IJL 2014 "best ever" show with 4% boost in visits

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Early forecasts show the 2014 edition of International Jewellery London (IJL) welcomed a 4% increase in visitors following its move to Olympia Grand in London, with a 15% increase in attendance from its Diamond Club members.

The message from this year’s show has been one of both quantity and quality, with businesses and brands including Endless Jewelry, Stubbs & Co., Mi Moneda and Saunders Shepherd & Co. reporting an increase in business at the show.

IJL event director Sam Willoughby said: “Our new venue proved to be the perfect setting for IJL’s best show ever, with an increased number of senior key retailers and buyers attending, especially from Ireland and overseas. It provided a really stylish backdrop for the superb line-up of leading UK and international jewellers and designers to present their collections, many of whom have already signed up for 2015.

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“As a barometer for the industry, the feedback was incredibly positive and upbeat, confirming that IJL now rivals its European counterparts.”

This year’s show hosted 550 exhibitors from both the UK and international locations, with more than 150 new exhibitors taking part in the show.

Exhibitor Feedback
Feedback from the various suppliers, buyers and exhibitors taking part in the show reported that this year’s IJL “was their show to date”, with the IJL organising team adding that there has been “unprecedented demand for space at IJL 2015”.

John Cooney of IBB Dublin said of this year’s show: “We were more than pleased with our IJL 2014 business at the new venue in London Olympia. It was the most successful ever UK trade show for our brand Mi Moneda. Our sales were the highest ever achieved since launch and we are excited by the new contacts made. It was a superbly run event and was attended by almost all the top UK jewellers. It was also great to see such a large Irish contingent after a few quiet years. We are looking forward to IJL 2015.”

John Coupland of Saunders Shepherd & Co added: “We have had a hugely successful show, with excellent business throughout the three days and the highest calibre of retailers and buyers that I can recall for a long time coming to see us – several of whom were outstanding. The jewellery industry is spoilt for choice and to attract the top tier, a show has to be good and IJL really got it right this year. The length of the show was perfect, as is the new venue. We are thoroughly satisfied.”

The show was described as an important one for WB The Creative Jewellery Group, parent company of Domino, Weston Beamor and Gecko. WB managing director Andrew Morton explained: “IJL is always an important show for us and this year was a great success for Domino, Weston Beamor and Gecko, who all exhibit at the event. We were very pleased with the location of our stands and felt that the change of venue was a good move, breathing new life into the show and bringing a great feeling of enthusiasm from both exhibitors and retailers.”

International brands including Endless Jewelry and Buchwald made their debut at this year’s show, with Endless founder and chief executive Jesper Nielsen upbeat about this year’s show, where the brand launched a special range of bracelets and charms created in partnership with Jennifer Lopez.

He said: “I must say, I was very pleased about the way it was received at IJL. We managed to go well beyond our sales targets with the Endless UK and Ireland team bringing in some 40 new customers, which is also due to the way the show was organised by IJL.”

US-based diamond jewellery brand Danhov returned to the show for a second year, with the brand’s Kevin Gabriel describing IJL as Danhov’s preferred show to “increase awareness and meet retailers and buyers”, and reach its international business goals.

Feedback from the designer area of the show and bridal brands was also positive, with a number describing the space and light of the show as driving enthusiasm among buyers and exhibitors.

Cindy Dennis Mangan, jewellery designer and owner of Dennis & Lavery Platinum, said: “My new bridal collections have been extremely well received. The heritage of IJL as the premier jewellery event gives it a great platform – and puts me together with my suppliers, peers and future business partners. IJL moves your business forward by six months in three days.”

This year’s show attracted editors and writers from a number of consumer magazines and newspapers, including You & Your Wedding, Elle, Red Online, Hello and Glamour, as well as The Telegraph, Sunday Times, FT and the Daily Mail. A number of key jewellery bloggers were also in attendance, including Rockin the Gem and Magpie on the Run.

New Show Elements and New Talent
This year’s show also played host to IJL’s first Late Night Shopping Event, which took place as the show reduced its duration from four days to three.

The evening, designed to allow buyers to browse and place orders into the evening, also included the IJL Charity Auction, with the industry supporting Breast Cancer Care by raising more than £3,000 for the charity. The star lot of the evening was a hand-crafted charm bracelet, designed by Sarah Jordan and cast by Birmingham’s Hockley Mint, with individual charms created by high-profile designers. It was successfully bid for by Julia Clarke of Hester Clarke.

The show’s daily Runway aimed to showcase four key jewellery trends for SS15 as identified by IJL trend partners Adorn Insight. The themes – Eden, Fusion, Shape It and Timewarp – were translated through jewellery that was strutted up and down the catwalk to provide buyers with insight into the new collections being launched at the show for the coming seasons.

IJL 2014 also praised new talent with its annual KickStart and Bright Young Gems initiatives. The five Bright Young Gems were revealed on the first day as Joanna Bury from Truro & Penwith College, Kiki Tang from The Cass, Youjin Nam from the Royal College of Art, Hyuen-hee Jessie Seo and Fortuna Weeks both from Central St Martins. Fortuna Weeks was chosen as The Retailer’s Choice by Bec Astley Clarke, Founder and Executive Chairman of Astley Clarke.

The KickStart designers, hand-selected by the IJL team and the British Jeweller’s Association, proved themselves as 10 young jewellers to watch, including the People’s Choice winner, Kristjan Eyjolfsson who was also awarded the Adorn Insight Award as the one outstanding KickStarter.

Visitors were also given design and commercial tips, thanks to the Editor’s Choice Awards selected by jewellery and luxury consultant Claire Adler. The five lucky Editor’s Choice winners at the show all reported on a productive three days, with David Maine of Chrysalis (winner of the Commercial Vision category) commenting: “IJL meets our business needs perfectly. IJL is the only event where we see all our target customers – and being selected as an Editor’s Choice winner was the icing on the cake, as it gave us lots of extra valuable exposure. We’ve had a really good show with some excellent leads.”

Next year’s edition of IJL will take place between September 6 and 8 2015 at Olympia Grand, London.

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