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Leading Edge considers change to 2019 schedule

Leading Edge Group Jewellers is considering a strategic shift in 2019 by organising its annual conference to take place simultaneously with the International Jewellery Fair (IJF) rather than prior to the fair.

IJF organiser Gary Fitz-Roy said he had been in talks with Leading Edge general manager Joshua Zarb to shift its conference to avoid a clash with trade fair week. It is a move Fitz-Roy believes will benefit both Leading Edge members and suppliers.

The negotiation is a sequel to Leading Edge opting to host its annual conference and Christmas buying event in the days leading up to the 2018 IJF, which results in suppliers and retailers having to attend two events in different locations.

Fitz-Roy said that a change of strategy would follow Nationwide’s model which has been in place for more than 25 years where a member’s conference is held earlier in the year however Nationwide organises members activities at the IJF incorporating suppliers into their program.

“Josh has been proactive at looking for ways of working on a solution for a more fully incorporated solution over the Fair days. The aim is to find a balance for his members’ educational program and awards night with the product sourcing and buying as a lead up to Christmas while maintaining Leading Edge’s own identity and the exciting elements they are known for at their conferences,” Fitz-Roy said.

“This is a major change in format for the group, so it’s understandable it will take some time to work it through”

Leading Edge held its annual conference in Sydney from Wednesday 22 to Friday 24 August, concluding the day prior to the IJF in Sydney’s Darling Harbour.

While no final decision has been announced, Zarb said he was working with Leading Edge management to ensure if followed through, the decision will benefit all parties involved.

“Since our meeting I have discussed this with my team. In principle we are 100 per cent open to the idea of doing this for the reasons discussed and for the benefit of the industry.”

Zarb also stressed the buying group is looking to other avenues to meet the expectations of its members.

“Currently, we are looking at some exciting new resources that will be on offer to members next year - so once we understand these changes we will rapidly pick up discussions in regards to conferences and trade fairs,” he said.

The 2019 Fair will run at the ICC Darling Harbour from 24-26 August.

More reading
Industry issues discussed at Sydney Jewellery Fair
Buying groups news for 2018 International Jewellery Fair


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