Gem & Jewellery Trade Show Dons A Digital Avatar
IIJS Virtual from October 12-16 expected to give much-needed momentum to the industry.
After an unbroken spell of 38 physical editions, India’s largest, and one of the top five B2B gem and jewellery shows globally, the India International Jewellery Show (IIJS), organised by The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) opened yesterday in an all-new virtual avatar.
The same dazzling gemstones and jewellery that have wowed buyers in India and across the world were on display, but the 330 exhibitors and over 8,000 visitors would conduct business transactions within the framework of a digital architecture designed to simulate face-to-face business and real-world dealings as much as possible. The show runs till October 16.
The exhibition, which was inaugurated by Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Railways, Shri Piyush Goyal and Chief Minister of Maharashtra Shri Uddhav Thackeray, comes at a time when the industry is seeking to recover from the pandemic induced lockdown which had brought business to a near total halt.
Speaking at the inauguration, Colin Shah, Chairman of GJEPC said that from the response received from exhibiting companies and buyers alike, it seemed like IIJS Virtual would give “the much-needed momentum in the Gems & Jewellery business ahead of the festive season”.
The B2B event has been timed to coincide with the pre-festive stocking seasons for retailers across major markets like India and USA. Both will be crucial to the fortunes of the Indian gem and jewellery industry.
In his address, Union Minister Goyal praised the industry for utilising cutting edge technology to reach out to customers across geographies. “It shows the resilience of Indian business, Indian industry, and the commitment to serve customers, particularly with the festival season around the corner, both in India as we celebrate Navratri, Dussera and Diwali; and across the world, where Christmas and the New Year are going to be times when we erupt in joy and bring back the mood in the world.”
Maharashtra CM Thackeray hailed the way the organisers GJEPC adapted well and introduced changes in the way they conducted the business. “When you embrace change, that’s when you make progress.”
Thackeray also pledged his government’s support to the industry to make Maharashtra the leading global trading centre for diamonds and jewellery. He said that the state was in the process of building a Jewellery Park in Mumbai, and invited industry leaders to be interactive so that “we can accomplish our vision together”.
The exhibition has been divided into five virtual halls spanning different product segments. Depending on the space an exhibiting company had booked it could display between 200 to 800 products, with visitors having access to a representative product gallery.
Explaining the dynamics of the show, Shailesh Sangani, Convener, IIJS Virtual, said “the platform is seamlessly integrated with physical aspects”.
The digital architecture facilitates one-on-one meetings between sellers and buyers and the experience is enhanced with 2D and 3D Stalls, Dashboards, and an appealing Meeting Interface which allows for live product profiling.
The virtual site opened six days prior to the show so that visitors could browse the products and select the companies they would like to meet face-to-face with. Buyers could request a meeting with the company to discuss business. While the standard booth came with 1+1 meeting rooms, a premium exhibitor could create up to 8 virtual meeting rooms where discussions could be conducted with potential clients.
The organisers report that over 3,500 meetings were scheduled through this virtual interface prior to the show.
“This is a new chapter and a new beginning in the history of GJEPC, with a mega show like IIJS is being organised virtually for the first time ever,” concludes Sangani.