NSW government approves Jewellery Fair to proceed in Sydney - Jeweller Magazine: Jewellery News and Trends
The encouraging news was confirmed by the show’s organiser Expertise Events and follows similar approvals for fairs in Queensland, including the Gold Coast Gift & Lifestyle show, which is scheduled to take place on 26–28 September. The Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre has also re-opened and received approval to host events from Queensland Health.
Gary Fitz-Roy, managing director Expertise Events, told Jeweller, “At this stage the September shows are all full steam ahead. All the feedback and encouragement we've had over the past few weeks has been around the industry's need to reconnect."
Addressing the new six-week lockdown in Melbourne – which is scheduled to end on 19 August – as well as the temporary closure of the Victorian border with NSW, Fitz-Roy was optimistic: "We recognise the Victorian situation and equally believe the actions in place will mean the best way to resume business safely.
"It's clear all State and Federal Governments understand the need to open business up as quickly as possible. Given the significant economic pressure, it’s likely that we may see the Victorian six week time-frame reduced as control is regained. This is reaffirmed in the position of the NSW Premier regarding the borders, noting as soon as there is a drop in cases and stabilisation, she will review opening the borders," he said.
Fitz-Roy added: “Every other state is up and trading. We are not relying on one state – [the 2020 IJWF] is a national event. The end of that six-week lockdown is still a full month before the show. The Prime Minister originally said Australia would be locking down until September and within a couple of months, we were able to relax rules in various states.
“My understanding is by the actions that have now been taken, there is more certainty that the borders will be open sooner and that will mean that the IJWF can be a national fair, in which case we look forward to welcoming our Victorian retailers.”
Jewellery Pavilion at Gold Coast
There will also be further opportunities for Queensland jewellery suppliers following the IJWF, with a dedicated pavilion called Jewellery Connect to be established at the Gold Coast Gift & Lifestyle fair.
“It's a special section of 12 stands dedicated to the jewellery sector,” Fitz-Roy explained.
“Many manufacturers and distributors have had to let their sales reps go over the COVID-19 period, while others have not been able to see retailers in months. So this will be a cost-effective solution to meet the Queensland market, and hopefully be introduced to new clients and expand their base because they will be part of the gift fair.”
“It’s about opening the door – and by-the-by, they may have a few days’ holiday on the Gold Coast too!” he added.
For both the Queensland and Sydney shows, Fitz-Roy confirmed that detailed safety plans were being developed based on state guidelines and new industry standards.
“It’s about common sense and how you approach it, and those plans are in the works now. The idea is that none of these safety measures will have a large personal impact on our visitors – we want to be as normal as we can be,” he explained.
One of the initiatives being introduced was pre-registration and self-printing of identification badges. While Expertise Events will still issue badge holders and lanyards to visitors, they will not be recycled this year.
“Where in the past we've recycled identity badges or printed them, we'll now encourage everyone to do that from their own office or home. And that means it's less of a contact situation. Simple measures are the way to go because they are the safest and the easiest for us to implement,” Fitz-Roy explained.
Expertise Events is set to announce final confirmation of the IJWF at the end of this month; it has announced a special booking offer of a $100 deposit, which will be fully refunded if it is forced to cancel the show. The Expertise Mate discount package is also available to exhibitors.
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