The World's First Major In-Person jewelry and gem Show Concludes Successfully
The 37th HKTDC Hong Kong International Jewellery Show and 7th HKTDC Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show, organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) were held from July 25 to 29, for the physical events at the Convention Centre. And, this year, the shows also welcomed the public.
The five-day shows attracted more than 13,700 industry buyers and over 17,000 public visitors who came to explore and purchase a wide array of jewelry products. The twin shows also ran online until August 5 to enable global jewelers and traders to engage in business talks via video conferences, along with more than 1,200 online meetings arranged between exhibitors and buyers.
With the pandemic changing the global economy and international travel restrictions disrupting regular business travel, enterprises are looking to conduct cross-border business through both online and physical channels. Benjamin Chau, Acting Executive Director of the HKTDC, said: "An independent survey conducted on-site found that 44% of the interviewed exhibitors and buyers considered business travel restrictions during the pandemic as the biggest current challenge. On a more positive note, 31% and 19% of respondents respectively believed that the recovering purchasing power of customers and business leads driven by e-tailing would be the main source of new business opportunities this year."
"The HKTDC is adopting a strategy that clearly aligns with the survey results," Chau continued. "Addressing both exhibitors’ needs and market trends, we made a swift decision to open the twin shows to public visitors for the first time. This has enabled exhibitors to reach out to more retail clients and broaden their customer base. Also, the fact that the two shows run in a unique physical and online format for the first time has helped to create more business opportunities for traders.”
During the shows, the HKTDC conducted an on-site survey in which more than 800 exhibitors and buyers were interviewed. The survey found that buyers and exhibitors remain cautious regarding the market outlook, with 54% of respondents expecting overall sales to decrease this year and only 29% expecting sales to remain unchanged. In terms of sourcing prices and production costs, 45% of respondents said they were under more pressure. Despite this, more than half of them (54%) expected that retail prices will remain unchanged.
Regarding the growth prospects for jewelry products in major countries and regions over the next two years, respondents considered that North America (41%), Western Europe (33%) and Hong Kong (31%) were the most promising traditional markets, while Mainland China was considered by 51% as the most promising emerging market. Hong Kong was recognized as an ideal sourcing hub, with quality (75%), use of material (73%) and services (71%) being the three most appreciated aspects.
In terms of popular product categories, the survey found that nearly half (49%) of the respondents favored karat-white gold, followed by karat-rose gold (42%) and karat-yellow gold (38%). Diamonds remained the most popular (54%) among all gemstones.
Half of the respondents expected trendy fashion jewelry to have the greatest market potential. The survey also found that 28% of public visitors interviewed had spent more than HK$10,000 each on-site and that diamond jewelry items were the most popular products (51%) purchased at the shows.
The twin shows were the first two physical trade fairs staged by the HKTDC since the pandemic began, creating business opportunities for exhibitors and buyers alike.
A Hong Kong exhibitor, Just Gold Company Limited, joined the jewelry show for the first time this year. Arthur Tang, the company’s Managing Director, Greater China, shared that the show was an effective business platform that helped their company enhance its branding and increase market exposure. "We promoted our new designs as well as special collections for our 30th anniversary. A number of buyers approached us to enquire more about our products. We’ve already concluded some business deals and the response has been encouraging," he said.
Exhibitor Yvonne Pong, Director, Wing Hang South Sea Pearl Company Limited, considered the jewelry show as the perfect place to promote their pearl jewelry collections and drive new business. "Customers love our classic designs, and jewelry with gold-colored pearls is particularly sought after. The response has been better than expected. We’ve met some quality buyers, including a number of new customers," she said. "The HKTDC has done an excellent job making the show a success despite the pandemic. I am confident the show will get even better, with more overseas buyers coming to source products once travel restrictions are lifted."
A local buyer, Edmond Chan, Head of Jewelry Asia, Luxeford Hong Kong Limited, was pleased to see the jewelry show being staged again: "We specialize in purchasing high-end jewelry and watches. I am here looking for partners and to find suitable products. I’ve already found an exhibitor to explore cooperation with whose jewelry collection boasts some outstanding designs."
A host of activities were held during the two shows, including seminars on changes that the pandemic and online marketing have brought to the jewelry industry supply chain, a series of expert talks tailor-made to guide the public on the appreciation of rare-color diamonds and pearl evaluation methods, jewelry smart bidding session, workshop, lucky draws and jewelry parades. These events not only facilitated the exchange of market intelligence among industry players, but also enhanced public knowledge about gemstones and jewelry products.
Overall, exhibitors and buyers felt that the physical versions were greatly complemented by the digital versions, helping during these uncertain times. ◊