Buyers at the September Hong Kong Fair 2019
(From left) Informa Markets' Celine Lau and David Bondi with leaders of Hong Kong associations
Lawrence Ma, president of Diamond Federation of Hong Kong, China
Kent Wong, chairman of the Hong Kong Jewellers' and Goldsmiths' Association
Ken Lo, chairman of the Hong Kong Jewellery and Jade Manufacturers Association
Business activity at a previous edition of the September Hong Kong Fair
Jewellery & Gem WORLD Hong Kong (JGW), organised by Informa Markets – Jewellery, has been rescheduled for November 9 to 13, 2020 at the AsiaWorld-Expo (AWE).
The trade show, previously known as the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair, was originally slated for September 13 to 17 at the AWE, where precious materials including diamonds, coloured gemstones and pearls were to be showcased, and September 15 to 19 at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, the section of the fair usually dedicated to finished jewellery products, packaging, equipment and supplies, and industry-related technologies. Informa Markets – Jewellery also announced it will hold a bespoke digital event later in the year to complement its physical fairs.
"After careful consideration and a thorough review of all factors impacting JGW in relation to the Covid-19 outbreak, we have decided to organise a more compact fair in one venue this November. This rescheduling was reached with the well-being of our exhibitors, visitors, partners and colleagues as our top priority," said David Bondi, senior vice president – Asia at Informa Markets.
Moving JGW to November is a one-off arrangement in response to industry partners' requests for a B2B marketplace that will allow them to secure orders before the end of the year, he added. The event will return to its September slot in 2021.
Bondi noted that JGW will be the last global sourcing event on the jewellery trade show calendar this year, with the heaviest peak selling season just around the corner. "We recognise that the spate of cancellations and postponements in the first half of the year makes the JGW sourcing experience more important than ever for our industry," he said.
International sourcing platform
In an interview with JNA, Celine Lau, director of Jewellery Fairs at Informa Markets – Jewellery, underscored JGW’s role in helping the industry weather the challenges from the coronavirus outbreak.
"The Covid-19 pandemic severely crippled business for the international jewellery industry. The last in-person B2B event was in January this year. Everyone in the trade eagerly awaits the opportunity to conduct business again at a physical event. JGW would provide an international B2B trading platform to help the industry regain its footing during these uncertain times," she said.
JGW will be the first major event, since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, to allow the gem and jewellery trade to reconnect and regroup in today’s challenging environment, Lau continued. Aside from providing a physical marketplace, the show will include incisive events and forums addressing the industry’s return and recovery from the coronavirus crisis.
The new timeslot of JGW likewise offers significant benefits, said Lau. JGW 2020 enables the industry to fulfil its sourcing needs for the year-end season and provides an opportunity to secure viable leads for the coming year.
According to Lau, JGW will be an international show but the final breakdown of attendees would depend largely on prevailing travel guidelines. "We remain hopeful that the coronavirus situation will improve over the coming months and the most severe effects of the pandemic would have abated by November," she said.
Informa Markets is pulling out all the stops to deliver a high-quality experience to JGW exhibitors and buyers, according to Lau.
The fair organiser is stepping up international visitor promotion activities and allocating additional marketing funds to attract buyers from mainland China.
It is also reinvesting the Venue Rental Subsidy, offered by the Hong Kong government to event organisers, into the show through three channels, Lau revealed. Part of the amount goes towards enhancing visitor promotion initiatives. The subsidy is likewise funneled into a marketing fund for exhibitors to promote themselves and as credit for the use of Informa Markets’ various digital products.
"These are but some of the measures we are undertaking to support our exhibitors during these challenging times. We are committed to providing the trade with a powerful sourcing platform that facilitates business and enables them to reach their target clients. This is the time for companies to rethink their strategies and seize opportunities to sustain and grow their business," Lau said.
JGW 2020 will strictly adhere to health and safety guidelines, and enhanced cleaning protocols in accordance with Informa’s AllSecure health and safety standard. "The health and safety of all attendees is the primary concern of Informa Markets. Ensuring proper standards for a safe and healthy fair is a responsibility shared by the fair organiser, the venue operator and all delegates," she explained.
Exhibitor contracts and payments made for JGW will carry over to the revised dates. Exhibitors who do not wish to join the November show may roll over their payments to the September 2021 edition.
Meanwhile, Jewellery & Gem ASIA Hong Kong, originally scheduled for June 25 to 28 this year, will be held in June 2021. The JNA Awards, a core part of Informa Markets - Jewellery's September events, will also reschedule its 2020 awards ceremony and gala dinner for November to coincide with JGW.
Leaders of trade associations in Hong Kong welcomed the rescheduling of JGW 2020 for November.
"Trade shows are a function of the industry. We appreciate Informa Markets’ efforts to provide the jewellery trade with a platform to do business. Suppliers and exporters need to move their products, and buyers need to replenish their stock and source for goods. An international jewellery trade fair in November will provide Hong Kong and the international jewellery industry with a physical trading event when the market fully reopens," said Lawrence Ma, president of Diamond Federation of Hong Kong, China. "The extraordinary circumstances created by the Covid-19 pandemic warrant agility and flexibility to set the right environment for business. Having Jewellery & Gem WORLD Hong Kong in November will buoy the industry and create opportunities during challenging times."
For his part, Hong Kong Jewellery & Jade Manufacturers Association Chairman Ken Lo said, "We welcome Informa Markets’ decision to hold the Jewellery & Gem WORLD Hong Kong later this year. We are hopeful that the business environment would have improved by then amid coronavirus containment efforts. This is a positive move for the international jewellery industry. Hong Kong jewellery suppliers would definitely embrace the opportunity to have a trading platform in November."
Kent Wong, chairman of the Hong Kong Jewellers’ and Goldsmiths’ Association, added, "The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted jewellery wholesale activities for months on end. An international B2B trade fair in Hong Kong benefits the gem and jewellery industry by providing a much-needed marketplace for suppliers to showcase their products and for buyers to source for goods. Informa Markets’ Jewellery & Gem WORLD Hong Kong in November would allow business to resume and the industry to reconnect with each other."