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INDUSTRY OPINION: View from the show floor at Jewellery & Watch

With less than two weeks to go until Jewellery & Watch opens its doors, event director Kirsty Broere offers her guide to making the most your time and the highlights not-to-be-missed.

Get your year in business off to a flying start with Jewellery & Watch 2019. This year, we have focused on making the most of our ideally-timed and ideally-located platform to bring you a broad range of exhibitors, insightful seminars and easier-access to the halls of Spring Fair – our sister show.

We have made navigating Jewellery & Watch easier with a clear layout divided into eight business sectors. Within each sector you will find recognisable and emerging companies, allowing you to network with familiar faces and make new connections for the year ahead.

This year we have also reintroduced seminars to Jewellery & Watch and there are over 70 sessions to choose from spread across three theatres: The Studio (Hall 18/19), The Main Stage (Hall 20) and The Retail Skills Theatre (Hall 6).

As Jewellery & Watch event director, I have handpicked some highlights to help you plan your visit. I look forward to welcoming you to the NEC from February 3-7.

Day One, Sunday

Stop by The Studio at 11.30am to hear Serena Rizzi, formerly of Moleskin, discuss the secrets of online and offline visual merchandising and how this can amplify your customer experience. At 1.30pm, NAJ chief executive officer, Simon Forrester, will discuss consumer behavior and the way the jewellery sector can modify it to boost sales 

Over on The Main Stage at 2pm, former McLaren Formula One mechanic, author and presenter, Marc Priestly, will explain what retail can learn from the communication, teamwork and precision of pit crews. After a busy day, don’t forget to join us for a networking drinks reception from 6pm in the main seating area, at the top of Hall 18.

Day Two, Monday

Join Jewellery Outlook editor, David Brough, and a panel of experts as they discuss the detection of synthetic diamonds in The Studio at 11.30am, followed by a discussion on what makes the most successful independent jewellery retailers at 2pm, hosted by Retail Jeweller editor, Ruth Faulkner.

Monday on The Main Stage is all about trends! My pick would be 10.30am for an insightful trend forecasting talk by the experts at Colour Hive, followed by a 2.15pm talk by visual merchandising specialist, Davy Pittoors, of Louis Vuitton.

Day Three, Tuesday

At 11.30am in The Studio, join Kristian Spofforth of Sotheby’s as he delves into the world of high-end jewellery auctions and how they can inspire consumers. Plus, we will be exploring the potential import-export business ramifications of Brexit in a talk at 3.30pm, hosted by foreign exchange specialists from AFEX. On The Main Stage, make sure to carve out 2.15pm to 3pm for a fascinating talk by Kate Bailey, head curator of The Victoria & Albert museum, on designing a customer journey.

Day Four, Wednesday

Seasoned trends forecaster, Jane Kellock of Unique Style Platform, will get you ready for 2020 at 12.45pm in The Studio, followed by a fantastic photography workshop at 2.30pm to brush up on your web and social media presence. Elsewhere on The Main Stage, I recommend the 1pm talk by Mark Pilkington on ‘surviving the retail apocalypse’, as well as sessions on the future of retail, the giftware market and retailing success stories.

Day Five, Thursday:

Last but certainly not least! The final day of Jewellery & Watch is dedicated to workshops hosted by the National Association of Jewellers (NAJ) and Birmingham City University, School of Jewellery. Don’t miss two fantastic workshops in The Studio: one on identifying coloured gemstones and the other on common gemstone treatments. For a last dose of The Main Stage, arrive for 10.30am to hear Jeremy Corner, chairman of The Giftware Association, discuss the ‘rise of the ethical consumer’ and how this is altering shopping habits.

Finally, for any business owners who have new sales associates or head office staff in their teams, there’s The Retail Skills Theatre. Discover sessions on ecommerce, social media, digital marketing and blogging that will put your staff ahead of the competition.

To find out more about the 2019 Seminar Programme, please visit the following web pages:

Make sure to register to receive your Jewellery & Watch entry badge, here:

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