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JWNZ - Jewellery Show Organisers
JWNZ - Jewellery Show Organisers
 










Confusion over trade fair prices

Conflicting reports about exhibitor pricing at the upcoming JWNZ trade fair in New Zealand mean that last year's exhibitors have not been given the full story, leaving many jewellery suppliers scratching their heads.
Following a report last week detailing new pricing for the competing New Zealand trade fairs, Jewellers and Watchmakers of New Zealand (JWNZ) executive secretary Craig Anderson has contacted Jeweller to complain of incorrect pricing information and demand an apology; however, in his attempt to clarify the pricing for the JWNZ fair, Anderson has managed to create additional confusion about the prices that have already been issued to many of last year’s exhibitors.

In an email dated April 7, Anderson wrote, "Your editorial titled 'Trade Fair Wars Continue!' contains factual errors and the JWNZ requires these errors to be corrected and an apology printed."

He went on to explain that, although the price of an exhibitor table at this year’s September fair had indeed risen to $700, the cost of exhibitor tables in 2009 had actually been $580, and not $500 as published.

"The actual percentage increase is almost 21 per cent, not 40 per cent as you state," Anderson wrote in his email.

Further, he explained that the cost of the same table upstairs had decreased from $580 last year to $550 – JWNZ fairs have traditionally had a one-price-per-table policy regardless of location).

Anderson’s email concluded with, "JWNZ looks forward to receiving your apology".

Jeweller editor Coleby Nicholson replied to Anderson, explaining that the pricing information had been obtained from JWNZ’s own trade fair manager Jackie Bell.

Nicholson advised Anderson that the information would be corrected but that an apology was not warranted because the magazine’s editorial staff did not cause the error.

In a further email on the same day, Anderson was adamant: "Regardless of basis of the inaccuracies, your article is not correct. We look forward to you correcting the editorial. As well as the written apology (sic)".

Nicholson again advised Anderson that the magazine could not be held responsible for incorrect information supplied by JWNZ’s own representative, but that the correct pricing would be published in a follow-up story.

After Anderson made a third demand for an apology, the matter became even more confusing, revealing that the $700 table price previously advised by JWNZ to its 2009 exhibitors may have also not been accurate.

Anderson wrote, "You state, 'According to Bell’s media release….' In fact this was an email to the 24 exhibitors who were to be affected by proposed changes to the trade fair ground floor, floor plan."

While Bell’s email and the subsequent Jeweller story correctly asserted that a single table would now cost $700, it appeared that price – and the new booth pricing of $1800 – may not have been final.

Following Jeweller requests for accurate pricing figures, so as to make price comparisons in the follow-up story, Anderson replied that the "2009 exhibitor price structure was completely different to the proposed 2010 exhibitor price structure. Therefore for anyone to try and make comparisons (about 2010) at this time would be misleading."

Anderson’s ensuing statement cast doubt over the very pricing it was seeking to correct.

In addition, it appeared that the 24 exhibitors may have been under the misapprehension that the prices offered to them were final because there was no mention of a "proposed 2010 exhibitor price structure" in Bell's earlier email. 

Nicholson pointed this out to Anderson, highlighting the sentence, "Pricing Structure: 2010 also sees the introduction of a new pricing structure, reflecting the new exhibitor options."

In fact the JWNZ email added, "First Refusal: Due to the positioning of the exhibition booths your previous table top display space will not be available."

Not only did Bell’s email to exhibitors appear to contain final prices and processes, but it also concluded by placing a deadline on the 24 exhibitors affected by the dramatic change to the JWNZ’s traditional trade fair, stating, "The deadline for confirming an exhibition booth is Tuesday 6th April. If we have not received your completed registration form and payment by this date we will be extending the invitation to the existing exhibitor database."

On one hand, Bell was issuing pricing and payment deadlines to JWNZ’s exhibitors; on the other, Anderson was saying that these prices were only "proposed".

In order seek further clarification, Jeweller contacted a number of exhibitors that had received the Invitation to Exhibit email and all said that, as far as they were concerned, the prices in the email were final. One said that he had decided not to participate at the JWNZ fair because of the steep price increases.

Concerned that this new matter may also need clarification in a follow-up story, Nicholson asked Anderson last week whether Bell’s prices were final or not.

"There seems to be some confusion over this simple matter now. That is, either the prices are proposed or they are final; they cannot be both," Nicholson stated.

Three days later, no response has been given, and therefore confusion still exists over whether the cost of tables and booths at the JWNZ trade fair are final or just "proposed", and in the meantime some exhibitors have decided not to participate because of the price increases, ironically, price increases that may not be final!

JWNZ president, Susi Chinnery-Brown was also contacted prior to publication, but like Anderson, she did not reply to requests for clarification.   


CORRECTION
Jeweller’s original story did refer to the email from JWNZ’s trade fair manager Jackie Bell as a "media release". The Expertise Events email about its pricing was a media release but Bell’s email obtained by Jeweller was not a media release.

CLARIFICATION
Jeweller’s original story stated, "The JWNZ fair promoted itself as cheaper for exhibitors by remaining with its traditional, low-cost, trestle table format … but all suppliers had to pay an additional JWNZ joining fee to exhibit at the fair."

The JWNZ advised that its fair is held by, for, and on behalf of JWNZ members and therefore financial membership of the JWNZ is, and always has been, a requirement of exhibiting. While that is true, the point remains that if a new supplier wants to exhibit at the JWNZ fair, the cost to join the JWNZ must be factored into the overall cost, whereas the competing NZJF fair is open to any exhibitor regardless of association membership or alliance. Jeweller is happy to clarify the issue but stands by the original claim.

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