IJL 2009 unveils wide-ranging seminar programme
Seminars encompass combating the downturn, Ethics, E-Commerce and Trends
By Amanda Grateley
LONDON, July 26, 2009 – International Jewellery London (IJL) is delivering an extensive seminar programme in 2009 covering themes such as beating the recession, Ethics in business, E-commerce, and style trends.
IJL, which takes place in Earls Court from September 6-9, 2009, has invited a long and distinguished list of speakers to give their insight into how to build your businesses and survive today’s economic uncertainty.
IJL will be streaming a selection of the seminars at the show, enabling visitors to watch them live on screens in seating areas on the exhibition floor.
Brad Huisken, President of IAS Training, will lead a seminar entitled “Steps to take to maximise sales in tough times”, which will lead participants through a fun and motivational event detailing 25 Powerful Ways to Maximise Your Sales.
“With the competition increasing from the mass merchandisers, other retailers, the Internet, catalogues, and other areas where customers can spend their disposable income, retailers today have to learn how to sell themselves and the store,” he says.
Huisken also plans a seminar on how to effectively manage people to increase productivity.
“A jewellery store cannot be managed based on opinions – it must be managed based on factual information, statistics,” he says.
“The seminar will unlock the mystery of how to empower your staff to run the business the way it should be.”
In another seminar entitled “How to recession proof your jewellery business”, Dennis Reid, Chairman of Retail Performance Specialists, will show how to implement and sustain a “Best in Class” sales and service culture, and how to keep customers.
Claire Adler, a renowned jewellery journalist, will look at how to market jewellery in a downturn.
Presenting the hottest research on wealth and luxury consumers, she will talk about the ways in which some jewellers are tackling calls for price-cutting.
ETHICS TO THE FORE
An ethical approach to business is another key theme of this year’s IJL seminar programme.
Michelle Tuck, Creative Director of Avasarah, an ethical jewellery E-tailer, will lead a seminar outlining the need to focus on quality design and manufacturing of ethical products.
“The public are looking for exciting, lust-worthy jewels,” Tuck told Jewellery Outlook.
“A lot of the time ethical jewellery tends to be more ethnic. We want to encourage ethical jewellery newcomers to push the design boundaries,” she said.
Her seminar will look at things to consider in day-to-day business to become more ethical, or greener.
Tuck referred to the need for the jewellery industry to use the cleanest sourcing methods, by limiting use of energy, refusing to use cyanide, and protecting workers and their environments.
She said sales of ethical jewellers were holding up well in the downturn.
“Ethical jewellery is holding up better than average jewellery because it offers that much more,” Tuck said.
Kate Bull, Director of Ctwb, in her seminar entitled “Creating an ethical business plan”, asks listeners, “How do you differentiate between Eco, Green, Sustainable, Fair trade and all the other buzz words?”
She will discuss how ethical trading can make business sense – without costing the earth.
OPPORTUNITIES ON THE WEB
Making the most out of the Internet for jewellery businesses, is another major theme running through the 2009 seminar programme.
Eddie Prentice, WSI Internet Marketing Consultant, Adaptive Consultancy, will look at how to convert website visitors to customers.
“You’ve got great products and everybody loves your website. So why is your website not performing?” he asks.
In another talk, Prentice will look at how to use website analytics and act on the results.
“Why measure and track the performance of your website?” he asks. “Just generating reports has no value.”
Fadi Shuman, founder of Pod1, will speak about the importance of enhancing your online presence.
His seminar will focus on how to up your game by combining E-tailing and traditional retailing to ensure that you don’t lose customers to leaner, more innovative competitors.
He will also look at the next big online business trends like the use of video, social websites and blogging, all of which will be illustrated by case studies.
Lynne Murray, Head of Design at Holition, will explore ways in which you can maximise your online retail communication by enabling your clients to virtually try on your products online, bringing your products closer to your clients and your clients closer to a sale.
“The future of online retail is here,” she says.
Matthew Jeatt, UK Director of Promostyl, a leading trend research and fashion forecasting company, will present an overview of the trends for 2010/2011.
