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Friday, September 21, 2012

Will New Jewelry Show Compete With Baselworld?

Wolfram Diener (center) reading a prepared statement during a press conference at the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair. Photo credit: Anthony DeMarco

HONG KONG — The competition among the numerous jewelry tradeshows around the world is fierce. So when a new show appears on the international calendar, one can’t help but notice which show will it be competing against.

UBM Asia has announced that it is entering the European market with Jewellery & Gem Fair – JGF Europe 2014, to be held in April 1 - 4, 2014 at the Messe Freiburg Exhibition and Convention Centre in Freiburg, Germany.

Wolfram Diener, senior VP, UBM Asia, Ltd., who made the announcement Thursday during a press conference at the September Hong KongJewellery & Gem Fair, made it a point to note its convenience to major jewelry trading hubs, such as Antwerp, Paris and Vicenza. What it’s really close to in both timing and distance is Baselworld, the world’s largest and most important watch and jewelry fair held in Basel, Switzerland. The two cities are so close that I stayed in Freiburg two years ago while attending Baselworld.

Diener downplayed that the new tradeshow will compete with Baselworld for exhibitors and buyers.

“It wouldn’t be our notion to rely on any other exhibitions for our success and lack of success and we expect that we can draw exhibitors or buyers from another show,” he said. “I think we have to build our own success. As for the timing of the event, it’s really difficult with a full calendar of jewelry tradeshows to not clash or be close to any other shows.”

However, a UBM official told me afterward that JGF Europe is most likely positioned to indeed compete with Baselworld. If this is true, then it will be the battle of titans. The September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair, which UBM owns, is the largest fine jewelry tradeshow in the world. However, as already noted, Baselworld is the largest watch and jewelry show in the world. It is also the world’s most prestigious tradeshow and it is where trends are set in the watch and jewelry world each year.

One thing that the new show will not be involved with, at least at this time, is watches, which is the lifeblood of Baselworld.

There are plenty of jewelry trade fairs in Europe but Diener says that the continent lacks “a real and comprehensive sourcing fair.” This new show is an attempt to fill this void.

“JGF Europe is positioned as high efficiency, high level, face-to-face jewelry business platform that will create real business value for the international suppliers and buyers,” he said. “It’s going to be a comprehensive jewelry show with jewelry, raw material and packaging and equipment”, he said. “It’s going to be a good balance of European and non-European exhibitors. That will be refreshingly different from other shows in Europe.”

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