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Trade fair wars continue!

The battle to be seen as the number one jewellery fair has gone to round two!
The New Zealand jewellery market is quite small, and many believe too small to have two separate industry associations, let alone two annual jewellery fairs run simultaneously.

However, that’s exactly what will occur again this year when the Jewellers and Watchmakers of New Zealand (JWNZ) Trade Fair and the New Zealand Jewellery Fair (NZJF) take place in September.

And while each organiser spruiks the advantages of its fair, the Expertise Events-organised NZJF is for the first time claiming to be the cheaper option.

Last year NZJF had a Saturday-Sunday format, while the association run JWNZ fair remained with its traditional Sunday-Monday format.

The JWNZ fair promoted itself as cheaper for exhibitors by remaining with its traditional, low-cost, trestle table format. There was a one-price-per-table policy at $500 per table, but all suppliers had to pay an additional JWNZ joining fee to exhibit at the fair.

The Expertise Event was open to all suppliers regardless of industry affiliation (JWNZ or Jewellers Association of New Zealand) and no joining fees were charged.

Last week, both organisers released their 2010 exhibitor price lists and both have made substantial changes to the format to accommodate exhibitor requirements, although Expertise now claims to be less expensive than JWNZ, which has increased costs at its upcoming fair.

According to Jackie Bell, trade fair manager for JWNZ, the cost for a downstairs trestle table at the Ellersie Race Course has risen by 40 per cent, to $700. Two tables will cost $1,400.

Exhibitors that are located upstairs will incur only a 10 per cent increase in their costs with trestle tables being $550, up from $500 last year.

Expertise says it has held costs from last year and has, “introduced a standard booth with a back wall, sign and single table” for $700 and its media release states two tables will cost $1,300 – a saving of $100 over its competitor.

Unlike the JWNZ event, the Expertise fair is conducted on one level at the newly renovated ABS Showgrounds, offering one price for tables regardless of location.

Further changes have been made to both events.

The JWNZ event has introduced exhibition booths in addition to the table-top displays. According to Bell’s media release, “These booths will be located in the centre of the ground floor trade fair.”

Bell explained, “We did a survey after last year’s fair and asked the question: If you had a choice of a booth (at the 2010 fair), would you choose it? We had a good response to that survey.”

That has meant that the low-cost-only approach for exhibitors has changed and they can now choose a 3.0 X 1.2 metre booth at $1,800 with tables and chairs at an extra cost.

Expertise also responded to feedback after some exhibitors requested a smaller booth than the standard 3 X 3 option. It is now providing a 3.0 X 1.2 metre booth at $1,314.

When compared to the JWNZ booth at $1,800 Expertise claims that it is the cheaper fair by $486.

The simultaneous events last year caused a great deal of controversy both leading-up to, and after, the fairs. Prior to the September fairs, Expertise announced that it had secured the Mayor of Auckland, John Banks, to officially open the NZJF, promoting its fair as world class.

Post-fair, JWNZ announced a successful fair with strong visitor numbers being maintained, while Expertise also announced a successful event as far as visitor numbers were concerned. Both fairs attracted many Australian exhibitors.

However, the controversy did not finish after the events. A report on the two New Zealand jewellery fairs was removed from Jewellery World's website after Expertise Events managing director Gary Fitz-Roy complained about “Injurious Falsehood” concerning his event.

Entitled “Fair Fight in New Zealand”, the Jewellery World report was intended to compare the results of the NZJF and JWNZ. But Fitz-Roy, who was not offered the chance to comment for the story, believed the report failed to be fair and balanced and demanded its removal.

The report was quickly removed from Jewellery World’s website.

Expertise Events has signaled to the Kiwis that it is there for the long-haul by opening an office in Auckland with local staff to service the market. It appears the JWNZ has signaled its willingness to listen to exhibitors; something that many believe it had not previously done.

Indeed, Fitz-Roy said last year that his company had been approached many times to start a Kiwi fair because there was a need to rejuvenate the industry with a world class event – with the introduction of booths - and the JWNZ has now matched that strategy.

The questions being asked by most industry pundits in both New Zealand and Australia are; why do we need two jewellery fairs and which one will close?

More reading:
Jewellery World removes fair report from website

More information:
Jewellers and Watchmakers of New Zealand
Contact: Jackie Bell
Trade Fair Manager, The Total Event
PO Box 108-086
Symonds Street, Auckland
Phone: +64 9 379 7967
Email: Jackie@totalevent.co.nz

New Zealand Jewellery Fair
Contact: Jenny Walker
Trade Fair Manager, Expertise Events
PO Box 62 - 546 Kalmia St, Auckland
Phone: +64 800 399 378
Email: jenny.walker@expertiseevents.co.nz

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Wednesday, 18 September, 2019 12:18am
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