Bourse Tradeshows Put Trading Halls Back at the Heart of the BusinessJanuary 18, 18
With the 7th edition of the International Diamond Week (IDWI) and the 9th edition of the Antwerp Rough Diamond Days events being held in February in Israel and Antwerp, respectively, the importance of inter-bourse events and other fairs staged in diamond exchanges again rises to the fore.
Israel will hold its annual event in the trading hall of the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) from February 5-7, while the Antwerp Rough Diamond Days takes place from February 14 to 15 in the Kring, Antwerp’s rough diamond trading bourse.
Both events have proved to be successful over the years, but the organizers are not resting on their laurels as they introduce new features to refresh the concept. The IDE, for example, says it will showcase the role of new technology in upgrading the diamond industry, today and in the future.
With more than 250 companies from Israel and abroad exhibiting their goods, the IDE is promising to unveil a series of groundbreaking initiatives that will have an important impact on the diamond industry in Israel and worldwide. IDE President Yoram Dvash said, “Technology is revolutionizing the way we live and the way we do business. At the next International Diamond Week, we’ll reveal how IDE is using these technologies to transform the diamond industry.”
This year’s show will take place on three days, leaving visitors free to explore Israel or hold meetings. It will also feature a section devoted to high end diamond jewelry manufactured by Israeli diamond companies. "In recent years many Israeli bourse members have begun to diversify their businesses by offering exclusive lines of diamond jewelry alongside loose stones," the IDE said in a statement. "They have been able to take advantage of the plethora of diamonds and precious gemstones available in the bourse, as well as Israel’s high level of expertise in jewelry making and creativity in jewelry design. Moreover, manufacturers have harnessed Israel’s high level of technology to achieve a world-class reputation for unsurpassed precision cut and set diamond jewelry and timepieces."
And keeping up with the latest financial and technological developments, the IDE says it will unveil new diamond-based cryptocurrencies created by startup CARATS.IO. The firm will host a seminar introducing its new diamond-backed financial instruments to explain the benefits to the diamond industry.
There has been a growing trend for holding such events in recent years, as bourse managements have realized the value they can bring their members. In the case of the International Diamond Week in Israel, there is no cost for the Israeli exhibitors. Hundreds of potential buyers – often first-time visitors – are brought face to face with hundreds of exhibitors. The IDE also holds rough diamond tender events as a Blue and White polished diamond fair for its own members.
The exchange's aim is to create as many platforms as possible to help bourse members, said IDE President Yoram Dvash. Bringing in foreign buyers, who have steadily reduced their visits over the past decade or so, gives life to the exchange's trading floor, raises the mood in the bourse and brings about business, whether at the show or at a later stage when relationships develop.
As odd as it may sound, these shows give bourse members the opportunity to meet other members of the same exchange and do business with them even though they may have office just meters apart. As one diamantaire told me: "I actually met someone at the event on the trading hall who I discovered has an office on the same floor of the bourse who I didn't even know was in the same field and with whom I could do business. Because we work from our offices and rarely leave them from morning to evening, we often don't know people whose offices are relatively close by."
Meanwhile, the Diamond Dealers Club (DDC) of New York holds annual India Diamond Weeks on the DDC’s trading floor in Manhattan. The DDC, together with the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), hosts scores of exhibitors and hundreds of buyers. As DDC President Reuven Kaufman said, the show's success is that it gives companies the opportunity to build on previous introductions and relationships, established in previous editions of the show.
The past decade, approximately, has also seen the BrilliAnt show, previously known as the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair, take place at the end of January/start of February. The Antwerp Diamond Bourse, the Antwerp Diamond Club, the Antwerp Diamond Kring and the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) came together to create the event which has become a solid fixture on the industry's calendar. As the organizers say, the fair gives local firms the opportunity to present their goods to jewelry firms and others from across Europe and further afield.
With trading halls having lost some of their power to attract diamantaires in recent years, it's heartening to see their function adapted into different directions. Clearly, there is a cost to the exchanges with some of these events, in subsidizing flights, transfers, hotels and meals, but the investment is clearly worthwhile if it reinstates the historic role of the trading hall in diamond exchanges and helps create much-needed business.