Antwerp World Diamond Centre to offer FREE 3-day Antwerp, Belgium trip in March of 2017 to qualified retailers & wholesalers looking to source diamonds from Belgium
It was a day of royalty and brilliance as Her Royal Highness, Princess Astrid of Belgium, presided over a one-day Diamond Power Session on Monday, December 5th, in Austin, Texas, hosted by the Southern Jewelers Guild and sponsored by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, in conjunction with the Belgian Economic trade mission.
The full day program immersed attendees in the 550 year legacy of diamonds and Antwerp, and featured a speech by Antwerp World Diamond Centre President Stéphane Fischler, as well as a special appearance from HRH Princess Astrid of Belgium, Representative of His Majesty the King.
Mr. Fischler used part of his welcome speech to address Antwerp’s evolving position within the industry by saying:
“More than 500 years ago, precious goods from far away destinations were brought to Antwerp by merchants who knew they would receive the best price for the best goods. Antwerp always created the greatest added value through its knowledge, experience and craftsmanship.
“Five centuries later, these reasons remain unchanged. Antwerp today is still the leading diamond hub in the world. Diamonds still flow in and out of Antwerp and travel around the globe as they have for centuries. The only real change is that the United States of America is now the leading final destination for the world’s polished diamonds.
“The U.S. as the world’s largest diamond market, and Antwerp as the world’s leading diamond trade center. This is the foundation on which we are looking to build. We must continue to grow and innovate because our leading position is not something we can take for granted. It is not a given. But we are energized by the competition of other trading centers leading us to constantly upgrade and innovate our business model and infrastructure. But more than anything we are driven by a passion for diamonds.
“I always say that if Antwerp wishes to remain the largest diamond trade center in the world, we should not focus on being the biggest, but rather on being the best. If we continue to take care of that, the results will come.”
Fischler continued by stressing the importance of partnerships and said: “Part of our efforts is to also make sure we are working with the best possible partners, just as you need to ensure you are working with the best possible suppliers … stable, honest and innovative partners. Partners that share your ambition and equally important, your values.
“We know retail margins have been affected. And seriously so, for far too many. In order to maintain your competitive edge, you need to secure every single advantage you can. And as just about anyone in the business will tell you, developing a strong partnership with Antwerp is a very distinct advantage.
“We hope that this mission will be another stepping-stone to a long-term partnership with you, the members of the Southern Jewelers’ Guild, and all our new friends in Texas.”
After the morning session, attendees of the event were invited to attend an exclusive Meet & Greet with HRH Princess Astrid of Belgium. The Princess graciously spent nearly an hour at the Meet & Greet, speaking with attendees, taking photo’s, discussing the state of the industry and was eager to hear thoughts about changes in the economy and what the next few years might hold for the jewelry industry here in the United States under President-Elect Trump. And in a delightfully refreshing moment, she also took time to share a few stories and photos from her mobile phone about her new grandchild with several of those who were in the room as well.
Sandy Lux of Saunders Lux Jewelers in Baton Rouge said of the event: “I feel sorry for other jewelers who couldn’t take time out of their stores before the busiest selling season of the year to participate in the rejuvenation and education on current diamond market trends and information that the Antwerp World Diamond Centre provided to us through this event. It was an excellent experience and I am so happy I took the time to participate. If you have any doubt as to what you might have missed, I invite you to send your customers to see me and I will be happy to sell them!”
Amber Gustafson of Amber’s Designs in Katy, Texas said, “This one-day event came at exactly the right time. It made me re-energized about selling natural diamonds again.”
And Karen Rentmeesters, Head of Communications for the Antwerp World Diamond Centre who coordinated the event with the Southern Jewelers Guild and the Belgian Economic Trade Mission said, “This was an excellent opportunity for us to connect with a great group of quality jewelers from the TOLA area. I am really pleased with the outcome.”
The afternoon concluded with a presentation on the “Antwerp Diamond Experience,” a FREE, 3-day business to business visit to the world’s diamond capital in March of 2017. The trip, which will take place March 13 – 15, 2017, provides insider access to the number one diamond market in the world. Attendees who participate in the three-day VIP visitor program to Antwerp have the opportunity to expand their business and learn more about the world’s premier diamond hub from an inside perspective. In addition, during this 3-day business trip attendees will:
– Have intensive meet & greet sessions with select Antwerp diamond companies
– Attend targeted and engaging training sessions
– Enjoy an informal networking cocktail and dinner
If you are interested in learning more about how you can qualify for a FREE trip to Antwerp, Belgium under the “Antwerp Diamond Experience,” sponsored by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, contact Southern Jewelers Guild President Ann Glynn at Ann@SouthernJewelersGuild.com or call 504-615-1191.