IJL 2016 Seminar Programme Announced with an impressive line-up of influential industry stars and experts

04 Jul 2016

The 2016 International Jewellery London Seminar programme promises to deliver invaluable content with headline speakers such as high-flying designers Theo Fennell and Tomasz Donocik discussing design and industry issues, together with leading luminaries like Stephen Lussier, Forevermark’s CEO and Chairman of the Diamond Producers Association, and Alan Hart, the new Gem-A Chief Executive - to name but a few.

This three day seminar programme (4-6 September 2016) is high on the show agenda for both visitors and exhibitors, with more than 70 eminent industry experts debating current industry topics and offering valuable advice on subjects as varied as the marketing of diamonds and the future of lab-grown and synthetic diamonds to Sales, Social Media, Trends, Brand Building and Retailing of the Future. All the seminars are free to attend, as are the sell-out one-to-one Advice Clinics.

Event Director, Sam Willoughby comments: "Always one of the major highlights of the show, this year’s seminar programme promises to deliver yet again. We have a diverse range of high profile speakers drawn from a cross-section of industries – with the topics ranging from international industry concerns down to everyday retail issues which affect every businesses’ bottom line.  A thought-provoking three days are in store!”

2016 highlights over the three packed days include…

Industry DNA: ‘In Conversation With’ …
For the first time this year, IJL are introducing an exclusive series of intimate Q & A sessions in the Inspiration Theatre with key figures from the industry.

Starting with The Goldsmiths Craft and Design Council presenting ‘In Conversation’ with Theo Fennell and Tomasz Donocik’ hosted by GCDC Chairman Jos Skeates. These two award-winning and inspiring jewellers will talk about their enviable careers, distinctive design styles and their relationships with the wider jewellery and silversmithing community – providing a not to be missed insight for seasoned designers and emerging talents alike.

Brian Hill, Consultant Secretary GCDC comments: “This ‘in conversation’ event promises to deliver another dimension and valuable addition to the IJL seminar programme. These three will create an inspiring, fun, informative and unique forum.” 

This will be followed by an ‘In Conversation with Stephen Lussier’, the CEO of Forevermark and the Chairman of the Diamond Producers Association. An in depth debate, in which Stephen will discuss the key themes and challenges influencing and shaping the future of the global diamond industry - including highlights on the major changes and innovation in the diamond offer, the positive impact of new technologies and the importance of sourcing diamonds responsibly. He will consider the risk associated with diamonds commoditization and provide an insight on millennials and their new way of consuming.

Stephen Lussier, CEO of Forevermark and Chairman of the Diamond Producers Association, comments: “Consumer needs and ways of purchasing has dramatically changed over the last decade. Forevermark is embracing those changes, offering innovative solutions to make diamonds relevant for the generation to come. Anticipating the future, we constantly challenge assumptions through technology and marketing research to make diamonds sparkle forever.”

There is also the opportunity to hear first-hand from Alan Hart, the new CEO of GEM-A, his views on his new role and the aims that he has for the future of the organisation. 

Alan Hart  explains: “Having been involved with Gem-A for many years I truly believe that its services, which include first-class gemmology and diamond education, alongside professional membership, are crucial to every individual in the gem and jewellery industry. I look forward to sharing my ideas for Gem-A’s continued expansion and development at IJL"

Social Sunday: The key to success
Social media is this year taking central stage in the seminar programme, with the first day of the show dedicated to this increasingly important topic within retailing, marketing and sales, in the Inspiration Theatre. A series of seminars have been designed to provide invaluable ‘need to know’ advice and guidance from some of the most respected social media experts.

Highlights include ‘How to use Social Media to generate sales’ with the expert, Warren Knight. In this thought provoking seminar Warren Knight, Social Media Strategist and Author of Think #Digital First, explains how to drive targeted traffic and generate and nurture leads through social selling. Using his proven step by step social media roadmap to achieve increased sales, Warren will demonstrate how to connect with your audience, create shareable content and turn your jewellery business into a successful, socially-savvy enterprise.

This seminar will mark the culmination of a two month programme tailored exclusively for IJL exhibitors – commencing with a special webinar on July 28 at 7.00pm.

