There have been many jewellery events and fairs around the world that have been impacted by COVID restrictions. Those restricted event organisers have had to pivot their business in a major way, and some have shown initiative by hosting virtual jewellery events and fairs. These include JCK in Las Vegas, HKTDC Hong Kong International Jewellery Show, as well as others held in Italy and India to name a few.
In our own backyard, the inaugural Jewellery Industry Summit was postponed due to Australia’s own restrictions, however Summit organiser, Moore Events saw the need for 2020 to connect and unite the industry during a difficult year. By partnering with the team from Young Jewellers Group and Jewellery World Magazine, the Jewellery Industry Virtual Fair (JIVF) was born.
Hosted on 20 and 21 October, the Virtual Fair saw over45 exhibitors show their new and best-selling collections to 569 unique attendees, who were made up of mostly Australian independent retailers and manufacturers. Exhibitors came from all facets of the industry including branded jewellery, diamond and gemstone wholesalers, finished jewellery, timepieces, packaging, precious metals and service providers. The JAA was also an exhibitor and I am pleased to say our Board were available to connect with visitors, along with a multitude of other Australian industry associations.
Just like a live event, the stage presentations were hosted by a variety of key industry personnel, covering varying topics such as entering emerging markets, online reviews and in store experiences, laboratory grown diamonds and design to name a few. I gave a talk about the benefits of JAA membership and what we have achieved in the previous twelve months and what we hope to achieve in the next twelve. A number of these presentations were recorded and can be viewed through the Jewellery Industry Virtual Fair website in the coming months.
The success of the event exceeded expectations, and the JIVF team will continue to promote the Australasian jewellery industry through this platform. The JAA heavily supports this leading event as an asset to the industry, as the return to large scale face to face events is still so uncertain. The JAA hopes to be more involved in the next JIVF and hold more virtual sessions which will benefit our members.
Despite the future of physical events being so unclear, what is certain is the industry’s need to adapt and grow with the changing market and embrace the future of technology. The JIVF was the first significant step to not only unite the jewellery industry, but also to provide it with a leading tech platform to advance its ability to connect and communicate.
The next JIVF will take place on 11th – 13th March 2021. Head to jewelleryindustryfair.com for further details. We hope to see you there!
Happy Christmas trading to all! I wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2021.