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Jimmy DeGroot, the Jewelry Marketing Guy, will be visiting from the US exclusively for the fair
Jimmy DeGroot, the Jewelry Marketing Guy, will be visiting from the US exclusively for the fair

Jewellery expert makes exclusive Sydney fair appearance

The organiser of the upcoming Sydney jewellery fair has revealed more additions to this year’s program, including a special appearance by an international jewellery retail expert.

Jimmy DeGroot, the Jewelry Marketing Guy, will be visiting from the United States exclusively for the JAA International Jewellery Fair (IJF).

DeGroot, who managed a US-based jewellery store for more than a decade where he tripled sales with almost no staff turnover, now offers in-store consulting and training with a series of “weekly store meeting” videos.

He was recently commissioned by Jeweller to create training videos specifically tailored for the Australian and New Zealand market. The short video series, titled “Two minutes with Jimmy & Jeweller”, is designed to provoke stores owners to get back to basics.

Drawing from his experience, DeGroot will be conducting daily presentations at 1:00pm that aim to help retailers improve customer service and their bottom line.

The first seminar will focus on how to find and keep the right staff; the second involves developing a successful marketing message, while the third will be about closing sales with ease.

De Groot says he’s excited about visiting Australia for the first time. “I can’t wait to travel Down Under and meet Aussie and Kiwi jewellery store owners and help them master the art of achieving customer delightment!”

DeGroot joins a growing list of industry experts scheduled to present at the fair, including Pandora Australia president David Allen and high-profile Australian jeweller Nic Cerrone.

Expertise Events managing director Gary Fitz-Roy explained that bringing a diverse group of presenters together for one event would provide retailers with an opportune time to take in as much educational advice and opinions as possible – something he said was particularly important in the current challenging trading conditions.

Fitz-Roy added that visitors should respond well to DeGroot’s approach to business operations.

“From my observations, Jimmy has a very practical, down to earth approach to business and retailing that really seems to work. I think people also appreciate having an international industry perspective,” he said.

Bridal area and Happy Hour
Fitz-Roy has also announced that there will be a dedicated bridal jewellery area at this year’s event.

The “Bridal Area”, which focuses on what is arguably the most important category for a retailer, will showcase the season’s latest jewellery trends for brides and grooms. Bridal jewellery specialists will share their experience and tips for maximising sales in this area, and bridal fashion parades have been scheduled at 11:30am and 1:30pm daily.

A social event will also be held at 5:00pm on Sunday 31 August. 

Sponsored by Expertise Events, along with the three buying groups – Leading Edge Jewellers, Nationwide Jewellers and Showcase Jewellers – the IJF Happy Hour was organised with the aim of providing retailers and suppliers with the opportunity to network in a less formal setting.

These features are the latest in a host of new initiatives announced by Expertise Events for the 2014 show. As previously reported by Jeweller, this year’s fair will include a “live” bench demonstration that will showcase various jewellery manufacturing techniques and act as a prelude to a new project that will be introduced at the 2015 event.

The World’s Famous Diamonds exhibition will once again return to Australia having first toured in 2008. The collection is the brainchild of Scott Sucher, a retired US Air Force pilot who has been fascinated with diamonds since he was 14, and features perfect replicas of 36 of the world’s most famous diamonds.

Sucher will also present a series of “floor talks” at the jewellery fair where he will explain some of his extensive research that brought to light many false historical observations of some stones.

Fitz-Roy says he is keen to make the 2014 trade fair, the first to be held at the new Sydney venue, an event to remember.

“In the challenging times you have to be proactive, and we need to motivate and inspire retailers and show them what can be done rather than dwell on the negatives, ” Fitz-Roy said when asked about the decision to introduce a large number of new educational and visual-focused activities.

“This is a great industry, full of creative people and this year we’ve spent a lot more time conducting and analysing research and talking to retailers to find out what their needs are. We’re trying to marry up a program offering that caters to those needs.”

The 23rd JAA IJF will take place at the Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island from Sunday 31 August until Tuesday 2 September.

Jimmy's fair preview

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