Celine Lau, Director of Jewelry Fairs in conversation with Mines to Market, outlines new insights into the future of the Hong Kong Jewelry and Gems market and the pivotal role played by the HK trade fair with its new direction and approach.
Q. What is the future plan, or any marketing strategy plan to gain more footfalls for the next upcoming Hong Kong show?
A. So, being a B2B business platform, we trust that the Hong Kong Jewelry and Gem Fair plays a very important role to provide insights and get all the visitors and exhibitors to be inspired during the trade fair time. A platform, that traditionally we will say a B2B show is more focussed on business transactions during the show, but nowadays we have to go in a more diversified way. So from us, we will try to strengthen the content of the fair is a platform to generate We want to make both exhibitors and buyers have a more fulfilled experience during their visit.
Q. How are the political challenges in Hong Kong as well as the ongoing US-China trade row affecting the business?
A. Hong Kong, that is, for our very strong advantage is that Hong Kong is a freeport, and then we have no foreign currency control. So despite the global environment will be a bit more challenging, but we still see that Hong Kong is relatively in a strong position when compared with the other markets.
Q. The Hong Kong Jewelry Fair, can you elaborate with details and the intricacies of the show?
A. So in the coming September fair, that is, as I mentioned, we will strengthen the content, so some new Pavillion that we are going to develop is that the first is about the Technology session because we see that, we hope that apart from visitors, the exhibitors can also have some more insight when they participate in the fair. So we hope that through this Technology Pavillion, the exhibitors can gain some latest technologies. It can help them to run and operate their business. So it is one of the themes. Yes, and then the second pavilion that we are working on is for the lab-grown diamonds because right now it is a new material for jewelry manufacturing, so it will be a new theme in the upcoming.
Q. Are the closures of the big names in the group happening in the Gems and Jewellery industry HK market affected directly or indirectly?
A. I will say September fair right now is the biggest fair in the world. We are in strong confidence that most of the exhibitors will be the professional ones so that they will make use of this important market platform to do their business. So I am sure that everyone will treasure this business platform and then treasure their own business reputations.
Q. When will the market take its peak and what will be the demand for the next HK show?
A. As we see right now the market changes. It is like right now the buyers, they want to reduce their inventory and then they also want to improve their cash flow so right now the purchase pattern is that they buy less but they buy more frequently. So as you saw for this June fair, we consider is a very important mid-year event, that it helps the trade to replenish the stock before the important purchase period in September because September is used to serve the Christmas and New Year purchases.
Q. What are the future plans for any marketing strategy planning to gain more footfalls for the next upcoming HK show?
A. So thank you for asking this question, because right now our fair is under the new brand name of Informa Market. So under the new management, the company is committed to the point where more resources are specialized and digital. So because we are with the main objective that is, we want to extend the business opportunities of our clients, our exhibitors apart from the traditional four-day show or five-day show. So we aim to provide them with a full year of business opportunity. So upcoming, you will see that we have more new functions or new products on our digital platform through the jewlerynet.com.
Q. Who are the consumers of the HK market? The tourists, the locals, or different country changed or who visit the HK show to meet their demand?
A. For the show in Hong Kong, I will see that actually, any kind of buyer can find what they want because we offer a very right range of the product, not only in terms of the product range, but also in terms of the price range, so it is very wise. So I think that people from different sectors, they will find many good choices.
Q. Global market sustainability is decreasing day by day. How is the HK market working over their innovative method to be in the market?
A. So thank you for this question because during this June fair I had a chance to talk to some exhibitors and then I was very encouraged because it is through the conversations we know they are working hard on some new product. So we see that we are very glad we have a group of persons that are working really hard to give energy when the market situation is sensitive. So I am in good confidence that we as a business platform if we work closely with our clients, the exhibitors, and also we provide a good service to our buyers we can continue to maintain this here as a good trading hub, especially in Hong Kong.
Q. How do you look at the Diamond industry overall in the coming future as the sentiments at present are not good. So please explain?
A. I will say that for example, during the last five years the market in China is very strong. So for the diamond industry, many of them are very focussed on the China market. And then, I trust a history told us that every market will go for a time of consolidation because it needs to get a balance between the demand and the supply. So as your question mentioned right now that the diamond market things being a little bit slow, I still see that after this consolidation time the market is going to be more critical and more
Q. Last but not least, any message for your Industry?
A. On behalf of the Hong Kong Jewelry and Gem Fair, I will say that we have a good positioning because, in the last three decades, we have had a chance to serve with many professional customers. We are very happy to share the success stories of them during their last 30 years. So despite that right now the market situation keeps changing, and then some people see that it really challenging, because the pressure is that the pattern has been changing but I am still in good confidence that as long as we all feel a part in here, where we are working closely together, we are still able to maintain a healthy business platform for the future generations.