Jewellery & Watch Birmingham reflects growth in watches sector
The rebranded Jewellery & Watch Birmingham (2-6 February, 2014), formerly known as The Jewellery Show Birmingham, reflects strong growth in the watches sector. Poppy Jennings, Brand Manager of organiser i2i Events Group, speaks to Jewellery Outlook about what will make Jewellery & Watch Birmingham special and unique this year.
Q – The show used to be called The Jewellery Show Birmingham. Now it is Jewellery & Watch Birmingham. What is the reason for the re-branding?
A – At i2i we strive for our shows to be “forever relevant” to the industries we represent and we are therefore constantly evolving.
By 2012 the watch sector accounted for a 28% share of the total market and is predicted to continue to grow, and be the biggest area of growth for the next four years, according to the Keynote report.
The rebrand has been led by a twofold approach – retailers visiting the show reporting seeing increasing returns from their watch brands, increasing demand for this type of exhibitor, combined with the fact more and more watch brands are applying to exhibit at the show as this sector continues to grow.
Q – What will be special about the range of jewellery and watches available at Jewellery & Watch Birmingham in 2014?
A – The 2014 show boasts a raft of world renowned and award winning designers and brands, many of whom choose Jewellery & Watch Birmingham as the launch platform for exclusive new collections.
For example Fei Liu is using Jewellery & Watch Birmingham as the platform for his new silver ‘Star Sign’ collection, his gold ‘Enchanted’ collection and the very special new Bridal Jewellery Collection.
The JWB event has also been chosen as the perfect place for the debut collection of contemporary jewellery of the new Mark Milton brand.
The Design Quarter (DQ) section is again home to inspirational, creative design, exclusive collections and one off pieces. It’s the place where British and International designers can showcase their exciting, cutting edge jewellery.
DQ exhibitors include Alexis Dove, Babette Wasserman, Esoteric Luxury, Mark Kostiak and Rachel Galley Jewellery Design, to name but a few!
The growing Watch section sees the likes of Bering Time, Lars Larson Watches, BQ Watches, Storm London and Condor Group showcasing their latest offerings while the rest of the show continues to be the trade events for the likes of Pandora, Domino, Tresor Paris, RINGL, Brown & Newirth and in total over 400 exhibitors crossing every sector of the jewellery and watch market.
Q – What are the most exciting new features of Jewellery & Watch Birmingham this year?
A – The theme of the show this year is ‘Behind the Brand’ and we encourage all our visitors to the show to understand the importance of getting to know the collections and jewellery they intend to stock and be able to communicate this story to their customers who appreciate in-depth knowledge of the jewellery they buy.
With this theme in mind, our hero image, a beautiful necklace creation by Rachel Galley from the Enkai Sun collection, forms the backbone of the branding and inspires our creative artwork motif you will see all around the show.
A series of in-depth interviews with Galley provides the vital insight into her creations and we hope our visitors will enjoy learning more.
In addition to the new theme, and the show rebrand – placing a stronger emphasis on the inclusion of watches and timepieces and reflecting the growth in interest and number of exhibitors in this area, our number of watch exhibitors has increased 30% year-on-year.
Jewellery & Watch Birmingham 2014 will see over 400 exhibitors showcasing 600 brands and an incredibly 40k plus individual pieces.
The Catwalk remains the centrepiece to the show and is the best place to really see the latest deigns shown in all their glory.
The UKTI Village (as described below) is also a major boost to the show, bringing more international visitors to talk with suppliers and providing invaluable advice to our visitors on all aspects of importing and exporting.
Q – What is the purpose of the partnership agreement between Jewellery & Watch Birmingham and UK Trade and Investment?
A – i2i Events Group – the organisers of Jewellery & Watch Birmingham — are delighted to announce a company-wide partnership with UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) as our official International Business Partner.
The partnership between i2i and UKTI primarily aims to inspire and support UK based SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) in their efforts to succeed internationally, establish a foothold in new markets and capitalise further on existing business opportunities.
By working as i2i’s International Business Partner, UKTI will be able to provide UK companies an entry point to international markets and offer them a number of pre-event and on-site benefits.
At Jewellery & Watch Birmingham we have the UKTI Village section new for 2014, where exhibitors can drop in before the show opens for information and advice on internationalising and then throughout the show visitors can talk to representatives and get valuable know-how on everything related to importing and exporting, particularly the ’Best of British.’
Q – Will the show have competitions and catwalk events again this year?
A – There are a host of competitions taking place at Jewellery & Watch Birmingham this year with all the winners announced at the event.
Competitions include Houlden Group’s ‘Bridal Design of the Year’ – where exhibitors at JWB were asked to design an engagement and wedding ring combination set with diamonds. The winners will be announced by Stuart Laing (CEO of Houlden Group) at the Catwalk Café on Monday 3rd Feb at 4pm.
The British Jewellers’ Association has asked UK manufactures and designers to create the perfect ‘Cocktail Ring’ with the winner toasted in a champagne reception at the Catwalk Café on Monday 3rd at 12.30.
The Company of Master Jewellers’ CEO Willie Hamilton will let us know who the winner of their ‘Best New Collection Competition’ is at 3.30pm on Tuesday 4th Feb.
Catwalk shows take place at 12, 3 and 5pm daily (except on Thursday when the show closes at 4pm.)
Q – What are the highlights of the seminar programme?
A – As always we have a seminar programme packed full of the latest insights from industry experts. My top picks would include the following:
• Nicholas King – talking about his career
• Watch market insights – Wesley Suter, WatchPro, Tustains
• Insights from key industry retailers Nathalie Bibiri and Babette Wasserman discussing their experience of developing their retail business in the current climate
• Trend forecaster and blogger Geraldine Wharry – how catwalk trends translate to jewellery pieces
• Retailer Jeweller and Jewellery Outlook – editorial viewpoint.