Professional Jeweller picks out some of the not-to-be-missed seminar’s from the three-day programme at this year’s IJL…

Day One: Sunday September, 1

Telling the new diamond story: shedding light on modern diamond mining (11.30-12.30) The Knowledge Hub
Lisa Levinson, head of marketing and communications UK for the Diamond Producers Association, will be sharing the insights from the first ever independent report on the socioeconomic impact of the modern diamond mining industry with compelling case studies focused on our people, our community, and our planet.


Improving the customer experience through diamond education (11.45-12.30) Inspiration Theatre
Understanding the entire diamond pipeline and being able to effectively communicate the amazing journey of a natural diamond, is key for any retailer who wishes to improve their customer experience. The desire from consumers to know more about the story behind their diamond, beyond the 4C’s, has never been greater, so attend this seminar to be well-equipped by De Beers Group of Industry Services sales exec, Ben Prior.

Strategy doesn’t have to be complicated: lessons from retail jewellers (16.00-16.45) The Knowledge Hub
Some say it’s not a great time to be in retail. Aside from the continued growth of internet sales, retail is beset with rising business rated, store closures, unit vacancies and declining footfall. The economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit and Trump is affecting currency rates and, metal prices and consumer confidence. Yet some retailers are bucking the trend and posting positive results. Some are too busy in their businesses to be able to spend time on their businesses. Others are simply daunted by the word strategy. During this session, Michael Donalson will look at some of the basic steps to writing your own strategic plan and reference published reports and articles from some of the UK’s largest retail jewellers to see what can be learnt from their businesses.

Day Two: Monday September, 2

Fairtrade Gold: Fad Fiction Future? (11.30-12.30) Inspiration Theatre
Join a panel of experts discussing changing trends towards responsible jewellery, from the perspectives of makers, manufacturers and next-generation consumers. It will include practical perspectives from suppliers, manufacturers and end-users of Fairtrade Gold, touching on changing trends.

Separating Diamond Simulants (13.00-14.00) Inspiration Theatre
Diamond simulants may look like diamonds, but they have different chemical, physical, and optical properties. Materials used as diamond simulants over the years include synthetic or laboratory-grown moissanite, strontium titanate, colourless quartz, topaz, sapphire, and zircon. This seminar details the identifying characteristics of many common diamond simulants, focusing on how to differentiate simulants from diamonds (whether natural or laboratory-grown) and from each other.

How to Build a Direct-to-Consumer Brand Online (16.00-16.45) The Knowledge Hub
Every brand now needs to be a digital, e-commerce and content brand to appeal to today’s consumer. This seminar by Lily Flo Jewellery founder, Diana Sherling, will give you practical steps and Q&A opportunities to learn how to build a digital D2C brand to support your other distribution channels. From how to identify your target audience online, to creating content and social story-telling, this workshop aims to arm business owners with tools for a business for success, for an audience and marketing landscape that is changing.

Day Three: Tuesday September, 3

Visual Strategy & Photography for Instagram (12.20-13.15) Catwalk Theatre
Your company’s Instagram profile is your new home page. London-based fashion and lifestyle photographer, Julia Flit, will explain why it is so important to have a visually attractive IG profile and how to achieve that. Learn about visual strategy and how to photograph jewellery for social media, plus the best type of content to use. Storytelling will help you convert viewers into followers and followers into customers.

Fast-Track your Export Strategy – The 7 Essential Steps to Profitable International Growth (13.45-14.30) The Knowledge Hub
Learn what it takes to fast-track your exporting journey towards your first £1m in international sales from someone who’s earned the air-miles, experienced the highs and lows, overcome the challenges and has the experience you really have to listen too. Filled with practical advice, personal anecdotes and real life examples of the Do’s and Don’ts of exporting, CEO and founder of Go Exporting, Mike Wilson, will take you on a journey through the Steps you really must follow to ensure your export success.

How to Get the Most out of Social Media (14.00-14.45) Inspiration Theatre
In this session, Catherine Anderson from Midas PR will cover how to get the most out of social media at IJL, with a focus on Instagram and Twitter. From creating engaging content for your target audience; to scheduling posts; going live; creating stories, video and highlights, and more.