June 24, 2004
New Jewelry Section Planned at AGTA GemFair
The AGTA GemFair, Feb. 2-7, 2005, will use the ballroom at its venue, the Tucson Convention Center, to present a broader display of finished gemstone jewelry, says Douglas Hucker, executive director of the American Gem Trade Association, which runs the show. Finished gemstone jewelry is rapidly becoming a major attraction at the show, which formerly had been mostly loose gemstones. At the Convention Center, the ballroom occupies a large space near the entrance of the building, previously used for meetings during the shows.
"We are making use of the ballroom at the Tucson Convention Center, which was sadly underutilized for exhibition space until now, and will convert it into an area where the latest in colored gem designer jewelry can be shown and bought," says Hucker. "We will continue our focus on the integrity of the loose gem dealer, and we know that a buyer's main focus when coming to GemFair is loose gems. But in studying the response finished jewelry has had at our shows, we feel this will be an added attractive venue for mounted goods."
Exhibitors at the ballroom level will be chosen through a juried process, says Hucker. "We want to make sure the new area will be one of the best places to see designers and new jewelry designs. Also, we will make sure it does not compete with manufacturers that are downstairs."
"Having the juried designers in the ballroom will just expand a buyer's choices, and we expect it to bring far more quality buyers to GemFair as a destination when visiting Tucson," he says. The ballroom has room for about 95 10x10-ft. booths; currently some 40 designers have booths at GemFair. Hucker says booth space in the ballrooms and elsewhere will be limited to AGTA members or affiliate members, so that the same enhancement-disclosure and ethical polices and dispute-resolution mechanisms will be used.
by Robert Weldon, G.G.