Jewellery & Watch London to showcase international brands on June 18-19
Julie Driscoll, Portfolio Director for Jewellery & Watch London and Jewellery & Watch Birmingham at i2i Events Group, tells Jewellery Outlook about preparations for Jewellery & Watch London, which will be held for the first time at the Saatchi Gallery, on 18-19 June.
Q: Why was the Saatchi Gallery chosen as the venue for Jewellery & Watch London this year?
Julie Driscoll: The show was launched in June 2012 in response to industry demand for a focused and inspirational buying environment at a key mid-year point in the calendar, providing buyers with the chance to view collections for top-up orders and Christmas buying.
The inaugural show received critical acclaim and in 2013 the second show doubled in size, adding a dedicated area for watches, as well as being shortlisted as a finalist in the AEO Excellence Awards for Best Trade Show Launch.
Jewellery & Watch London’s parent company i2i Events carried out extensive research following the most recent show and, based on industry feedback, has decided that the Saatchi Gallery will make a more suitable venue as the event continues to grow.
It has always been Jewellery & Watch London’s aim to provide buyers with the most beautiful jewellery and watch collections presented in an individual and unique setting.
Re-locating the show to London’s Saatchi Gallery will allow us to present the finest jewellery and watch collections against the beautiful backdrop of the Saatchi Gallery meaning that we will continue to offer an inspirational buying environment while also allowing the show to grow.
Q: What will be the main new features of Jewellery & Watch London in 2014?
Julie Driscoll: Obviously our new home at London’s beautiful Saatchi Gallery will be one of the main features of the show this year. All of the jewellery and watch brands exhibiting at the show will be presented in the most stunning surroundings, allowing the collections to be shown in a unique and inspirational way.
In addition to our wonderful new venue The National Association of Goldsmiths (N.A.G.) has confirmed that its 120th Annual General Meeting with take place at the venue during the show on Wednesday 18th June.
The AGM is an important meeting in the annual calendar of the N.A.G. as it allows members their opportunity to hold the officers and executive to account, and more importantly question the future strategy and direction of the organisation.
Holding the event alongside the Jewellery and Watch show will allow members to maximise the value of their time by being able to do two events on the same day.
Additionally, this year we will debut the BERING Buyers Power List at the show. The BERING Buyers Power List aims to recognise, celebrate and reward the individuals and companies that suppliers and peers in the jewellery and watch industry have nominated and voted for as making an outstanding difference and being highly influential in the jewellery and watch market.
The final list, including the unveiling of the top 10 most influential buyers in the industry, will be revealed during a champagne reception sponsored by Bering at 6pm on Wednesday 18th June, after the first day of opening of Jewellery & Watch London.
Q: Is the watches part of the show growing?
Julie Driscoll: As with our Birmingham event in February, the show has been rebranded as Jewellery & Watch London to reflect the growing importance and relevance of the watch market.
We wanted to integrate watches into the show rather than having a separate section, as we did last year with the Watch Salon London. There will be watch brands throughout the show, reflecting the way people want to buy both categories.
Q: What is the outlook for the watches market in the UK?
Julie Driscoll: 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, so we have reflected this in the title of the show.
Q: How is the jewellery segment of the show evolving this year? Are you attracting more international brands?
Julie Driscoll: We have got lots of fantastic international brands exhibiting at this year’s show.
I think the reason for this is a combination of our fantastic iconic venue coupled with this being the third year of the show, meaning that many more brands are starting to recognise the importance of the show as a key event at a mid-year point in the jewellery buying calendar.
A host of fine Italian jewellery brands have selected Jewellery & Watch London as the perfect platform to showcase their collections.
In fact, over 60% of the iconic brands on display at Jewellery & Watch London are exclusive to the event, meaning that the show is the only one in the UK where buyers can view the latest beautiful and inspirational collections from some of the world’s finest jewellery designers and brands.
Q: What type of retailers will Jewellery & Watch London appeal to?
Julie Driscoll: The variety and selection of Jewellery & Watch brands we will have on display at this year’s show means that Jewellery & Watch London is the perfect buying show for a huge variety of retailers encompassing everyone from high-end independent jewellers through to department store groups, multiple retailers, museums and galleries.
There really will be something for everyone and we would encourage all jewellery and watch buyers to come down to Saatchi and visit the show this year.