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Antwerp Trade Fair Attendees Laud Gathering, Question Timing

Feb 28, 2014 5:47 PM   By Marc Goldstein
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RAPAPORT... The third edition of ''Antwerp Meets Antwerp,'' hosted by the Beurs voor Diamanthandel for Antwerp's diamond manufacturers and traders, seemed to  run on cruise control this week. Feedback from attendees suggested that the event needs some fine-tuning and that the meeting's frequency should be  studied carefully, considering so many trade events are tapping their attention globally.

Koen Smets of Smets Diamant elaborated, saying, ''This time, the enthusiasm was a little lower than during the two previous installments of the fair. This was mainly due to the fact that the Antwerp Meets Antwerp  fairs are following up too fast, while other major shows are also happening around the world, especially during the first half of the year. In such circumstances, a large part of our inventory is abroad and people know that. Having said that, besides the scheduling issue, it’s been clearly demonstrated that Antwerp Meets Antwerp is definitely meeting a major need of the industry: better knowing your pairs enables you to improve your businesses’ efficiency.''

Bourse board member Nicole Decombes added, ''We think that every two months could probably be a good frequency for the fair. However, we’ll have to take into account the major trade shows around the globe. Having said that, one of the most appealing aspects of the fair is definitely the revival of the fun part of the job, which lies undoubtedly within the human contact. There was no doubt indeed during the show that people enjoyed it.''

Yves Diamant agreed, saying, ''It’s very important for our trade, because today, with the Internet, people tend to lose sight of the primary essence of their business, which is meeting people. There’s no way you can replace that, and with Antwerp Meets Antwerp, it doesn’t cost you anything.''

Decombes concluded, ''More contacts eventually mean more business, because you know better what your neighbor does and has in inventory and this is exactly what our fair is about.''

Tags: Antwerp, diamond dealers, Marc Goldstein, meeting, trade fair
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