48 and buyers in the direction of key bridal exhibitors. We are also pleased to launch the new Inspire Seminar Programme, which will include talks categorised by three core themes: Retail Reimagined; The Business Forum; and Skills, Design & the Craft of Jewellery. A range of panel discussions and seminars will be hosted in new show-floor spaces, named The Catwalk Theatre, The Retail Theatre, The Inspiration Theatre, and The Design & Business Hub. IJL’s ever- popular ‘In Conversation With’ talks will be joined this year by a range of insightful panel discussions and workshops. Highlights include sessions on reimagining the future of jewellery retail, understanding lab-grown diamonds and photographing jewellery to enhance its sparkle and character. IJL has also partnered with trend forecasting specialist, Paola De Luca, to predict the most essential trends of SS19. These are available to view on the IJL website and will be brought to life in regular catwalk shows in The Catwalk Theatre at Olympia. Out of the companies exhibiting in 2018 at IJL, which ones are you most excited about and why? I am really looking forward to welcoming some fantastic diamond and fine jewellery businesses, including Hockley Mint, Clogau, C W Sellors, Chiffon, Tivon, PJ Watson, Charles Green and Yoko London. I am also excited to see the bridal jewellery designs by Fei Liu Fine Jewellery and Ntinga. This year is an exciting one for Antwerp Diamonds, who will be celebrating 15-years at IJL and 25-years of the Phoenix Cut diamond. Why is the show so important to attend for independent bridal retailers? We appreciate that taking time away from your business to attend a trade event can be a challenge, which is why we focus so much attention on the IJL experience. As well as our unrivalled UK buying opportunities for fine and fashion jewellery, we also host the Retail Experience & Technology area featuring specialists in EPoS software, lighting, scent marketing, store design and gem testing. These exhibitors will be on-hand to provide guidance to bridal retailers who are striving to improve their customer experience, whether online or in their bricks-and-mortar stores. IJL also offers the perfect opportunity to assess the latest trends in bridal jewellery, including engagement rings and wedding bands. Bridal retailers and fine jewellers can take this information on cuts and styles back to their establishments and use it to shape their approach to the next season. Plus, the Inspire Seminar Programme will offer ample insights to give retail businesses a boost, like improving your social media, boosting digital conversion rates, curating your offer and staying ahead with security. How far do you think the recent royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will influence the jewellery industry? We saw the impact of royal wedding fever in the countdown to the event, on the weekend itself and now we are experiencing the welcome ripple effects of such a high-profile occasion. We joined in with all the excitement on behalf of our exhibitors with a social media campaign that kicked off with filming outside Kensington Palace with jewellery designer LeSter Jewellery. We have already seen evidence of the Meghan Markle-effect with the soaring popularity of trilogy diamond engagement rings, followed by the classic cluster style worn by the Duchess of Cambridge and now Princess Eugenie. Ahead of the wedding of the now Duke and Duchess of Sussex, IJL produced a series of videos as part of our IJL Live series – these can be found on our YouTube channel. These videos highlight just how influential royal jewellery has been, not just in recent months, but throughout the centuries. More generally, the Duchess of Sussex’s signature minimalistic style is likely to influence fashion and jewellery trends in the coming 12 months. We are predicting slimline stacking rings studded with small diamonds, pavé diamond stud earrings and simple pendants in 9k and 18k yellow gold. UK jewellery retailers and brands especially should be looking to make the most of their British roots – especially as the concept of Britishness continues to be popular in international markets and especially China. At IJL, we will continue to monitor the impact of the royal wedding and share advice and insights on capitalising on this with our exhibitors and visitors.