Interview with Sam Willoughby, Event Director, IJL

  • Interview with Sam Willoughby, Event Director

    Sam Willoughby, Event Director of IJL, the most established premier jewellery trade exhibition, held in London, talks about the exciting developments for the event next year, with its move to a new home at Olympia for 2014.

    Q: So Sam, tell us a little bit about the background to the move to Olympia for IJL in 2014.

    A: Earls Court, IJL’s home for over 50 years is set to be redeveloped into new residential housing in the next few years, and in consultation with our exhibitors, our Advisory Board and key stakeholders, we made the decision that 2014 would be the right time to move to our new home at Olympia.

    Q: The new venue at Olympia offers some exciting new opportunities for IJL, both for 2014, and in the future.

    A: As a team, we’re very excited to be moving to Olympia.  It’s a newly refurbished venue with stunning surrounds, offering  greater capacity over 2 floors with room to develop new show features and also our long terms strategy for the event.

    Q: And it’s not just the venue that’s changing …

    A: Yes, we’re changing the number of days too to a 3 day event, but still in our firm position in the jewellery industry calendar of the 1st week of Sept – 31st Aug – 2nd Sept.  Plus we’re introducing new late night shopping hours on the Sunday night – providing more time for independent retailers to do business on the Sunday.  There will also be a full day of the show on the Tuesday afternoon.  The new days and opening hours will result in better exhibitor ROI, and a more productive investment when exhibiting at IJL.

    Q: So what new features can we expect to see at Olympia?

    A: The iconic boulevard area remains, plus the runway area, with a new silver service restaurant, and on the Upper Deck Gallery – a new champagne bar.  We are launching a new product demo area on the Upper Deck Gallery, and an Advice Clinic, and also further developing the Designer Brands and Design Gallery area. 

    Q: It sounds like Olympia will offer a very welcoming environment for the visitors then?

    A: Yes, Olympia will provide the ideal backdrop to view our exhibitors collections in an iconic London venue with fabulous natural lighting. They’ll be able to dine and relax in style with purpose built new catering facilities . Plus take advantage of the Central London location and fantastic networking events throughout the show including the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 party.

    Q: And the new venue will offer some great benefits for exhibitors at the show

    A: Yes, we’re introducing new stand locations and a new value based pricing model to offer our exhibits more choice in their exhibiting options.  With a new floorplan, we can offer an easy to navigate show layout improving the flow of buyer traffic to our exhibitors stands.  Also fantastic new branding, PR and lead generation opportunities around the event.

    Q: So will the cost of exhibiting become more expensive at Olympia?

    A: We have reviewed the 2014 prices in line with our move and economic climate. We value each and every client and plan to offer 2013 stand prices for a number of stand locations to create options reflecting our exhibitors budgets.

    Based on exhibitor feedback, in 2014 we will offer greater flexibility around the stand location and pricing options at IJL. This will deliver more value by tailoring solutions that meet our exhibitors needs, enabling them to choose the stand that is best for them.

    We are introducing a new ‘Value Led Pricing’ system for IJL 2014. This means that each stand will be individually priced and its value will be determined by: Size of stand, Number of open sides, Stand Location and the type of stand required. 

    Q: That sounds like it will be much easier for the exhibitors to decide what type of stand, and what budget will really meet their needs.

    A: The new pricing model will create opportunities on the floorplan for companies with different budgets and objectives. For example: Some exhibitors may wish to have a ‘premium’ location – at the front of the hall or next to a key feature; others prefer to be located further back and book a bigger stand for the same money.

    Q: And when can exhibitors start planning for 2014?

    A: We’ll be sending the exhibitors information about the booking process in June, and are really looking forward to working with them on their plans for the 2014 event.

    We very much look forward to welcoming you to Olympia next year, 31st August- 2 September 2014

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IJL, International Jewellery London, Bright Young Gems, Diamond Club, Editor's Choice and the KickStart logo are trade marks of Reed Exhibitions Limited. The PIPR logo is a trade mark of Reed Exhibitions Limited and Royds solicitors. Reed Exhibitions is a trade mark of RELX Group plc. RELX Group and the RE symbol are trade marks of RELX Intellectual Properties SA, used under license.

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