The trade shows boosting the profile of UK brands

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IJL, Pure London and trade organisations bringing the buyers to you.

International trade shows are a great way to meet overseas buyers, but they aren’t the only way. Here in the UK, trade shows such as IJL and Pure London are doing their bit to bring top international buyers directly to UK companies.

There are countless jewellery trade shows across the world, and luckily for British companies considering these shows, funding is available to take advantage of, whether a fine or fashion jeweller or a precious stone dealer.

Here in the UK, the British Jewellers’ Association (BJA) is working with a number of overseas trade shows to help its members’ exhibit overseas. Its marketing and export manager Lindsey Straughton explains: “We have deals for certain members to visit the Antwerp Diamond Fair in January and the new Jewellery and Gem Fair Europe (JGF-Europe) in Freiburg in April.”

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The BJA is also in talks with Chinese and Arabian jewellery shows with a view to its members’ participation. “A group stand at Inhorgenta in the Design Hall is planned, and UKTI funding will be available for jewellers for the New York Gift Fair, BaselWorld and JCK Las Vegas,” she adds.

Looking ahead to 2014, the BJA will also be involved with the UKTI’s Great Weeks campaign, a series of high-profile international trade visits designed to take British luxury, creative, retail and food industries into lucrative emerging markets. The campaign will target a jewellery audience in Hong Kong and Macao, with events planned for March next year.

“It is a great opportunity to attend a funded mission to a dynamic luxury market,” Straughton notes. “There are more opportunities for individuals producing luxury goods to visit other markets during these road shows, flying the British flag.”

But funding is not just limited to BJA members; others can win funding through British Jewellery & Giftware International (BJGI), which is working to get UK companies at exhibitions including Inhorgenta, the Hong Kong Jewellery Show, BaselWorld and JCK Las Vegas. It also provided grants for eight UK-based jewellers to take part in the Jewellery Arabia trade show last month, including Gina Melosi, Jack Row, Fei Liu and Lucky Eyes.

With a view to UK shows, International Jewellery London (IJL) aims to raise the profile of home-grown jewellery companies through a combination of overseas trade show support and promotion of IJL to attract international buyers to visit the September show.

“IJL is part of a global network of shows, and IJL organiser Reed Exhibitions run 10 other jewellery events throughout the year including JCK Las Vegas, Bijorhca in Paris, International Jewellery Kobe and International Jewellery Tokyo,” says IJL event director Sam Willoughby, adding that Reed Exhibitions’ portfolio of events is designed to provide the jewellery industry with the business contacts and content needed to achieve success around the globe. As a result, the IJL show is promoted to the jewellery trade in other countries, encouraging international buyers to visit.

Presently, the team at IJL is working on a number of initiatives to help raise the profile of UK jewellery companies, including a partnership with the team at JCK Las Vegas, a sister event to IJL. “This year we brought a slice of JCK to London [through] the Best of US Design Trail and some inspirational JCK-inspired seminars,” Willoughby says. “We also work with JCK to help our UK exhibitors benefit from the most competitive rates and exhibiting packages, and we have been looking at potentially arranging a Best of UK Design feature for JCK, if enough UK designers are able to take part.”

In a further bid to bring buyers to London, IJL has also launched Luxury by IJL, a new high-end jewellery trade show that will launch in September 2014. Willoughby and her team have worked closely with the JCK team on the concept, which is inspired by a similar show at JCK Las Vegas. In its first year it will launch with an edited selection of just 15 luxury brands to add to its exclusivity.

Fashion-led trade show Pure London, part of i2i Events Group, is also offering funding and promotion for UK jewellery brands. It recently named UKTI as i2i Events Group’s International Business Partner, and through this partnership UKTI and i2i plan to deliver even more international buyers to the forthcoming Pure London show in February 2014, including 50 buyers from leading global fashion stores. The autumn edition of Pure London attracted 5,289 international visitors, and i2i and UKTI are keen to top this figure at next year’s shows.

The Pure London partnership will mostly support UK-based SMEs in their efforts to grow internationally, with the aim of establishing a foothold for them in new markets and to help them capitalise on existing business opportunities. Julie Driscoll, portfolio director at i2i Events Group, said of the plans: “Last year more than 70 countries were represented by visitors to Pure London. In working closely with UKTI we aim to increase the number of overseas buyers coming to the event and support our UK exhibitors in making the most of their contact with this international audience.

Number of annual visitors to trade shows in 2013
BaselWorld: 122,000
Hong Kong International Jewellery Show: 42,113
Inhorgenta: About 30,000
JCK Las Vegas: N/A
International Jewellery
London: About 10,000
VicenzaOro: 32,000 in January 2013

This feature was taken from the December issue of Professional Jeweller. To read the issue in full online, click here.
 

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