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The 2021 International Jewellery & Watch Fair has been cancelled, with two new buying events announced for Sydney and Brisbane in October.
The 2021 International Jewellery & Watch Fair has been cancelled, with two new buying events announced for Sydney and Brisbane in October.

Sydney jewellery fair cancelled; new events launched for October

With continuing high COVID-19 case numbers and an extended lockdown in greater Sydney, organiser Expertise Events has cancelled the upcoming International Jewellery & Watch Fair, however two new events are launching in Brisbane and Sydney.

The International Jewellery & Watch Fair (IJWF) due to take place at the ICC Sydney Exhibition Centre in Sydney’s Darling Harbour, was previously postponed from 29–30 August to 24–27 September 2021.

Gary Fitz-Roy, Expertise Events managing director
Gary Fitz-Roy, Expertise Events managing director
"Our staff are immensely grateful for the understanding, kindness and unwavering support everyone has demonstrated... We promise to reward this support with the most memorable trade show ever next year"
Gary Fitz-Roy, Expertise Events

Gary Fitz-Roy, managing director Expertise Events, said it was “devastating” to cancel what would have been the 30th IJWF, however the organiser had to take into account retailer and consumer confidence, health and wellbeing, and commercial returns for exhibitors.

“It’s clear that the situation is not improving quickly enough to have confidence that the September dates in Sydney can proceed to the scale that it has been previously,” Fitz-Roy said in an email to exhibitors.

“It was an extremely difficult decision to make, but ultimately the health and safety of everyone involved and limiting the potential threat of spreading the virus was the most important consideration, as is the confidence of our visitor audience to attend large gatherings.”

“We are aware that the Sydney IJWF is the number-one date on the jewellery industry calendar, and we know the importance it plays in showcasing this wonderful industry; educating, inspiring and selling, and the free marketing opportunities we provide to the various industry associations and guilds to unite people,” Fitz-Roy added.

Expertise Events confirmed the next IJWF will take place from Saturday 27 to Monday 29 August 2022.

“Our staff are immensely grateful for the understanding, kindness and unwavering support everyone has demonstrated during these very difficult and trying times and we promise to reward this support with the most memorable trade show ever next year.”

New buying days announced

Fitz-Roy acknowledged that suppliers and retailers were depending on this year’s Sydney fair to meet face-to-face in time for the crucial Christmas and New Year sales periods.

He also noted that Christmas ordering and delivery had shifted later and later in recent years, while the COVID-19 pandemic had changed consumer buying patterns, with shoppers returning to stores approximately 30 days after extended lockdowns and an estimated 30 per cent boost to jewellery sales post-lockdown.

Taking these factors into consideration, Expertise Events has announced new buying days, similar to the successful Trade Days format earlier this year.

Named Stock Up & Top Up (SUTU), the events are scheduled to be held at:

  • Brisbane: 9–10 October 2021 at the Brisbane Convention Centre
  • Sydney: 23–24 October 2021 at the ICC Darling Harbour
Colin Pocklington, Nationwide Jewellers
Colin Pocklington, Nationwide Jewellers
"The decision [to cancel the IJWF] by Expertise Events was sound, as even if lockdowns end at the end of this month, there needs to be a sufficient period before the trade events for borders to open"
Colin Pocklington, Nationwide Jewellers

“Based on the NSW and Queensland borders reopening by the end of August and allowing retailers to trade in September, we expect that they will begin to focus on stocking up and topping up for Christmas and New Year sell-through,” Fitz-Roy said.

SUTU is designed to be a low-cost package with a “walk in, set up, sit down, get on to business” format, allowing exhibitors to fly in the morning of the event and fly out afterwards.

Following the Trade Days format, both SUTU events will have capped exhibitor numbers; IJWF exhibitors will be invited to attend first, with their choice of SUTU Sydney or Brisbane and the ability to ‘roll over’ their deposits to SUTU or to the 2022 IJWF.

“We will be contacting exhibitors to confirm that they are happy to maintain their preferred stand choice with no fee increase for space and/or to utilise funds against a booking(s) in the Stock Up & Top Up events,” Fitz-Roy said.

“We are making the decision today to allow clients the maximum time to plan and, as you will understand, our office is closed but we will do our very best to call you personally over the next two weeks to seek your instructions.”

All buying groups are invited to participate in the SUTU events, with Nationwide Jewellers and Independent Jewellers Collective (IJC) already committing their support.

Joshua Zarb, Independent Jewellers Collective
Joshua Zarb, Independent Jewellers Collective
"We had a really positive response to the previous Jewellery Trade Days and if we can have a similar smaller format, I am in full support of anything face-to-face"
Josh Zarb, Independent Jewellers Collective

Colin Pocklington, managing director Nationwide, told Jeweller, “We will start planning this Friday on how to deliver a scaled down IJWF program in both Brisbane and Sydney.

“The decision [to cancel the IJWF] by Expertise Events was sound, as even if lockdowns end at the end of this month, there needs to be a sufficient period before the trade events for borders to open, for consumers to regain confidence, and a resultant confidence in buying for jewellers.”

Of the SUTU events, Pocklington added, “The modified low-cost exhibition format is also a good idea, and follows on from the very successful March/April 2021 Trade Day format.”

Josh Zarb, CEO IJC, said Expertise Events had made the "logical decision" in cancelling the IJWF, praising the organiser for having already secured dates for the SUTU events. 

"The fact they were able to come back proactively with another couple of dates was fantastic. We had a really positive response to the previous Jewellery Trade Days and if we can have a similar smaller format, I am in full support of anything face-to-face," he said.

"The sooner we can do it safely, the better; I'm looking forward to it!"

Zarb added that IJC would use SUTU as an opportunity to celebrate its first anniversary as well as "a Christmas party with IJC member stores, suppliers, and friends." 

Trade Days to return

Following the success of the 2021 Trade Days, Expertise Events has also confirmed dates for the first three 2022 Trade Days.

Melbourne is set to host the initial Trade Days event, followed by Sydney and Brisbane.

While the Melbourne date is concurrent with the Gift Fair, Expertise Events has confirmed it will be a standalone event this year with a separate area in order to provide differentiation, following feedback from exhibitors.

The Queensland Trade Days have shifted from the Gold Coast to Brisbane in order to accommodate more exhibitors and retailers.

  • Melbourne: 5–6 February 2022
  • Sydney: 12–13 February 2022
  • Brisbane: 5–6 March 2022

Adelaide and Perth Trade Days are planned, though dates are yet to be confirmed.

 

More reading:
Sydney Jewellery Fair rescheduled to last weekend September
Buying groups to unite in support of Sydney fair, celebrate milestones
Jewellery Trade Days to return in 2022; registrations open for 2021 Sydney Fair











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