Now for the WHOLE truth

The Jewellers Association of Australia (JAA) would like to address the communication sent from Gary Fitz-Roy, Managing Director of Expertise Events on 26 May. The…

The Jewellers Association of Australia (JAA) would like to address the communication sent from Gary Fitz-Roy, Managing Director of Expertise Events on 26 May.

The JAA does not wish to waste resources and engage in a negative to and fro, however, strongly refutes many of the unfair and one sided version of events. The JAA would like to set the record straight for the sake of our valued membership and industry, and ensure the entire jewellery industry know that the JAA has always had its best interests at heart.

The JAA is officially classed as a not-for-profit organisation. Therefore, all profits are reinvested in servicing JAA members and go back to the industry.

When making any decision, the JAA must consider how decisions are likely to affect the industry and its members. In every scenario the decisions are well thought out and consideration is given to all involved.

Going forward the JAA will be concentrating resources on running a great industry event, however, at this point we would like to respond to the communications sent by Expertise Events.

The real facts

At the end of March, neither party had exercised the contractual right to renew the current agreement. As a result, the Board began reviewing future options knowing the current agreement would thus end on 30 September 2016. On 5 April, the JAA sought Expertise Events’ intentions going forward. With little progress on specifics for a new agreement between the parties in April, the JAA gave a one week deadline due to an impending Board meeting. Again, not enough information was detailed and as a result a further deadline was offered. The JAA’s requests to Expertise Events included a restoration of prior commissions along with event name changes and branding, input and decision making authority and a clearer definition of the JAA’s role in the fairs.

The JAA were advised a restoration of prior commissions and the reinstatement of member discounts would result in increased exhibitor costs and the JAA Board took this into consideration, viewing it as an unsuitable outcome for all parties involved. Implying that the JAA has been paid considerable amounts in recent years that can now result in large savings to exhibitors may also not tell the whole story.

At no point has the JAA sent correspondence stating the JAA were happy with how the fairs were managed and were happy to continue provided Expertise Events paid the JAA more. Nor was the JAA critical of Expertise Events in its media release on 23 May.
The JAA’s financial statements are available to view, by members, on the JAA website. The overall figures show that the JAA Board would have been remiss not to have sought further revenue. The JAA does not openly disclose financial commissions from partners due to commercial agreements.

The JAA’s long term endorsement, in our opinion, has helped Expertise Events’ standing in the industry thus substantially contributing to the fair’s success over the last 25 years. The JAA Board were required to make a decision, one that was in the best interests of members and the jewellery industry, resulting in the decision to conclude negotiations with Expertise Events and announce the JAA managed and run event.

The decision
As previously stated the decision for the JAA to run its own event has been made after much detailed research, risk analysis and financial scenarios. This decision has not been taken lightly and considers all areas of the industry. JAA’s Executive Director, Amanda Hunter, has a 20 year career history in event management and managed her own event company for 10 years. Her business was a multi award winning organisation, was a member of the Meetings and Events Association and Amanda is a very highly regarded event manager in the events industry. She is more than capable to direct and work with suppliers and additional in-house resources to manage a project of this nature.

The Board held concerns about the rising costs of exhibiting at the Expertise Events fair in 2017 due to the new venue location. The JAA’s chosen venue for 2017 is a well-respected and well suited venue that has for many years successfully run many large high profile quality events and should not be a barrier simply because it is not brand new. The venue offers many benefits, including its value for money and yet it is still well situated to the Sydney CBD.

The dates for the JAA event were selected due to industry input that August is the best time of year and the availability of the venue.
The JAA has always, and will continue to, support other industry Associations and education providers through regular communications and donations. This is evident in the JAA’s National Industry Advisory Council (NIAC) which is inclusive of other industry Associations including the Young Jewellers Group and GAA and has previously extended an invitation to the NCJV. The JAA’s plans continue to be inclusive of these industry Associations and education providers.

Looking forward

The JAA is fully in support of the 2016 JAA International Jewellery Fair and is of course committed to deliver its obligations per the current contract with Expertise Events. The JAA will actively continue to provide for its members and the greater jewellery industry – delivering many relevant projects, offering services and support.

Further benefits of involvement in the 2017 JAA event will be announced in due course. A reminder of the current benefits can be found on the JAA website.

In summary – the JAA can’t wait to work positively, collaboratively and directly with stakeholders to produce a great event with reduced exhibition costs, great educational opportunities, and special features based on industry input. This is an enormous opportunity for innovation.

The future of the industry is with the industry. Join with the JAA to build a great event for 2017.