Antwerp bourse to host diamond trade fair
ANTWERP, January 11, 2010 – With the economic slowdown still being painfully felt in the global diamond industry and trade, Antwerp’s diamond business is taking drastic but inventive measures to ensure that Antwerp will secure its place as the world diamond capital in the years to come.
In early February, the Antwerp Diamond Bourse — de Beurs voor Diamanthandel — will be unlocking the doors of its 105-year-old trading hall to welcome an exclusive group of jewellers and diamond buyers.
The occasion is the debut of the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair, a by-invitation-only diamond trade fair that will take place from February 7-9, 2010, on the bourse’s historical trading floor.
So why did the Antwerp Diamond Bourse decide to profile and market itself more assertively?
Raphael Rubin, one of the members of the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair organizing committee, said many bourse members exhibit annually at one or more of the leading international jewellery fairs in the United States, Europe and Asia, most often in diamond pavilions organized by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), the umbrella organisation of the Belgian diamond industry.
However, the Antwerp Diamond Bourse leadership felt it also needed to advance its own brand.
“With the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair, we aim to become part of the growing number of by-invitation-only events that specifically target high-end diamond, gem and jewellery buyers.
“We realized that we could only do so under our own brand – the brand of the Antwerp Diamond Bourse which has been operating for more than a century,” Rubin said.
“However, this requires quite a commitment because to attract potential clients for this type of event, you need to go the extra mile, accompany them in a personal style, bring them to your own doorstep, and lead them right into the inner sanctum of our trade. And that’s exactly what we’re doing.”
What will the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair entail?
For three days, the trading floor of the Antwerp Diamond Bourse will be converted into an exhibition floor where 43 leading Antwerp diamond firms will display their diamonds in elegantly designed booths.
With the sponsorship of the AWDC, the fair has invited more than 200 diamond buyers from across Europe.
David Blackman, a second-generation jeweller from Dublin, Ireland, said the invitation to take part in the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair had come as a pleasant surprise.
“Everything is changing in our business, and you have to be open to new ideas,” he said.
“I visited Antwerp numerous times on diamond buying trips, but this will surely be a new experience. The fair’s concept will enable me to make lots of new connections, in a much shorter time frame. So I’m hopeful for good results.”
Antwerp Diamond Bourse President Artur Beller said the fair was a vote of confidence in the future of Antwerp’s diamond industry and trade.
“Antwerp is the world’s number one diamond trading hub for polished diamonds,” he said.
“More than 50 percent of the world’s polished diamonds are traded here. Antwerp is the undisputed global diamond powerhouse of the 21st century.”