On Sunday 5th September a group of representatives from the Guild visited Earls Court 2 for the opening day of IJL 2010 and this is what we found……..
Getting there is simple enough. Go to Earls Court tube station, follow the Warwick Road exit signs and Earls Court will be directly in front of you. Walk all the way around the building and you’ll find Earls Court 2 at the back. However, there is a 24 hour tube strike planned from 17.00 on Monday 6th and many exhibitors are expecting Tuesday to be very quiet. Maybe that would be the day to go! If you were planning to get there without using the underground it would definitely make sense – otherwise, catch a cab or a bus there and skip the crowds.
For bus information click here http://www.eco.co.uk/p/bus/111
Getting in requires some forward planning. If you have already registered take your registration badge and ID with you to gain entry. If you haven’t already registered and you have an IJL Pre-Registration Form, take that along with your ID and you won’t have to pay an entrance fee. If you arrive at Earls Court without a badge or pre-registration form you will be charged a £50 entrance fee on the door. One of our party (who will probably want to remain anonymous) arrived with no badge, no form and no ID, luckily they knew one of the exhibitors who was able to identify them to security staff and fifty pounds later they were allowed to come in. Bring ID - bring your badge - security is tight.
Once in, you’ll be given a map & a complimentary bottle of water and then it’s time to get stuck in. The exhibitors are laid out in various areas according to their genre, it’s all colour coded on the map and they all have letter coded locations so specific people are easy to find.
The seminar programme is a great opportunity to learn about aspects of the industry from the experts. Check the schedule before you arrive – most of them take place in the upstairs rooms which are accessible from the left side of the hall and a few are held in the Boulevard Bar in the centre of the hall. Be sure to arrive in good time as places are limited.
The atmosphere on Sunday was definitely upbeat. Exhibitors were chatty and cheerful and there was something for everyone to see, from tools and packaging to stones and fine jewellery. Most people agreed that it was busier than last year. It’s a great place to be to pick up on up and coming trends and take a look at what new designers have to offer as well as new collections from a plethora of established jewellers.