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International Jewellery Fair exhibitor numbers have exceeded those of the past three years
International Jewellery Fair exhibitor numbers have exceeded those of the past three years

Sydney fair receives major boost in exhibitors

The upcoming Sydney International Jewellery Fair (IJF) has received a surge in exhibitor numbers compared to previous years, including more than double the amount of first-time exhibitors in 2016.

Gary Fitz-Roy, the managing director of IJF organiser Expertise Events, said there were 186 confirmed exhibitors for the 2017 event, 44 of which had never exhibited before.

Fitz-Roy explained that current numbers exceeded those of the past three years and that he expected the figure to increase ahead of the trade show, scheduled to take place from 26 August to 28 August.

Gary Fitz-Roy, Expertise Events managing director
Gary Fitz-Roy, Expertise Events managing director

“We still have space we could open up and would love to crack the 200 [exhibitor] mark, which is achievable,” he said, adding that the last time the IJF had more than 200 exhibitors was in 2013.

The IJF has been held at the temporary Sydney Exhibition Centre at Glebe Island for the past three years; however, the 2017 show will return to the redeveloped International Convention Centre (ICC) at Darling Harbour.

“It’s fair to say it’s been a roller coaster ride over the past 12 months but this year’s show is an opportunity for the industry to come together and repair and rebuild,” Fitz-Roy said. “We should be proud of what the industry is in Australia and it’s time we focused on increasing sales and celebrating the talent.”

As previously reported by Jeweller, the local industry’s three buying groups, Leading Edge Group Jewellers, Nationwide and Showcase Jewellers, will support this year’s IJF. Each will have an exhibition space for the three-day event.

New exhibition spaces

Fitz-Roy stated that the two special areas introduced this year – the Village and the Timepiece Pavilion – were fully booked.

“The new feature areas will add value and offer retailers an opportunity to discover new product lines and a competitive edge,” he said.

The Village is a ‘trend-focused’ space developed to showcase the contemporary designs of up-and-coming local and international suppliers. Among the exhibitors is 17-year-old David Chen – the youngest exhibitor at the fair – who creates his own watches trading under the business name Dashchen.

Meanwhile, the Timepiece Pavilion will provide visitors with the opportunity to view the latest 2017 and 2018 watch and clock releases.

“The Timepiece Pavilion was about putting focus on the traditional watch and clock sector,” Fitz-Roy said. “While it’s not considered jewellery, this sector is important in all retail and we wanted to build this element up on the show floor.”

In addition, IJF visitors were expected to benefit from a number of educational seminars covering the changing jewellery landscape, including a presentation by Nationwide Jewellers managing director Colin Pocklington on ‘How to Prosper in the New Normal’.

The trade show also coincides with the inaugural Jewellery Design Awards (JDA), which received more than 100 entries and has a prize pool of $80,000. The overall Supreme Award Winner will receive two Etihad Airways business class tickets and four nights’ accommodation to visit Baselworld as well as a full-page advertisement in The Australian Women’s Weekly.

“Judging is about to take place as the pieces have now been shortlisted,” Fitz-Roy said. “The judges will have a real tough job; there are some stunning pieces and I particularly love several of the student entries. If this represents some of the broader talent coming through then the industry is in great hands.”

The JDA was organised by Expertise Events; finalist pieces will be displayed at the IJF and winners will be announced at a presentation ceremony at the ICC on Saturday evening 26 August. 

More reading
New focus for Sydney jewellery fair
New jewellery comp reaches ‘record’ entry levels
Biggest jewellery comp now open; $80,000 prizes
Showcase pledges support for Expertise Events jewellery fair

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