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The jewellery shows were the first organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council since the start of the pandemic in early 2020.
The jewellery shows were the first organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council since the start of the pandemic in early 2020.

Hong Kong ‘twin’ shows attract 30,000 attendees amid COVID-19 pandemic

The physical Hong Kong International Jewellery Show and Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show, held between 25–29 July 2021, attracted 30,700 attendees of which more than 13,000 were industry buyers, according to organiser the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC).

In 2019 – the last time the shows were held physically – they attracted a record 90,000 registered buyers and 4,555 exhibitors.

Benjamin Chau, HKTDC
Benjamin Chau, HKTDC
"Exhibitors and buyers considered business travel restrictions during the pandemic as the biggest current challenge"
Benjamin Chau, Hong Kong Trade Development Council

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ‘twin’ shows were cancelled in 2020 and the 2021 edition postponed from their usual March dates to July; however, ongoing travel restrictions still prevented many regular attendees from taking part.

As a result, the HKTDC embraced a hybrid physical-digital format, which ran from 25 July–5 August. As of 29 July, the digital edition of the shows had attracted 2,500 buyers with more than 1,200 online meetings taking place.

The organiser also opened the physical show to the public for the first time, allowing consumers to purchase jewellery directly from exhibitors.

Benjamin Chau, acting executive director of the HKTDC, said, “An independent survey conducted on-site found that 44 per cent of the interviewed exhibitors and buyers considered business travel restrictions during the pandemic as the biggest current challenge.

“On a more positive note, 31 per cent and 19 per cent of respondents respectively believed that the recovering purchasing power of customers and business leads driven by e-tailing would be the main source of new business opportunities this year.”

Chau noted that the decision to allow the public to attend “enabled exhibitors to reach out to more retail clients and broaden their customer base” while the “unique physical and online format for the first time has helped to create more business opportunities for traders”.

As the first physical show the HKTDC has organised since the pandemic began in early 2020, the response from exhibitors was relatively positive.

First-time exhibitor Arthur Tang, managing director of Hong Kong-based jewellery manufacturer Just Gold, said, "We promoted our new designs as well as special collections for our 30th anniversary. A number of buyers approached us to enquire more about our products. We’ve already concluded some business deals and the response has been encouraging."

Yvonne Pong, director of Wing Hang South Sea Pearl Company, added, "The response has been better than expected. We’ve met some quality buyers, including a number of new customers. The HKTDC has done an excellent job making the show a success despite the pandemic."

However, the on-site survey – which gathered data from more than 800 exhibitors and industry buyers – found that 54 per cent expected overall sales to decrease this year, while 29 per cent expected stable sales.

In terms of product categories, half the buyer respondents favoured white gold, followed by rose gold and yellow gold. Diamonds remained the most popular gemstones among both industry buyers and public attendees; approximately 28 per cent of public attendees spent $HK10,000 ($AU1,74) or more.

 

More reading:
Hong Kong and Italy jewellery fairs face more delays, cancellations
Hong Kong fairs postponed in 2021; further events cancelled
Hong Kong jewellery shows reveal true trade sentiments
 


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