Retailers and exhibitors positive about newest show on the calendar.
New trade exhibition The Jewellery Show London closed yesterday after two days at Somerset House that were widely lauded as a success.
There had been scepticism about the show prior to its opening but many of the worries that retailers raised were quashed by a show that offered a boutique-style trade-only event in an aesthetically pleasing space with both retailers and exhibitors commenting on the positive atmosphere generated by the show.
Exhibitors and retailers reported orders being placed, although for many this was primarily a networking and marketing event.
Apart from Baccarat, Ti Sento, Clogau Gold and Aagaard, which had larger stands, the exhibitor spaces at the show were mostly cabinet-style spots of a similar size, creating an intimate atmosphere. There were more than 90 exhibitors at the show, ranging from designer-makers to larger brands and service providers.
The show was noticeably busy of the first day of the show, which was largely driven by Pandora holding its buyers’ meeting the day before and using the show to hold one-to-one meetings with buyers on opening day.
Also on the first day the British Jewellers’ Association held its AGM, which drew a substantial crowd.
Some of the retailers that attended the show included Wave, Charles Fish, Allum & Sidaway, Robert Gatward, W Bruford, Laings of Glasgow, EC One, Mappin & Webb, Bonds, Matches and Harrods.
The post-show atmosphere was luxurious and jovial as many companies hosted drinks receptions and champagne flowed freely from sponsor Thienot as visitors and exhibitors stayed after closing time to network.
The Jewellery Show London event director Julie Driscoll dubbed the show an "enormous success". She added: "It is brilliant to see the UK’s independent jewellery sector showing such great resilience despite the uncertain economic outlook.”
The debate of the timing of the show, which many had queried the relevance of before the show, was split with some retailers claiming it to be a good time in the buying calendar and others less so.
The length of the show, however, was a unanimous positive with buyers and exhibitors enjoying the shorter length of the show. The size too worked in the show’s favour as it was small enough to get around quickly and easily and the central London location proved to be popular as was the choice of Somerset House as a location, although some concerns were raised over the quality of lighting within the building being strong enough to show off jewellery to its full potential but this is an area for improvement that Driscoll said the team is looking into.
While the overall verdict on the show from visitors and exhibitors was that of a resounding success, there were a few questions raised as to the power that Pandora held over the show. If the show is to make a return next year then many will be asking organiser i2i Events as to whether this fortuitous partnership is set to continue.
Driscoll said that the involvement of Pandora with the 2012 show was "a huge priviledge and honour" but that it was too soon to comment on any potential link up in 2013. And when asked about whether a Pandora no-show next year would affect footfall, Dirscoll was typically upbeat.
She said: "The Jewellery Show London had fantastic footfall over the course of the two days. i2i is the largest events organiser in the UK with the largest database of retail jewellers. We organise The Jewellery Show Birmingham which attracts over 20,000 trade visitors. We are absolutely confident that we can deliver the right calibre and number of buyers to this event in 2013."