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This year’s IJWF lived up to its theme of ‘Unity’ with many exhibitors praising the positive atmosphere.
This year’s IJWF lived up to its theme of ‘Unity’ with many exhibitors praising the positive atmosphere.

Sydney Fair hailed as unifying force for jewellery industry

Amid tough trading conditions, this year’s International Jewellery & Watch Fair (IJWF) has been praised for bringing together retailers, buying groups and suppliers under one roof.

The event, appropriately themed ‘Unity’, brought together Nationwide Jewellers, Showcase Jewellers and Leading Edge Jewellers for the first time, with all three groups holding their buying days and member events on the show floor.

“The feedback I received after spending the entire time on the show floor over the three days was overwhelmingly positive and it made for a relaxed but exciting show,” Joshua Zarb, general manager of show organisers Expertise Events, said. “It was so nice to see everyone really pull together.”

The majority of exhibitors thought the decision to create a single buying event for the industry lessened some of the pressure on suppliers and boosted foot traffic at the Fair itself, while building a more positive atmosphere.

Steve der Bedrossian, CEO SAMS Group Australia, told Jeweller, “It’s been good because it’s a united fair – it’s nice to see everyone in the same place. It was a lot easier, that’s for sure. More efficient and the numbers seem to be good as well.”

Joshua Zarb, Expertise Events
Joshua Zarb, Expertise Events
"The feedback I received after spending the entire time on the show floor over the three days was overwhelmingly positive and it made for a relaxed but exciting show”
Joshua Zarb, Expertise Events

Ken Abbott, managing director Timesupply, agreed, saying: “It’s been a great fair, as usual. We are seeing more people coming through, who probably would have gone to buying days, being consolidated into the trade fair. It’s good having all three under one roof.”

The sentiment was equally positive at the Peter W Beck booth, with marketing co-ordinator Olivia Baird saying, “It feels more lively and there’s a better vibe in general, more positive. It feels like there are more people around. I think having all three buying groups is a massive reason why [that is so]. It was a great move.”

However, some exhibitors did find it more challenging.

“I think it’s brilliant [to have all three buying groups at the Fair] but we did expect that, having normally done three buying days in advance, there would be a greater spend [at the Fair],” Helen Thompson-Carter, managing director of New Zealand-based Fabuleux Vous, said.

However, she also noted that Australian retailers had seemed more apprehensive in their buying due to the ongoing drought.

Meanwhile Darren Roberts, managing director Cudworth Enterprises, said, this year’s Fair, “was not too bad – about the same as last year. While it’s pleasing that we’re all together, we [suppliers] need support from the retailers now that we’re all under one roof.”

The ‘buzz’ on the floor on the opening day was excellent as visitors streamed in early in the morning and a steady flow continued throughout the day. Most exhibitors said the show was more upbeat than expected, and they’d seen improved business from last year.

Trophies galore!

The second edition of the Jewellery Design Awards were also held during the Fair at the ICC Sydney Exhibition Centre, giving recognition to the most creative designs from the nation’s professional jewellers and apprentices.

Sydney jeweller Matthew Ely was the big winner, taking home both the Diamond Award, sponsored by SAMS Group Australia, and the Pearl Award, sponsored by Ikecho.

Steve Der Bedrossian, Sams Group Australia CEO
Steve Der Bedrossian, Sams Group Australia CEO
"It’s been good because it’s a united fair – it’s nice to see everyone in the same place”
Steve der Bedrossian, SAMS Group Australia

Meanwhile, the 2019 Lexus Melbourne Cup was back at the Pallion stand and was a big hit with show attendees. Crowds gathered for a photo opportunity with what is arguably the nation’s most iconic trophy.

The ‘Loving Cup’ design is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year and is produced by Pallion subsidiary ABC Bullion, being valued at $250,000.

Creative workshops and practical seminars

Fair organiser Expertise Events ensured education was a priority at this year’s Fair, offering workshops and seminars under the IJWF Create and IJWF Talks banners.

Retailers looking to boost both online and in-store traffic were well served by an in-depth presentation from Podium’s Taylor Cutler. The session focused on how to manage digital reviews and boost your business’ Google presence when potential customers search with terms like ‘best’ and ‘near me’.

Bricks-and-mortar was given a face-lift by Ian Cunningham from retail designers ID Solutions. His presentation focused on using principles of psychology and insights from marketing research to create a retail space that delights customers and encourages sales.

One of the most popular talks was a special question-and-answer session moderated by Expertise Events’ Josh Zarb and Nationwide Jewellers’ Niven McArthur. The panel included retail, manufacturing and business authorities from across the jewellery industry.

Attendees were given insights into topical challenges like the discount spiral, how to fight Internet price-matching, creating experiences for customers, lab-grown diamonds versus natural diamonds, and margin erosion.

Meanwhile, the Create workshops explored such diverse elements as watch repair, appreciating coloured gemstones, and sketching like a professional.

Jeweller will provide further coverage of the 2019 IJWF in the October issue.

 

Image Gallery

Fair attendees received an Exhibition Directory and copy of <em>Jeweller</em> upon arrival at the IJWF.
Fair attendees received an Exhibition Directory and copy of Jeweller upon arrival at the IJWF.
The crowds line up to enter the show floor ICC Sydney Exhibition Centre.
The crowds line up to enter the show floor ICC Sydney Exhibition Centre.

Niven McArthur chairs the panel discussion, ‘Modern marketing techniques for manufacturing jewellers’.
Niven McArthur chairs the panel discussion, ‘Modern marketing techniques for manufacturing jewellers’.
Podium’s Taylor Cutler presents his seminar, ‘How to leverage your online reputation to gain new clients’.
Podium’s Taylor Cutler presents his seminar, ‘How to leverage your online reputation to gain new clients’.

Retailers peruse the selection of product on offer.
Retailers peruse the selection of product on offer.
Pearls and colour gems were a big hit at the show.
Pearls and colour gems were a big hit at the show.

Business was bustling on Saturday and Sunday.
Business was bustling on Saturday and Sunday.
Timesupply.
Timesupply.

World Shiner.
World Shiner.
Les Georgettes by Altesse.
Les Georgettes by Altesse.


More reading:
Jewellery Design Talents Rewarded at Sydney Fair
Sydney Fair promises exciting activities
Buying groups unite for 2019 Sydney jewellery fair

 











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Friday, 20 September, 2019 09:37pm
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