A visitor engagement strategy has become critical to planning as organisers increasingly seek to deliver greater value to attendees throughout their event.
The focus placed on the quality of the visitor experience was on show at the 2015 Sydney International Jewellery Fair (IJF), which was held 29 – 31 August at Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island (SEC@GI) for the second year running.
“We looked at a range of possibilities for creating effective, meaningful, and successful visitor engagement,” said Gary Fitz-Roy, Managing Director of IJF organiser Expertise Events. “We were uncompromising in selecting quality exhibitors so we wanted to complement this with great visitor experiences.”
As visitors arrived on the first event day via the popular ferries from Darling Harbour and the shuttle buses, a rousing welcome was provided by a three-man band of roving musicians who continued to perform once the show opened.
There were almost 200 Australian and international exhibitors on 11,000m2 expo space – the highest number in three years – enticing over 6,000 qualified buyers with the newest and the best on offer, ranging from value-priced to the premium brands.
In addition to the bustle of activities at the stands, the show floor beckoned with a host of interactive and interesting activities.
The educational component remained a strong aspect of IJF with international and local experts sharing retail strategies and industry training in 30-minute sessions throughout the day. There were live demonstrations and master classes hosted by leading brands.
An Australian jewellery industry first was the launch of the inaugural Jewellery Design and Manufacturing Championships at the Fair. Jewellers across several categories showcased their skills while competing within set timeframes. The biennial Jewellers Association of Australia On Show exhibition returned this year to celebrate the skills of young jewellery designers, apprentices and students.
There were promotions galore featuring a host of competitions and daily draws. Prime attraction for visitors was a chance to win a Treasure Chest with $20,000 worth of jewellery.
“Trade shows are serious business but they also need to be exciting,” said SEC@GI General Manager Malu Barrios. “We aim to help organisers make every detail of their visitors’ day special. To enhance Expertise Events initiatives, the Centre team focused on delivering food and beverage hubs that were ‘destinations’ by themselves.”
The return of the themed New York Pizza and Paella bar situated on the expo floor – another Expertise Events initiative – proved a popular addition to the daily menu offerings at the Centre’s Hall 4 Café.
To cap the show in a memorable way, a graffiti artist painted a Melbourne tram, highlighting the Fair’s next destination.
“It’s been another successful year for us at Glebe Island,” said Fitz-Roy. “We’re pleased with the pervasive upbeat mood and the buzz we created with our visitor engagement activities. An amazing experience is what will make visitors return, year after year.”