Warren Knight says: “This seminar is perfectly timed as a follow up to my IJL exclusive complimentary webinar in July on ‘How to get sales using social media as a Jewellery business.’ 72% of all internet users are now on social media and with 26% of sales coming from recommendation on social media, it is vital to stay ahead of your competitors.”

This will be complemented by ‘How to increase visibility on Instagram’ with online jewellery writer Katerina Perez and Blogger, Beanie Major, Jewellery consultant and founder of In Detail. In this interactive talk with follow on Q & A, Katerina and Beanie share essential information and useful tips that will help to increase specifically your jewellery Instagram account's visibility and gain new followers.

Katerina Perez, Editor-in-Chief of katerinaperez.com comments: “Having amazing product is not enough to achieve the desired amount of sales. It is essential to inform as many people as possible about the existence of your creations. Instagram has been a tool of choice for self-promotion of many a jewellery brand and in this talk I will be giving valuable advice on how to get the most of this application.”

Beanie Major, adds: "Your lost followers are as important as the followers you gain. Instagram is a tool for building relationships; something that is the key to the success of a luxury brand."

Finishing with ‘Working with social media and vlogging influencers: How to make internet stars the champions of your brand or business, with social media and PR specialist Rosalind Shimmen, the communications expert from Digital PR, and Jennifer Kelly, Casio Senior Consumer Marketing Manager. This presentation will highlight the importance of social media and clarify the role of the social media influencer – with the panel sharing their tips on how the jewellery industry can utilise this growing trend.

Rosalind Shimmen advises: "It's time to face and embrace the face that PR is going digital, people are making money from their phones and changing the world, along with the presence of your brand, using wifi."

Jennifer Kelly adds: "Influencers aren't new to the watch and jewellery industry, but this breed of social superstars has sparked a new way of working - and thinking - for everyone. The key to success seems to be based on credibility and collaboration. The balance between content and commerce is a delicate one... when you get it right, it can lead to terrific results in the long term." 

Diamond Futures: Challenges and opportunities
Key speakers from the industry not only debate the future of diamonds in the retail and marketing arenas but also the growing market for Lab Grown and Synthetic Diamonds – both hot topics.

Commencing with ‘Are Diamonds Really Forever? How the jewellery industry can make diamonds a coveted asset for contemporary consumers’, this seminar deals with the issues of customers becoming more brand focused, more price conscious and more demanding in terms of service and traceability. A panel of jewellery industry experts - including Lisa Levinson, Forevermark Country Manager for the UK and Ireland, Victoria McKay from London Diamond Bourse and Alexis Dove from Alexis Dove Jewellery - discuss far ranging topics from millennial marketing to diamond storytelling. For inspiration on how to communicate your diamond and gemstone story effectively, this is a talk not to be missed.
Lisa Levinson says: “Growth in global consumer demand for diamonds combined with no significant discoveries of diamond sources this decade gives the diamond market uniquely compelling supply/demand fundamentals. Diamonds are both increasingly rare and desired.”

Alexis Dove adds: “I think diamonds will always be coveted by consumers, but as people’s behaviour and attitudes change, they look for a point of difference. For us the story of Fairtrade gold and the use of recycled diamonds in our jewellery is something that customers really love, as it gives them added value in what is already an emotional and very important purchase for them.”

This moves on to a session dedicated to ‘Putting Lab Grown and Synthetic Diamonds on the map: Expert insight on creating, marketing and selling this new breed of gemstone’ with a highly qualified panel of experts discussing the key factors and issues surrounding lab grown diamonds from production and manufacturing to marketing and consumer engagement. Discussions will focus on how lab grown and synthetic diamonds can work alongside the new Diamond Producers Association 'Real is Rare' campaign.

Panellist Thierry Silber, CEO and founder of Madestones®, explains his view: “There is no way to stop the growth of lab-grown diamonds, which are the perfect alternative choice for the consumer who is socially and environmentally conscious.  Ultimately, it will be the consumer and not the industry who will decide if lab-grown diamonds are desirable.”

Thierry Silber will also give a comprehensive session on the first day of the show for those wishing to find out all there is to know about Lab grown and Synthetic diamonds.

