Professional Jeweller assistant editor Stacey Hailes catches up with Jewellery & Watch event manager Kirsty Broere to hear about her new role, the show’s recent rebrand and what’s in store for exhibitors and visitors this month.
As the UK jewellery industry prepares to descend on the Midlands for the annual Jewellery & Watch trade show, formerly known as Jewellery & Watch Birmingham, Kirsty Broere is preparing to see her first show as event manager come together. Professional Jeweller caught up with Broere to discover what visitors and exhibitors can expect from this year’s event…
Professional Jeweller: Could you tell us about your new role with Jewellery & Watch, and what it entails?
Kirsty Broere: Jewellery & Watch has grown significantly since it became a standalone event in 2010. The 2016 event will exhibit over 700 jewellery and watch brands and we will see over 20,000 trade visitors attend over five days. This role is a big role for me. It’s a dynamic and growing brand, and my role as events manager is to drive further organic growth for the future. I formulate the brand strategy and I engage with our jewellery and watch advisory panel who help us shape the future of the show. In addition, within the fine jewellery and jewellery sections within Spring Fair, we have so many loyal customers who have been exhibiting with us for 20-30 years consecutively. So my role, together with my team, is to continue to build strong relationships with our key customers, partners, supporters and key bodies and associations in the industry.
PJ: What have you been implementing and driving forward for the 2016 show?
KB: All of last year we worked long and hard on our rebrand, so that was a rebrand from Jewellery and Watch Birmingham to Jewellery & Watch, analysing what we wanted our brand to be associated with. Since we launched the rebrand in autumn last year this has been our priority. Our rebrand focuses on the Art of Jewellery, so close up imagery of pieces, highlighting texture, detail, and creativity of the jewellery designs. In turn we want this to provide a very modern, clean, gallery feel. The vision behind the change is to bring together the vast array of exhibitors and focus on the creativity and the art of jewellery as the inspiration. We are confident that our audience identifies with the strong pieces of creativity, craftsmanship and art and I feel the rebrand is confident, clean and refined. I’ve also focused on our customer profile; putting the customer at the heart of what we do.
PJ: How has the rebrand and the additions to the website been received so far?
KB: The biggest change to the website is the faceted search that allows exhibitors to tag their products shown on the website and it makes it easier for retailers to be able to search for specific products. Phase two of our website was the top 100 most viewed products chart and the wish list functionality. This is based on real time, it’s live and this has received tremendous feedback from retailers because it provides them with a real insight as to which products people are looking at and what’s trending. We’ve also had a positive response from exhibitors, which have successfully received leads and enquiries from new customers before the show. Taking on a trade show is a huge investment and can be very daunting, but this can give exhibitors real confidence and insight into their collections. Essentially it helps our customers really make the most out of the show.
PJ: What do you think makes J&W a key destination for the UK jewellery industry year on year?
KB: Jewellery & Watch is a key destination because of the timing of the show. February is absolutely a key time for retailers to build on their core offering for the rest of the year and for suppliers and brands to showcase new spring launches. Take Pandora, for example, who have consistently exhibited with us for the past five years, and look at their success today five years down the line. That is just one example of a key brand that has built and launched their spring/ summer collection through us every February. We also really want to shout out about it being in Birmingham. Buyers to Jewellery & Watch make a trip to Birmingham, they are there in the NEC and they often return to the exhibition for a number of days. There are no distractions like London, Pairs or Venice; it’s a purposeful buying trip. We also want to make sure that everyone knows that Birmingham is home to the UK’s jewellery quarter.
PJ: What show highlights should visitors make sure they don’t miss this year?
KB: Key highlights are the new NAJ Education Theatre. In line with the launch of exclusive NAJ short training courses, Jewellery & Watch has confirmed Continuing Professional Development (CPD) accreditation for this content, meaning the content of the sessions will count towards the professional development of attendees. Each attendee will receive certification after the event to prove that sessions were attended. This training is extremely valuable and highly regarded by the industry and Jewellery & Watch is the only event to be able to offer this to enrich the time of all visitors on site. We also have our main Seminar Theatre (and Catwalk Café). Our seminar content has been researched in advance so we ensure our audience is listening to what they’ve expressed as priority for them in 2016. The main seminar theatre integrates our catwalk and this year visitors can expect a great show. There will also be a lot more networking opportunities for exhibitors and retailers alike. We are also delighted to be working with Pandora again as headline sponsors of our Buyers Power List, our exclusive dinner and party at Resorts World. Other sponsors involved this year for the first time are Bransom, Clarity and Potts Print, and we are thrilled to be working with them all.