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Buying groups unite for 2019 Sydney Jewellery Fair

The 2019 International Jewellery & Watch Fair will see Showcase Jewellers and Leading Edge Jewellers return to the Sydney tradeshow.

Gary Fitz-Roy, managing director at Expertise Events, said that after an extensive review, taking into account the needs of both of buyers and exhibitors, he and his staff have been working behind the scenes to deliver a new-look fair.

This year’s Fair – fittingly themed ‘Unity’ – will see Nationwide Jewellers, Showcase Jewellers and Leading Edge members exhibit together for the first time since 2016, showing at ICC Sydney, Exhibition Centre Darling Harbour.

In previous years, Showcase and Leading Edge have run separate, off-calendar events for members, while Australia’s largest buying group, Nationwide, continued to exhibit at the Sydney Fair. This year, after prolonged negotiations, Showcase and Leading Edge will run their buying days and annual conferences concurrent with the official Fair dates and use the ICC Sydney site.

“I am pleased to announce that the groups have all worked with us in putting a sensible plan in place that considers everyone’s needs. From here, we hope further initiatives can be rolled out to make the Fair even stronger; we believe this change represents a solid foundation,” Fitz-Roy said.

Major benefits to exhibitors include savings on staffing costs and accommodation, less time spent setting up show stands and moving between venues, and broader exposure to a wide range of retailers. Increased security capabilities are also a bonus.

Carson Webb, general manager of Showcase Jewellers, said: “I’m delighted to announce we will be fully supporting the 2019 Fair at the ICC. It was a unanimous decision from our members, our directors and suppliers to make it work. We are really looking forward to the event and encourage as many retailers as possible to come.”

Director of business services at Leading Edge Jewellers, Kate Levy, also said it was a step forward in bringing harmony back to the Australian jewellery industry.

“It’s great we’ve been able to come together as an industry and reduce the impact on our suppliers during the busy conference period. One-on-one contact between independent retailers and suppliers is so valuable, particularly for regional jewellery stores.

“It’s important we keep providing the forum for those relationships to flourish.”

Echoing the sentiments, Colin Pocklington, managing director of Nationwide Jewellers, said: “It is pleasing to hear that Leading Edge and Showcase have modified their schedules in order to provide greater support to the International Jewellery & Watch Fair.

“This is a very welcome initiative and will ensure an increased number of buyers on the floor. The three buying groups are certainly doing their part to support and unify the industry.”

In review of the trade fair format last year, Expertise Events announced “watch” has been incorporated into the Fair name to also reflect the all-encompassing industry approach. The 2019 event also features the return of the Jewellery Design Awards, with a number of new initiatives and plans to provide greater awareness and industry involvement for jewellery designers.

Fitz-Roy said: “This year’s Fair already has some exciting things in motion. We know some retailers and distributors are finding the market challenging, and we are mindful of how we can best provide value to both sides. My team is committed to the ‘wow factor’ this year, and the theme is something we take very seriously. Unity is crucial in all industries to be successful and we are committed to leading the charge.”

The International Jewellery & Watch Fair will take place from 24–26 August 2019.

Australian Diamond Trading Corporation (ADTC)

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