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The new industry conference will be held in conjunction with the Gold Coast jewellery fair
The new industry conference will be held in conjunction with the Gold Coast jewellery fair

First Australian jewellery conference announced

In a first for the Australian and NZ industries a jewellery conference has been announced with the aim of helping retailers increase sales and better manage their business.

The Jewellery Industry Conference will take place during next year’s Australian Jewellery Fair, which runs from Saturday 28 February to Sunday 1 March at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Taking place over both fair days, the conference will feature four “tracks” designed to educate jewellers on areas including staff motivation, boosting sales, making the most of a retail space and marketing techniques.

Fair organiser Gary Fitz-Roy explained that the conference sessions would be unique because they had been scheduled to take place before the trade show’s opening hours and during lunchtime – allowing visitors to attend the presentations without missing out on quality buying time.

He added that the idea for the Jewellery Industry Conference was derived from industry feedback collected over a number of years.

“In every research study we do, education ranks as one of the primary factors that retailers look for when they attend the event,” Fitz-Roy said. “For us [Fair Events], we wanted to create more than just a buying event – we wanted to create an event that actually kick starts the year for retailers. This Gold Coast fair has been themed Kickstart as it will truly herald a new style of event.

Steven Bradbury
Steven Bradbury
Kevin Hennah
Kevin Hennah
Nancy Georges
Nancy Georges

“Everyone in the industry is fairly busy during the Christmas period so it’s important that they have an event at the beginning of the year where they can come and get motivated and educated on activities that can help drive business.”

Fitz-Roy said he had endeavoured to select three very different speakers for the inaugural Jewellery Industry Conference, describing them as “arguably some of Australia’s most talented and respected presenters”.

They include Magnolia Solutions’ Nancy Georges, who will be covering sales and marketing; retail expert Kevin Hennah, who will discuss shop layout and design; and Olympian Steven Bradbury, who will conduct a motivational seminar.

The JIAs return for second year
The national Jewellery Industry Awards (JIAs), which were first introduced this year, will also take place on the Saturday evening during the trade fair weekend.

As previously reported by Jeweller, the JIAs – which Fitz-Roy referred to as “the people’s awards” – differ from traditional awards that concentrate on jewellery design and manufacture, and instead focus on the people and businesses that make up the industry.

“I’m 100 per cent committed to the fact that it’s the people that make the jewellery industry what it is,” Fitz-Roy said. “How good your staff are, how good the customer experience is and how we connect with customers are what make a jewellery store really tick, no matter how big or how small. The JIAs are really important in putting a focus back on that for the industry.”

In addition to the main inaugural award categories – best jewellery retailer, best jewellery manufacturer and best sales representative – the 2015 JIAs will include the Outstanding Contribution Award, which will be given to an individual that has had a major influence on the jewellery industry.

This award is being introduced in honour of the late Ann Middleton, a well-known and highly regarded jeweller that passed away in July this year.

Nominations for all categories are currently open and set to close early next year.

More information
Australian Jewellery Fair
Jewellery Industry Awards
Jewellery Industry Conference

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