Exhibitors at IJL 2011 reported on the success of the show as the event closed, with IJL revealing an increase in visitors compared to the year before (2% increase to 9084, unaudited). Exhibitor numbers were also higher than ever, with 580 including sharers.
The Diamond Club brought more key figures from leading retail jewellers to the event, with 198 members hosted (an increase of 26.11% from last year). The Club is the most senior level and largest VIP programme at a UK jewellery trade event, and attracts members from across the UK. Nominated by the IJL Advisory Board, they are invited to join this exclusive club.
Many new designers and brands joined the established companies which showcase their new collections each year. IJL is known for fresh and exciting initiatives and the IJL Runway, a catwalk running down the length of the Boulevard, added a vibrant energy to the show floor. The seminar programme was bigger than ever, and features such as the Editor’s Choice, Bright Young Gems and KickStart highlighted some exceptional talent.
Event Co-Director Syreeta Tranfield commented: “The IJL team were thrilled with the response following the 2011 event. IJL is such an important event for our industry and we do our absolute best to create an excellent environment in which to do business. Visitors commented on the luxurious look and feel of the show and many exhibitors were pleased about the amount of interest and orders they had received”.
Sam Willoughby, Event Co-Director, noted the positivity at the show: “There was a tangible excitement on the show floor. The Great Debate and highlight seminars were extremely well attended, and it was fantastic to see so many key buyers and retailers at the show”.
IJL is seen as a barometer for the industry ahead of the A/W period, and many exhibitors commented positively on the high level of business being done. Featuring jewellery and some watch brands, there is something for everyone in the industry at the show. Silver brand MURU were still taking orders as IJL closed at 4pm on the final day:"We have had a fantastic response to our new collections at this year's show. There was a real buzz about the hall and we have met a great mix of buyers from the UK and overseas,” stated Director Phil Barnes.
Fine and luxury brands were also pleased with the show, “IJL meets our business needs by providing us with a great show to exhibit our products,” said Hannah Brazil, Business Developer at Henig Diamonds.
Dazzling reviews from Diamond Club
Top senior-level jewellery buyers and retailers gave the show glowing reviews: “I thought it was a very positive show this year, and it was even better than in previous years. There was a real international flavour and the show had a very luxurious feel. The seminars were fabulous and I attended one each day. It was great for networking as well as for doing business, with events in the evenings following the show,” commented Sanjay Pattni, Director at Joule. “This was the best IJL show to date!” stated Terry Hatton, MD at Hatton Jewellery Ltd.
Design Gallery and new Designer Brands
The Design Gallery at IJL is the place to see some of the very best British and international designers showcasing inspired, original and unique contemporary jewellery collections. This year a new area was launched in the Design Gallery – the Designer Brands section – and the crowds were drawn to this brilliant new area.
"Exhibiting as part of the Designer Brands section has been essential in fully marking my transition from budding designer to a growing jewellery brand, it has helped me to build relationships and take orders from much more high profile stockists with more new accounts opened at the show then ever before" exclaimed Rachel Galley, Designer and Director at Rachel Galley Jewellery Design.
Jeremy Hoye was also pleased to be in the new area: “IJL meets our business needs well, it is very upmarket and we’ve met the right buyers”.
Other Design Gallery stars had a successful show, such as popular designer Tomasz Donocik: “I think this year IJL was buzzing! It seemed that people were very positive and happy to stock up and coming designers. For me, the show generates great business in terms of new stockists and old stockists and allows me to find new trade ventures.”
“IJL 2011 was an excellent show for us”, agreed Sarah Ho of SHO Fine Jewellery, “we made the show work for us and used the occasion to showcase our latest successes as well as launching new designs. We took every opportunity to network and meet the press and the trade too”.
Glamour on the Boulevard
The prestigious Boulevard was lined with top brands and designers and this year the new IJL Runway added extra sparkle. The daily catwalk shows featured striking models, bringing jewellery to life and inspiring visitors.
IJL has more leading, high end jewellery brands than any other UK jewellery trade event and many major brands were found on the Boulevard. Aagaard chose to launch the new Soldier to Soldier collection at the event with Help for Heroes, which will raise money for the UK charity. “This show is where some of the best producers of jewellery are exhibiting! It concentrates solely of jewellery, there are no other interferences, making IJL a dedicated event. There have been many ways in which IJL has met our business needs, for example we have shown customers our new products and it has helped us to find new customers,” said Marlene Taylor, Export Manager at Aagaard.
Euro Pearls were also pleased to be in the centre of the action: “IJL gives us chances to meet clients from further afield and great opportunities to meet new customers. The location of our stand on the Boulevard was ideal. IJL has more of a luxurious feel than other events,” noted Simon Agius, Operations Manager.
