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September 23, 2009

The biggest sparkliest jewellery show in London is undoubtedly International Jewellery London, held at Earls Court this year from the 6th-9th September. I always visit (good idea to keep ones hand in, so to speak) and so this year I had decided to take a stand and see what level of interest my label raised.

susie-ijlstand-09

Susie Warner ~ International Jewellery London 2009

 I’d booked a small Design Gallery stand, sited in the area where all the best Contemporary Jewellery designers hung out, and I quickly realised I’d have to make the visuals eye catching and enticing; so early on I’d hit upon the idea of  showing the collections in ornate vintage frames. This was great, as it gave the potential buyers an idea of what they were about to view (so those whom were most likely to become clients stopped) and generally put the whole label in context.
Susie Warner-IJL Stand 09

Objet Trouve AW09/10

It was quite gratifying to see that I had loads of interest – you never know what kind of reception you’re going to get in a public arena, as its one thing retailing in shops, and quite another showing a wholesale collection. I’d be forewarned to expect some odd questions {and downright silly}, and was used to the idea of some visitors not actually getting the concept of a trade show and wanting to purchase immediately {very flattering but it’s a trade show, people!} but the one thing I didn’t expect was that the frames would prove very attractive to importunate jewellery store owners, as I got as many compliments over those as I did the jewelery ranges! I fully expect next year to have been responsable for influencing the visual merchandising of contemporary jewellery shops the length of the UK!  If only I could have charged a consultancy fee on that concept! I was very fortunate as those lovely people over at Retail Jeweller Magazine were doing a pre-show guide in the September issue of the magazine, and had invited selected exhibitors to send in images, so I’d sent them my Nightshade necklace, a lovely big ostentatious necklace that was undoubtedly my showiest!

Nightshade public jpeg

 So all in all it was rather a good experience. Lots of interest, lots of buyers and a load of new contacts, which is the whole idea of these jamborees. I’m glad my OH helped, it could have been quite deadly if you had to do it on your own, although it actually proved quite social ~ met up with a load of old friends and colleagues, by complete accident, which was lovely! The one word of warning about doing trade shows is that they are very expensive. If you’re determined to do one ~ and lets face it, if you want to grow your business they are essential to being taken seriously ~ Make sure you’re certain it’s the right one for your business and be prepared for money to flow from your bank account like the river Thames in spate, as the stand costs are just the start! Having said all that, I’m delighted we showed at International Jewellery London this year and am now checking out which one I will do next (with a bit of help from the OH of course!).

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