Second edition of CARAT+ closes with boosted visitor numbers

11 May 2018

The second edition of CARAT+, The World’s Premier Diamond Event, closed on Tuesday, May 8 after a positive three-days of buying, networking, glamour and evening entertainment.

The trade event surpassed its attendance goals, with a total of 3,829 visitors across all three days (up from 2,927 last year). Among those visitors were diamond professionals, buyers and members of the press from 50 countries, including India, Hong Kong, Japan, China, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, the United States and the United Kingdom.   Despite this year-on-year growth from the inaugural edition in 2017, CARAT+ understands the need to widen its scope and will now introduce further initiatives to encourage more retailers, designers, brands and buyers to attend in 2019.   More than 2,400 visitors attended the inaugural day of CARAT+ 2018 and CARAT+ Night alone, signalling this as a new, not-to-be-missed social event in the annual Antwerp diamond sector calendar.

Sharing his opinions on the show, Rapaport Publisher, John Costello, said: “This show is a beacon of light for the diamond industry in Europe. To have such a stunning platform for diamonds and a show dedicated to the beauty of diamonds is very important to the trade, and it is something that Rapaport is very proud to be associated with. We will do all we can to help promote and develop the show, and this year we have seen a step-up from last year – it is still a very young show and it has years to develop, but this is an excellent start.”   He added: “The show has done amazingly well in a short period. It needs the support of the industry to succeed, so please come and join a wonderful, innovative show in 2019.”   Sachiv Mehta, Managing Director of first-time exhibitor, Supergems, said: “We enjoyed participating in a high-quality show with a support team that’s always finding new ideas to keep visitors and exhibitors engaged.”   Similarly, Mahiar Borhanjoo, Managing Director of Venus Jewel International, a first-time exhibitor to the show, said: “The passion behind the organisers to make something great has been noticed. We appreciate the hard work and efforts the CARAT+ team put in to make this show happen.”   HRD Antwerp Marketing and Communications Manager, Laurence Vadenborre, adds: “The first experience for HRD Antwerp at CARAT+ was very positive. The organisation of the fair was of a top- level, as well as the communication around it. We enjoyed success at our booth, both for our grading service and for the demos of our new equipment. We felt supported by the CARAT+ team throughout this exciting journey and we will be very happy to take part in the next edition."   CARAT+ 2018 also featured an impressive array of technology for the diamond industry. Chris Sanger, Trade Development Manager at IIDGR De Beers, says: “We had a great experience at the CARAT+ show, which continues to grow as an important event in the calendar. Many people were interested in our diamond detection instruments and adding this technology to the glamour of CARAT+ made for an interesting mix. We look forward to the 2019 event.”   Returning exhibitors noticed a clear difference in the number of visitors and the overall atmosphere of the second edition, with eponymous exhibitor, Roberto Coin, commenting: “I have strongly enjoyed being a promoter of the second edition of CARAT+. Today fairs are very difficult, but they are a precious chance to meet international clientele and bring [them] inside your world. I consider Antwerp a beautiful city and its diamonds are even better. I think CARAT+ could be the platform for [the city’s] future.”   Similarly, Camilla Jackson, International Marketing Manager of Amin Luxury, which exhibited at CARAT+ for the second time with the Niro Group, comments: “This is our second year at CARAT+ and we are fortunate to be able to compare one year to the next. We have certainly seen a greater volume of interest and enquiries in our loose diamonds; the Niru Group collection and in our joint venture of the Leonardo Da Vinci Cut collection.   “We travel the world to all the big fairs, JCK, Hong Kong and Vicenzaoro, and we are finding that CARAT+ has an approach that is very futurist and appealing; from the entertainment offered, which creates the ability to socialise with other exhibitors on the first night, and the condense length of the show that is enough to ensure high-quality meetings and maintain the sales team’s spirits. We are very happy with the show and look forward to learning of when next year’s show will be.”

Visitor engagement was aided by the CARAT+ Conference, a series of talks hosted across all three days of the event, which drew healthy crowds. The success of the programme now points towards an expanded programme of seminars and lectures for the 2019 edition. This year’s speakers included representatives from GIA, Rapaport, HRD Antwerp, Holition and the Responsible Jewellery Council.   GIA Senior Vice President of Business Development, Anna Martin, says: “On behalf of GIA, our congratulations to CARAT+ for building such success in just two years. We are pleased to be part of that success, and we look forward to being even more a part of the Antwerp diamond community.”   CARAT+ 2018 Main Partner, Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), hosted a hugely successful diamond hackathon, Hack4Diamonds, which concluded at CARAT+ on Sunday, May 6. Hosted in collaboration with Junction, the event finale drew a packed crowd to the CARAT+ conference room where teams presented their innovative ideas to tackle challenges in the diamond sector.  The winning team presented fresh ideas on blockchain technology, while second place was awarded to a team proposing co-working spaces in the diamond sector. Read more about the winning Hack4Diamonds solution, here.   AWDC CEO, Ari Epstein, commented: “As the representative body of the world’s largest diamond hub, AWDC was proud to be a Main Partner of this prestigious second edition of CARAT+. The increase in show attendance by industry stakeholders from around the globe, as well as the success of the very first diamond hackathon, once again confirmed Antwerp as the epicentre of the global diamond trade and the frontrunner when it comes to fostering innovation. We look forward to building further on this foundation in next year’s edition.”   CARAT+ will now begin preparations for its third edition in 2019, in-line with its long-term plan to achieve ‘The World’s Premier Diamond Event’ status.   CARAT+ Founder, Filip Van Laere, concludes: “This year, we achieved a number of significant long- term objectives way ahead of the initial planning. One such objective was to create world-wide awareness for CARAT+ as a diamond-specific show with great potential, and I believe we ticked that box successfully in 2018.  Now that the global format and all the organisational aspects of the show are fully under control, we can fully concentrate on bringing yet more visitors to experience CARAT+. I would like to personally thank the whole CARAT+ Team, the exhibitors, visitors and special guests who made the second edition of CARAT+ such an enjoyable and worthwhile experience.”  

>> WATCH: The CARAT+ Night 2018 After Movie

CARAT+ has ambitions to become the reference in diamonds; offering an annual meeting place for buying, networking and debating the future of the diamond industry. Launched in 2017, the event attracted more than 3,000 visitors and 130 exhibitors in its first year alone.

Partners and sponsors that joined CARAT+ for the 2018 edition include Main Partner Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), Diamond Partners ABN AMRO Belgium; security expert Brinks; insurance broker Driesassur; the Federation of Belgian Diamond Bourses (FBDB); the world’s foremost authority in gemology, GIA (Gemological Institute of America); industry media specialist Rapaport, and Event Partners motor company, Bentley; Brussels Airlines; champagne house Laurent-Perrier; Porsche Center Antwerp, and mobile camera security specialists, TowerEye. 

CARAT+ will return in 2019 at Antwerp Expo in Antwerp, Belgium. For more information please visit caratplusantwerp.com or email info@caratplusantwerp.com.

 

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