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October 5, 2008

Record-breaking mezzanine proves a gem at jewellery show

Reed Exhibitions is the first exhibition organiser to install a temporary mezzanine floor in a fixed venue, and my doing so maximised the space at the International Jewellery London (IJL) show at Earl’s Court, while producing a new and exciting feature.

IJL created a Design Gallery on the upper mezzanine in Earl’s Court 2, with the emphasis on showcasing the best of contemporary international and British design. With an aspirational atmosphere, the gallery not only promoted established designers, such as Shaun Leane, Monica Vinader and Sarah Jordan, but also up-and-coming new talent such as the IJL Bright Young Gems.

This way up: The International Jewellery London's mezzanine

Organisers Reed reported that the gallery created a real buzz and sense of excitement, with the designers saying they all enjoyed an extremely productive show.

“The Design Gallery has worked brilliantly,” enthused Sarah Jordan, designer and exhibitor. “There has been a positive atmosphere throughout the event and the gallery has provided a perfect dedicated showcase for the cutting-edge contemporary designers exhibiting in this area.”
Meanwhile, fine jeweller and designer retailer Leo De Vroomen commented: “With the launch of the new design gallery, IJL is beginning to look like the best of the European shows, such as Basel and Inhorgenta.”

The mezzanine structure used by IJL was supplied and built by Arena Structures. Known as Showdeck, it was first previewed at the Showman’s Show exhibition and the Farnborough Five launch event earlier this year, both of which used temporary venues.

Arena’s managing director Grahame Muir and Reed’s operations director Piers Kelly began discussions 12 months prior to IJL to develop the concept that would allow the show to accommodate growth, while maintaining its established atmosphere in Earls Court 2. Arena’s Jeremy Perkins became the project director who took the initial concepts and managed them through to delivery.

“We have delivered a temporary 2,000-meter mezzanine, complete with custom branded staircases, smoked glass handrails and disabled elevator,” said Muir. “The overall attention to the finest details has created a high-quality finish in line with the standards required by the design led show.”
IJL event director Chris Hartley was equally enthusiastic about the addition of the new floor.

“Initially we were very mindful that we were introducing a dramatic change to the existing format of the show which exhibitors, in particular, have become familiar and comfortable with,” he said. “However, we opened the doors to IJL 08 and immediately knew we had a winning new feature.”

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