As the Carat+ diamond trade fair drew to a close on Tuesday, exhibitors spoke of their plans to take part in next year’s edition and expressed hope that it would see an increase in buyer attendance.
“The general feedback is that everybody who attended this year wants to continue next year,” said Yoran Dayagi, executive manager at Israeli diamond manufacturer Dayagi Diamonds. “The organizers just need to put in more energy and focus to get more clients and more media.”
Exhibitors who spoke to Rapaport News praised organizer Artexis Easyfairs for setting up a well-organized show in Antwerp, and noted the positive atmosphere throughout the event.
However, with the official visitor count at 2,927 over the three days of the fair, participants suggested that traffic needed to grow for the show to succeed next year and beyond.
Newcomers to the Antwerp market reported mixed results. Core Jewellery, an India-based diamond jewelry manufacturer that took a booth at the show, didn’t receive a single inquiry during the fair, said Mary D’Souza, its business development manager.
“We’ve had no actual buyers. The show is maybe better for diamonds than for jewelry,” she observed. Nonetheless, D’Souza said the company would consider exhibiting again next year.
Many saw the event as an important networking opportunity in a major trading center. The Design House, another Indian fine-jewelry manufacturer, said the show had helped expand its Antwerp contacts.
“It was good for us to be in Antwerp and meet the local clients here that we don’t meet when we are [at the two shows we attend each year] in Hong Kong,” said Aditya Vakharia, a sales executive for the company. “It’s the first time we were able to work with guys from Belgium.”
Besides attracting more clients, the organizers should draw more international exhibitors, recommended Michel Fischler, director at Fischler Diamonds, a diamond trading and manufacturing company based in Antwerp, New York and Hong Kong.
“The more they open to international exhibitors, the more successful the organizers will be,” he said. “They also need to attract the right type of customers, such as diamond wholesalers from a variety of countries, to show them what we have in Antwerp.”
Event director Filip Van Laere said the aim of this year’s exhibition was to create a strong template for a show that he hoped would become a fixture on the global industry’s calendar.
“Based on what we have learned over the past few days, as well as during the long months of preparation, our intention is that Carat+ will become the undisputed annual reference point for the world diamond and diamond jewelry industry, and as such, an event at which traders, industry leaders and opinion-makers gather year after year,” he said.
Dayagi, for his part, predicted that “in the upcoming three years, it’s going to be one of the most important shows in Europe.”
* Picture courtesy of Carat+