise display/window – Christmas

Suppliers (awarded by retailer vote)
Best product – current and new
Best timepiece
Best product marketing
Supplier of the year
Sales rep of the year – for each state/territory of Australia

Open (awarded by judging panel)
Industry innovation award
Lifetime achievement award

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