The mood was generally upbeat at the inaugural Jewellery & Gem Fair Europe (JGF Europe), with some vendors reporting that they had clinched solid orders and generated quality sales leads during the fair’s four-day run at Messe Freiburg in Germany. The fair opened on April 1.
More than 6,000 jewellery professionals attended the launch event, which included suppliers, leading industry and governmental associations, and media representatives, trade show organiser UBM said. Of this number, almost 4,300 were trade buyers, mostly from Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium and Brazil.
“The customers were very international,” Bernd Wolf, managing director of his namesake company, told JNA. “[We saw] buyers from the Middle East, Russia, the US and South America. About 40 percent of the buyers were German. What surprised me was that about 80 percent of our visitors were professionals with a good level [of expertise].”
Headquartered in Stegen, a municipality that borders the city of Freiburg, Bernd Wolf specialises in the production of contemporary silver jewellery in minimalist designs and often embellished with diamonds, carnelians, kyanites, onyx, pearls, smoky quartz, black spinels, turquoise and sponge corals to name a few.
Jewellery pieces with suggested retail prices ranging from €100 (about $137) to €600 (about $822) were among the manufacturer’s more popular items, Wolf noted.
“I am positive about my company’s business in 2014, and I think the European market is stable in a number of countries,” he said, adding that he was satisfied with the trade show results in terms of sales and the quality of sales leads generated.
The next edition of JGF Europe will be held from March 22 to 25 next year. The show will begin on a Sunday to allow smaller regional jewellery businesses to easily attend the fair, UBM said.
“I think changing the show dates is a good decision and will bring more business next year,” Wolf said.
Timo Richardon of Carl Schaefer of Germany added, “It is clear that the show organisers are very experienced and are willing to do whatever is necessary to ensure the success of the participating exhibitors.”
Positioned as a straightforward sourcing event for jewellery products and loose materials in the middle-price segment, JGF Europe brought together leading European and non-European exhibitors under one roof, according to Wolfram Diener, senior vice president of UBM Asia.
“JGF Europe gives European buyers, many of whom are family-owned small- and medium-sized enterprises, the opportunity to source goods from overseas companies right at their doorstep,” Diener said.
“We can say that majority of the exhibitors were extremely pleased with the quality of buyers,” he noted. “Overall, we felt that the launch was successful. We have managed to add this event to the international jewellery trade calendar.”
The trade fair organiser said it has already received advanced bookings from exhibitors for the show’s 2015 edition. The show will expand into an additional hall at Messe Freiburg.
Germany-based Bellaluce will sign up for next year’s trade show, said company executive Verena Raub. “Our expectations were really exceeded. Because of these positive results, we will certainly participate again next year,” Raub said.
Rahul Jain of Caram eK, a supplier of high-end polished gemstones and one-of-a-kind jewellery pieces, said buyers at JGF Europe were looking for all types of coloured stones, from the big three (emerald, ruby and sapphire) to fine exotic goods. “As usual, the quality of the gemstone cut is very important in the European market. We had good sales since we always focus on [quality cut stones],” Jain said.
He added that Caram’s booth drew a mix of visitors, which included retailers, jewellers and designers. “However, we noticed that most of them were from Germany. Surprisingly, we didn’t meet buyers from France or Italy,” Jain added.
JGF Europe is clearly gaining support from across the region, Ines Lopez Sharma, managing director of ILR Collection of Germany, said. “We were immediately impressed with the idea of an international fair in Freiburg. Even before the event, the expectations were very high. These expectations were confirmed, especially in the first two days of the fair. The visitor profile was very international,” Sharma said.
“Germany is the biggest and most important market for us but we are already very well-positioned within this market, so we are looking for new international customers. The first day at JGF Europe was very good. A lot of people visited our booth and many were interested in our handmade jewellery. I think there is huge potential in a trade show like this, and for us it’s the right place to do business,” added Marcin Zaremski of Poland-based Mateusz Zaremski Brand.
JGF Europe welcomes trade buyers at Messe Freiburg in Germany. The show’s second edition is scheduled for March 22 to 25 next year
Nissim Palomo of IDI, far left, introduces the Israel Diamond Pavilion to guests and UBM officials
Tanzanite rings by Richard Hans Becker
Buyers hold business meetings with suppliers
Main foyer leading into the JGF Europe show floor