Domino expressed their thoughts on why the event is important for the industry: “It is at the right time of year for a show of this kind, since buyers come with Christmas in mind. Also it is the only specialist event of its kind and the best place for business’s to come in order to reach their target audiences. The whole show has been really good. IJL allows for our customers to see our latest products in one place and is a great place for us to launch our products. The space also enables customers to interact and handle the jewellery freely in a safe and secure environment,” claimed Elise Rabone, Marketing Manager at Domino.
New Designers and New Collections
IJL provides a great opportunity to source new exciting brands and the feedback from the 170+ new exhibitors was positive.
“IJL is a classy environment, that I feel comfortable in showing my product in – there are great accounts and great prospects,” stated designer Raymond Hak after launching in the UK at IJL.
Ti Sento came to the show for the first time with a stunning stand and Sales Manager Judith Wade made the following observation: “IJL attracts good quality buyers and retailers. The whole show has gone fantastically well for us! It is not to be missed in the jewellery calendar, a great opportunity to do business – it is the only dedicated jewellery show in the UK and really brings the industry together.”
New exhibitor Bjorg Design also had a good show. “IJL has helped us build up our UK market. Sunday in particular was very busy and especially successful, with a lot of interest from quality retailers and buyers. We would definitely recommend IJL to colleagues as you get a chance to meet important people from the business,” said Daniella Puetz, Marketing and Sales, commenting on behalf of the company.
Two IJL flagship initiatives – Bright Young Gems and KickStart - provided visitors with an exciting sneak preview of some brand new and undiscovered designers who are tipped as the talent of the future.
Bright Young Gems is a well known within the fashion industry due to the iconic panel of editors who nominate the winning designers – this year the line-up was Fernando Jorge, Lauren Colover, Imogen Belfield, Hattie Rickards and Euan McWhirter.
“IJL has been a fantastic experience due to the high footfall and huge number of buyers. It is a great way to promote the brand and to get the name out there and the work seen by people in the industry,” commented Imogen Belfield.
KickStart, an exciting initiative from IJL which is supported by the BJA, saw ten up and coming designers launching their innovative jewellery with the help of a bursary scheme. Providing a commercial launch pad for fledgling designers and giving retailers a chance to see some fresh and interesting designs, the stand was popular at the show.
"Thanks to IJL KickStart, I’ve been able to introduce my designs and brand, MIRPURI, to a variety of buyers based across the UK, and have succeeded in securing new stockists for all three of my debut collections. Equally beneficial has been the widespread exposure in the trade press that MIRPURI has enjoyed as a result of being a part of IJL KickStart,” said Johnny Mirpuri of MIRPURI.
There were more seminars than ever with everything necessary to run a successful jewellery business was covered – from trends and technical know-how, to retailing top tips and multi channel marketing. IJL has the most comprehensive free-to-attend seminar programme of any jewellery trade show in the UK. Seminars such as Stylesight’s seminar on upcoming trends, Martin Rapaport’s report on the diamond industry and Elizabeth Galton’s seminar on luxury were extremely popular and full to capacity.
The Great Debate 2011, hosted by The Birmingham Assay Office and IJL was truly international. Guest speakers Gaetano Cavalieri , President of CIBJO and Catherine Sproule, Chief Operating Officer of the Responsible Jewellery Council brought a global dimension to the Debate. Stephen Webster's film chronicling his visit to the artisanal mines of Peru and the improvements which their involvement with Fairtrade Fairmined are introducing, also gave the audience a first hand insight into some of the issues to be addressed.
Michael Allchin, Chief Executive of The Birmingham Assay Office, who chaired the Debate said "this year's debate was intended to demonstrate some of the genuine progress that has been made in the past five years. CIBJO's new Centre of Excellence in Antwerp, the growing number of companies certificated to RJC and the launch of Fairtrade Fairmined Gold are all extremely positive moves forward. We were very pleased to have such influential speakers who are committed to making a difference and we really appreciated them sharing their experiences. We all recognise there is still a very long way to go and it was encouraging that the questions put to the panel were intelligent, positive and progressive. Our objective in staging The Great Debate has always been to provoke thought and prompt action and we feel that we have once again achieved that goal”.
Editor’s Choice identifies some of the leading jewellery designers and producers that are setting the latest consumer and fashion trends. Acclaimed jewellery and luxury journalist, Claire Adler, selected designers with innovative and cutting-edge new pieces and collections. Winners noted that visitors came to their stands to see the selected pieces after hearing about the initiative.
Don’t miss the show next year!
Stylish designer Jessica De Lotz summed up the reasons for coming to IJL perfectly: “It is truly international. If you’re in the industry, you have to be at IJL”.
The dates for your diary for the 2012 show are:
2nd-5th September 2012, Earls Court 2, London