The Success Saga - 5th Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair

The fifth edition of the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair (ADTF) organised by Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) was held from January 26 to 28, 2014. It gave a positive impetus to the diamond trade as the exhibitors expressed their satisfaction. The trade fair witnessed buyers from across Europe, Asia and Middle East. The second edition of breakfast seminar was also held during the fair, which threw light on the World Diamond Mark. Priyanka Desai shares a detailed report about the trade fair.
The Success Saga - 5th Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair

Antwerp is known as the genesis of the diamond trade. With more than 550 years of history, the region is growing strength to strength and is retaining its position as the top diamond hub. The trade fair that gives impetus to this growth is the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair. The fifth edition of Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair concluded on January 28, with many partakers admiring it as the finest fair since it was launched in 2010.

It is a show that not only validates the power of Antwerp as the world's most dynamic diamond trading centre, but also a very operative and practical tool to bring buyers into the diamond district to meet a good number of diamond companies and thus lower the threshold for the buyers’ future visits. Across the board, the exhibitors agreed that the fair's performance had been significantly better than in 2012, with a noted improvement in the quality - and the quantities - of the visiting buyers.

Alan Bick, a jewellery manufacturer based in London, said that while he was not a novice to Antwerp and its diamond industry, the format and the extensive range of exhibitors at the fair enabled him to find and add several new suppliers to his list. “I came here for one day and was able to cover all three halls in the course of the day before heading home in the evening,” he said. “I think this a great concept and I hope the bourses will continue to hold it annually.”

Deco Consult of Brussels, the ADTF's organising company, reported that around 500 pre-registered buyers had attended the fair, and more than 200 other jewellery manufacturers and retailers had registered on the fair's web site. In total, around 1,000 visitors visited the three trading halls of the Antwerp Diamond Bourse, the Diamond Club of Antwerp and the Antwerp Diamond Kring exchanges, which had been converted into three elegantly designed exhibition spaces. The organisation said the dates for the sixth edition of the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair are projected for January 25 to 27, 2015.

Wendy Peleman, Marketing Manager of IGC Group from Antwerp said, “We have been participating in the show since its very first year. We are extremely happy to see the tremendous growth in this show, since 2010. The show gives an idea to the buyers about the Antwerp diamond trade. It also attracts buyersfrom various regions of the world. There were buyers from Turkey, Italy as well as India in this show. This show helps in networking and building relations with new and existing buyers. That is highly helpful as business always grows with a good follow up.”

Marianne Georges, In-charge of polished diamond sales at Diarough NV shared, “We believe in Antwerp and that is one of the big reasons to support the show. The show definitely brightens up the atmosphere in the trade and helps everyone to do good business. We met a couple of new people at the show. It also gave us an opportunity to meet our existing clients.”

ChaitanyaVanjara (aka Charlie), Director, Sunview NV articulated, “The Antwerp show took off well and was a good start to the year for us. AWDC had well informed us of all the schedules, buyers’ list as well as of all other arrangements. There were some very potential clients who attended the show. We not only managed to do business over the counter but also got a good opportunity to develop business in the near future with the attending clients. We have managed to follow up with different customers from all over Europe and have even done fruitful business after the show.” When asked for a suggestion to AWDC, he says, “I would suggest to AWDC to try and focus on inviting more customers from fast developing markets like Hong Kong and India, as the potential for growth in these regions is enormous. Over all, we were very happy with our first experience of participating in the Antwerp diamond trade fair and look forward to doing the same over the years to come.”

On the other hand, Ernest Blom, vice chairman of the World Diamond Mark Foundation (WDMF), and president of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), and WDMF Chairman Alex Popov spoke at the second Breakfast Seminar. They described how the World Diamond Mark has been founded by the WFDB to address the core issues of consumer desirability through generic marketing, consumer and media confidence in the integrity of our product, unswerving high quality educational programmes and a commitment to ethical standards throughout the supply chain. So far, it has made strong progress and has succeeded in gaining the support of some of the industry's key players, Blom said.

The World Diamond Mark is based on three core activities, which include education and training of the jewellery retail business community about diamonds through the Authorised Diamond Dealer concept of accredited retailers; confidence building with the consumer through the WDM's Authorised Diamond Dealer retailer accreditation programme, and generic consumer marketing and promotional programmes in core markets for diamonds and diamond jewellery, to improve diamond jewellery sales and market share, in collaboration with a leading consumer credit card company as global sponsor.

Dacques J. Nini, a jewellery retailer from Houston, Texas, said he was very encouraged by the generic diamond promotion campaigns and initiatives as shown by Popov and Blom. “It is great to see that the industry is taking its fate in its own hands and I look forward to learning how I can implement the WDM programmes in my own retail jewellery business. And as a fair focussing on retail-jewellers, the ADTF did us a good service by offering the WDM a stage," Nini added.

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