“The key is that we need to be more creative,” Jeatt told Jewellery Outlook.
“The consumer is looking for more values – extras in every way,” he added, in a reference to the impact of the downturn on style.
“We’re going to have to return to, what I call, ‘human values’.”
Jeatt said people were now much more careful about what they buy, compared with before the economic crisis.
“We (consumers) are being extremely canny,” he said.
He said he believed the top and bottom end of the luxury markets would continue to develop strongly, but the middle tier faced the biggest challenges.
“I think the top end consumer will still buy, but at the lower end, people are looking for products as good as at the middle end, but cheaper.”
Jeatt also talked of an increased desire for ethical jewellery.
“One of the strongest trends right now is the ethical trend – Fairtrade is holding up incredibly well in the recession,” he said. “The values element is there.”
Jeatt referred to a shift back to classical styles.
“I believe in the return to classical style – simple pieces, not ostentatious, but clearly valuable,” he said.
SHOPPING FOR STYLE
Nathalie Kabiri of retailer Kabiri, will discuss retailing jewellery trends.
She told Jewellery Outlook that people were now seeking “harder looking” pieces.
“Women in their 30s and 40s are going for bold, ‘statement’ pieces,” she said.
“We have acknowledged vintage over the last few years, but it is now a little bit boring,” she added.
“We’re moving towards re-using old materials, presented in a modern way – reinterpreting old objects is a good thing.”
Kabiri said she was looking at a lot of black colours for the winter, as well as silver and grey.
“There’s a strong Gothic trend going towards winter – a lot more crosses,” she said.
“There is a lot of oxidised silver, black stones, and texture, like black velvet.”
Kabiri also noted a trend for individuality.
“There is a need for less manufactured-looking pieces,” she said. “People want interesting, less generic pieces.”
She added, “There is a feeling that is more ‘one of a kind’ – women want to set themselves apart.”
Joanna Hardy, Director and Senior Jewellery Specialist with Sotheby’s in London, will present an overview of Artist Jewellers from 1900 to the present day and the increasing awareness from the perspective of an auction house of how prices are being reflected in the growing appreciation of design and craftsmanship.
Hardy defines an Artist Jeweller as an artist who makes or designs jewellery. Lalique is one of the most celebrated examples.
“When a piece is iconic of a period, it does very well at auction, and it always will do well,” she told Jewellery Outlook.
“I am standing from the position of jewellery as an art form and not as a commodity. It is all to do with the design content.”
Hardy said, “What I want to do is introduce the auction world and, rather than jumping from one style or period to another, I thought I’d like to look at one area, Artist Jewellers – an interesting theme, because not many people know about it.”
COLOURED STONES, PRECIOUS MATERIALS
Cigdem Lule, an Instructor with the GIA in London, will provide vital knowledge about coloured stones and will give sales associates the product knowledge they need to sell coloured stone jewellery with confidence.
“Focusing on Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald, the Selling Coloured Stones seminar will help you understand how colour, clarity, cut and weight can all affect a gem’s value,” he says.
“It will enable experienced sales associates to sell more coloured stone jewellery and brand new sales associates to hit the ground running by developing proven techniques that will take you through the steps of a successful sales presentation.”
Some of the IJL seminars will focus on precious materials, notably palladium and diamonds.
Robert Organ, Deputy Warden with the Goldsmiths’ Company, and Neill Swan, marketing manager with Johnson Matthey, will examine the potential of palladium.
“Palladium is the new kid on the block and can provide an injection of enthusiasm the jewellery industry desperately needs at the moment,” they said.
The seminar will focus on the forthcoming palladium hallmark and how it can add value to your offer.
Martin Rapaport, one of the deans of the global diamond trade, will return to IJL after his keynote address in 2008 to deliver a talk on The State of the Diamond Industry.
Rapaport is renowned for his enthusiastic and well-informed, sometimes controversial, views on the diamond business, and is guaranteed to give a lively presentation again this year.