Industry Insights: Trends and strategies
A special series of seminars have been designed to keep retailers one step ahead – providing invaluable insights into trends and markets.

These include Euromonitor’s ‘Overview of the jewellery market: a focus on Western Europe’. In this presentation, Johanna Kolerski-Bezerra , Beauty & Fashion Lead Analyst at Euromonitor International, will provide an insightful overview of the global jewellery market, with a special focus on Western Europe, and will explore some of the key trends that are currently shaping the industry. She will look at jewellery brands’ strategies to generate growth and raise more opportunities and examine the profile of key consumers, as well as long term forecasts for the industry.

Johanna Kolerski-Bezerra comments: “The global jewellery market is a fragmented and vulnerable industry. To survive, brands need to seek opportunities for growth continuously. They need to innovate in terms of products but also in terms of communication and marketing. I do hope my presentation will shed some light on this.”

This seminar will be complemented by the ‘Trends on the Catwalk’, at which Maia Adams and Juliet Hutton-Squire, of global trend and market intelligence agency, Adorn Insight, will present the SS17 Trends set to impact the buying decisions of the consumer. Starting with macro influences to contextualise the trend, the duo will then drill down into product - highlighting key silhouettes, materials and stone colours that support each trend. If you want your product to be in line with consumer expectation, then this seminar is for you!

Maia Adams comments: “The importance lies in creating jewellery product in line with consumer demand. Streamlining product to match that expectation results in product that moves off the shop floor. Ultimately the more brands rely on intelligence and data to support their development, the more inline they are with the consumer and the greater their advantage over their competitors.”

Retail Spotlight: The Future
Designed to provide unique insights into good business practices for the future for retailers and designers, these seminars cover a wide range of subjects – all of which will provide thought-provoking debate.

Highlights include ‘Promoting our ‘Centres of Jewellery Excellence’: Can we make Hatton Garden and Birmingham's jewellery quarter shopping destinations’ with a leading panel of industry experts including Marion Wilson, AnchorCert Academy Director at AOB and on the JQDT Board, Victoria McKay at London Diamond Bourse and Brett Afshar of Hearts of London, discussing the best path to promoting the Centres of Jewellery Excellence to the modern shopper.

Brett Afshar, a significant investor in London's historic jewellery quarter, supporter of the Hatton Garden Business Improvement District (BID) and ardent proponent of keeping manufacturing local, explains the need for change: “We have seen a massive rise in clients coming to Hatton Garden for a combination of bespoke design, expert advice and an authentic experience. Consumer are looking for quality, value and uniqueness, therefore meeting demand makes the clustering of suppliers, master craftspeople and specialist retailers, essential - in order to create long-term, sustainable differentiation and competitive advantage in a marketplace that is oversupplied but increasingly geared up to homogenised mass-production.”

Another hot industry issue is ‘Luxury with a conscience: How consumer-facing trust marks can benefit your business’ with Positive Luxury’s CEO, Diana Verde Nieto, who will explain the power of trust marks - a shorthand of wordless reassurance - and the importance of being ethical and authentic in the jewellery industry.

Diana Verde Nieto says: “The world is changing and it's changing fast and it is important to understand what the new reality looks like from a social, economic and environmental perspective. In this interconnected, inter-dependent and transparent world, what a brand does is more important than what they say, as consumers choose brands that resonate with their values - especially in a category such as jewellery.”

This will be complemented with an unmissable seminar for designers, suppliers and retailers on ‘Behind the scenes with QVC’ with Jo Lee and Pipa Gordon of QVC - the world’s leading ecommerce retailer reaching more than 350 million homes worldwide with four TV channels, a website and apps, providing a truly multi-platform retail experience. Jo Lee, Vice-President Merchandise, QVC UK, and Pipa Gordon, Presenter, will talk about their unique approach to retailing and provide insights into the opportunities - and challenges - for brands to tell their story and demonstrate their products live on air.

Jo Lee adds: “On air and online 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, we are constantly seeking out new brands to enrich our customers’ experience of shopping with QVC.  Our customers are discerning and, whilst they expect us to give them great brands at good value, they are always on the lookout for something different.”

