IJL 2014 Review
This year was Manchester Jewellers Network’s second time exhibiting at International Jewellery London. Four MJN members, Gemma Scully, Charlotte Verity, Karin Sheldon and Kate Wimbush, exhibited their work alongside a ‘showcase’ of 12 makers under Manchester Jewellers Network. This year IJL moved from Earls Court to Olympia which is a beautiful building, giving an ideal setting for the show. The stand was located in the Design Gallery which gave us excellent views of the architecture and the show itself.
This year we were well prepared and travelled down to London on the Thursday in order to set up over Friday and Saturday before the show opened on Sunday 31st August. Fortunately this year, the venue provided porters for us which made the trips back and forth to unload the van slightly more manageable! You can see images of the stand and set up on the MJN Facebook page.
For this year’s show we invested in new lighting for the showcase stands and new promotional material including postcards and catalogues. These catalogues, along with bespoke IJL invites were sent out to over 160 shops and galleries prior to the show to promote our stand and the group. Initial feedback indicates that some galleries even contacted makers for work prior to the show as a result of receiving an invite, with at least 10% of those who received invites attending our stand during the three days!
The location of the stand upstairs in the Design Gallery appeared to be a better location than previously at IJL 2013. The Design Gallery at Earls Court was located in a small corner which although had good passing footfall, was not the clientele we were trying to attract. With the Design Gallery at Olympia located on the upper level, customers looking specifically for designer makers were able to navigate their way to us easier with fewer distractions. Feedback from chatting with a number of galleries was they were surprised at how many exhibitors in the Design Gallery did not make their work personally, but outsourced their best canadian casino manufacturing. Another positive note for our stand as we offered these customers a wide range of truly handmade jewellery. Orders at the show had also increased from 2013 with both main exhibitors and Showcase jewellers taking orders. It is still early days to measure how successful the show has been, however to date IJL 2014 is looking positive for MJN!
Prior to and during the show we utilised Social Media, mainly Facebook and Twitter to promote our stand. This was a huge success, with the group gaining a number of new likes during that time and our posts reaching in excess of 2300 people. This is not only excellent advertising for those exhibiting, but for the group as a whole. Hopefully this greater awareness of MJN and what we do will help us in the future when promoting other exhibitions and events. Thank you to those of you who shared and helped with all our online activities!
We got to see some fabulous jewellery and meet new stockists which we look forward to working with in the future! It was also lovely to see many of the Showcase exhibitors come and visit the stand to show their support – thank you!
For those of you who exhibited with MJN at IJL 2014 we hope it was a beneficial experience for you and a good opportunity to participate in a group venture at the UK’s largest jewellery trade event. Thank you to all those who took part and helped with organising, promoting and exhibiting. IJL have stated that 2014 was their best show yet so let’s hope that is the same for MJN!