With 13 themed halls scattered on 5 floors and over 2000 vendors…The show at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) is indeed the largest gathering of jewellery vendors and buyers in the world. The only event that is larger is Tucson, but that is over 40 separate shows spread around an entire city focusing more on rocks and beads with very little of it dealing in high-end fine jewellery. The Hong Kong is all in one building and features the best of the best.
This venue can be difficult to navigate at first and is crowded but after a while I got the hang of it. Even so, I still did not get to see all of it. It may be possible to do a fast scan of everything but serious buyers will want to formulate a plan of attack to be sure you get your needs covered before you take the time to browse and explore.
The highlight of the show is the Hong Kong Premier Pavilion. This is where Hong Kong’s finest suppliers show their goods. The dazzling array of fine jewellery is a feast for the eyes and an essential shopping venue for any fine jewellery retailer. The one thing that impressed me the most about this hall was that at almost every booth people were busy writing orders. That is the most important hallmark of success for any show: doing a brisk business!
With the Asian and International Jewellery pavilions, virtually every country in the world was represented making this a truly global event. It is a good reminder that our industry can set an example to rest of the world on how so many people of diverse cultures can get along and prosper through commerce and shared passions. It makes me proud to be in this business.
The Designers Gallery offers a chance for up and coming jewellery artists to show off their talents and make a name for themselves. Some of the work was absolutely stunning with innovative use of materials and unusual gemstones. Even though it is one of the smaller halls, it was certainly one of the most enjoyable.
I was pleased to see and entire section devoted to Antique and Vintage Jewellery. Most shows have a few booths scattered around dealing in Vintage goods but to find a show that dedicates space to celebrate the history of jewellery is special. This was one of the largest showings of the masterworks of our industry with jewellery by some of the finest and most recognized designers from days gone by.
By far, the most exciting section of the show for me is the Jadeite Gallery. Fine Jadeite is well known and popular in Asia, but scarce in the US. While there is some awareness of Jadeite carvings in fine antique stores, we rarely get a chance to experience the rich vibrancy of top quality Imperial Jadeite Jewellery or see the intense colours of fine Lavender Jadeite. I have always loved jadeite but seeing the magnificent stones at this show gave me an even deeper appreciation of this material.
Overall my impression of my first visit to the Hong Kong shows is mixed. I am not fond of long queues, huge crowds and confusion. This show has all three. Of course at an event this large, it is to be expected. I feel that the organizers worked very hard to make it as pleasant and efficient as possible. Signage is good and information booths are everywhere. The staff was always eager to help and many of them are multi-lingual…a major asset in a global market. But what makes it all worthwhile to the ability to find virtually everything our industry has to offer in one place. Everyone in the jewellery business needs to visit this show at least once in their career and more than likely; they will want to attend again. I know I will.