‘The future of retail in the jewellery sector’ also takes centre stage with Richard Danks, an expert in brand strategy with extensive experience for working with brands such as Mercedes-Benz, Clarks, Westfield, Habitat and Royal Opera House, from the creative communications agency, Portas. In this presentation, Richard addresses why retail as an industry is constantly changing to keep up with consumers.

Richard says: “In a world where people are spending more on experiences and less on goods, where traditional status symbols are losing their shine to status stories, and the whole notion of ‘ownership’ is being called into question, the jewellery business must think about how it radically redefines itself for a profitable future.”

A fascinating view of the future of retailing is also explored in the ‘Jewellery store of 2025: How new technologies and in-store experiences will change retail’ with experts from the fields of augmented retail solutions, interactive marketing and cutting edge visual merchandising. The panel area set to explain what the best retail environments will look like in 2025 and what retailers can do to introduce some of these innovations to their stores in 2016 and how can retailers make updates to ensure their stores immediately feel more contemporary.

Kim Field, Director at 4D Projects is a display, visual merchandising and exhibition designer who believes that the store of 2025 will be based on the experience of shopping. He comments: “It is this experience which cannot be replicated on-line, and for many people, shopping is a hobby and pastime, something to look forward to at the weekend, a reason for earning money during the week. Especially jewellery shopping.”

Fellow panellist, Sanj Surati, Experiential Producer for Holition, the leading provider of creative 3D interactive marketing and retail solutions adds: "The retail stores of the future will understand what you want and communicate with you in a way that is right for you."

With IJL attracting an increasing number of suppliers from packaging to lighting, for the first time this year there is a dedicated seminar for the ‘Unsung Heroes : The links that make the chain’ focussing on the details that make the difference to the bottom line, with expert advice from retail support industries. The knowledgeable panel of experts are set to discuss everything from packaging, lighting, add on sales and photography. All designed to highlight the important role played by the unsung heroes of the industry on how these vital elements can deliver customers and sales to you – and provide wise words of wisdom for all retailers!

Andrew Neilson from Neilson Photography will explain why now, more than ever, professional photography and videography is critical to winning a share of the crowded market. “In the current media savvy market that we now inhabit, your content has to be suitable for the myriad of devices that people now consume content on , and on every one of these devices your imaging has to be the very best it can be.” Scot Walker from Parify, a unique lighting solutions company, is adamant that it is to every retailer’s advantage to present jewellery in its best light. “A buyer of fine jewellery can be captivated and moved sufficiently to purchase, by a signature piece seen in a window which looks amazing….., or under bad lighting isn’t even noticed hiding in the shadows.”

To see the full programme, please go to: http://www.jewellerylondon.com/en/Whats-On/Conferences/#

Free online visitor registration for IJL 2016 is now open - www.jewellerylondon.com/register. Register in advance online for the chance to win either an exclusive Champneys Pamper Spa Day for two or an Aston Martin Thrill Day at a famous motor race circuit.

Notes to Editors:
IJL 2016 will run from 4 to 6 September 2016 at Olympia GRAND, London. Tickets at the door will be charged at £25 each.

For more information about IJL 2016 please contact: Jennifer Hall-Thompson or Suzanna Hammond +44 (0) 207 630 6633 / +44 (0) 7770 802442 IJLPressoffice@reedexpo.co.uk

About International Jewellery London: International Jewellery London is the UK’S leading trade event for the international jewellery industry. The event showcases the latest product ranges from over 550 high end, finished jewellery manufacturers, designers, loose gemstones, and retail services suppliers. IJL attracts an unparalleled range of jewellery focussed and pre-qualified buyers from 64 countries in an exclusive trading environment to do business, share knowledge and network in the heart of London, the UK’s style capital. Inspiring the industry for over 60 years, IJL showcases future industry trends, provides 100% free education and attracts an unrivalled selection of consumer and trade press. For further information please visit www.jewellerylondon.com IJL is sponsored by the NAJ and supported by the GIA, Gem-A, The Houlden Group, The Company of Master Jewellers, The Responsible Jewellery Council, Euromonitor and CIBJO.

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