The jewellery industry across the globe suffered a major setback due to the COVID 19 pandemic. In countries like India, especially, it has been hit hard owing to a long list of cancelled or postponed events like weddings.
At a time now when the Indian, as well as global industry eye revival amidst lockdown relaxations, Italian Exhibition Group (IEG), as the organizer of Vicenzaoro – among other shows –,, has announced an extraordinary event titled VOICE to be held at the Vicenza Expo Centre from Saturday 12th to 14th. VOICE, in precedence of a trade show re-boot with Vicenzaoro in January 2021, will reunite the gold and jewellery sector to relaunch businesses and export activities around the world. The event is curated by IEG in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Italian Trade Agency and will specifically focus on innovating, organizing and acting responsibly. The event will take place guaranteeing full health protection of companies and visitors in compliance with IEG’s #SAFEBUSINESS project (https://www.iegexpo.it/it/safebusiness), providing more than fifty guidelines, from the digitalization of tickets and payments to temperature controls to a sanitization route. IEG has furthermore chosen the GBAC STARTM program to reach the international standard of sanitation for the Vicenza exhibition centre. Set to usher in the industry’s global re-start, VOICE will be presented in a unique format with “phygital” — physical and virtual — realities coming together.
Italy is known for its handcrafted jewellery with the “Made in Italy” hallmark being synonymous with excellence in jewellery craftsmanship. The country is looked up to as an international centre for design, fashion and style and Italian-made jewels are among the most sought after in the world. Italy is also known to be at the forefront of manufacturing technology for jewellery. Hence, an event that comes from this rich and varied heritage is being viewed as a landmark.
For countries like India, VOICE holds increased importance as an event that will re-instil a fresh lease of life for its jewellery business against the backdrop of global issues like surging gold and silver prices, and huge uncertainty across the retail landscape. In India, the jewellery industry has suffered massive damage as mass shopping came to a standstill and no footfalls were witnessed at jewellery stores despite the scheduled peak wedding season. March 2020 was the 12th consecutive month that did not witness any positive YoY exports growth. In FY20, gross exports of gems and jewellery fell by 10 per cent YoY to $35,531 mn. Key commodities such as cut and polished diamonds, rough diamonds, gold medallions and coins and coloured gemstones witnessed declining exports demand.
The industry was already facing challenges in the form of customs duties and fall in exports amongst others. The sudden rise in pricing had resulted in a drop in sales in the past few months. The pandemic outbreak further led to huge losses given that all retail stores were shut during the lockdown. The world’s second-biggest gold consumer saw demand tumbling down as it witnessed the slowest pace of growth in the last decade.
At a time like this, platforms like VOICE are slated to go a long way in helping the Indian jewellery industry look towards revival with lockdowns gradually easing and the market opening up.
‘VOICE’ will aim to give a voice to the Indian as well as global jewellery world, acting as a trend inversion and economic reactivation point. Events will unfold via cutting-edge integration with the most sophisticated television broadcasting systems and digital instrumentation to ensure that all sessions and seminars will be broadcast live on platforms like YouTube, Instagram and Facebook to be viewed all over the world.
Over three days, VOICE will act as a summit where opinion leaders from the international jewellery fraternity: From Damiani Group’s CEO to the Executive Director of De Beers, from the President of the World Diamond Council to the President of the World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO), from the Executive Director of the Responsible Jewellery Council to CEOs from all the most esteemed Italian gold and jewellery companies, including Bulgari and Pomellato, will discuss and deliberate over various topics including the state of the industry and the upcoming challenges. Jewellery brands and designers will also be able to present their new collections, the latest design trends and most contemporary procedures and processing innovations. An elegant and essential outfitting context will welcome those buyers who are physically participating in the event. Meanwhile, a Buyer Virtual Room will be set up for virtual participants who may find it difficult to travel to Italy.
Marco Carniello, Group Brand Director Jewellery & Fashion, Italian Exhibition Group said, “Businesses across the world are gradually picking up and are looking for revival. After months of not having live events, VOICE will present a robust platform that will be a mix of living and digital. It aims to offer a voice to stakeholders from the global jewellery industry to present their new collections, latest design trends and contemporary processing innovations. We are excited to bring the international jewellery industry together again.”
VOICE will also be a showcase for products, with trade contacts readily provided to stakeholders to pursue business opportunities. The summit will be a mix of education and insights to help create future trade and solve existing challenges.