Bill Clinton to headline Antwerp Diamond Conference

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton will head a blue-ribbon list of speakers at the second Antwerp Diamond Conference, which will take place in the Belgian diamond capital Nov. 3-4, 2003. The conference, which is being organized by the Antwerp Diamond High Council (HRD), will focus specifically on the subject of branding and marketing diamonds and diamond jewelry.

Clinton will deliver his address at a gala dinner on Nov. 3 at the Waagnatie, an industrial warehouse located on the banks of the River Scheldt that will be converted especially for the event into a stunning ballroom.

The conference itself will be held at the Province House, the seat of government for the Province of Antwerp. Among the more than 30 speakers who will address the two-day gathering are Gary Ralfe, managing director of De Beers; Isabelle Guichot, chairwoman and general manager of Van Cleef & Arpels; Vladimir Kalitin, president of Alrosa; Ralph Destino, chairman emeritus of Cartier Inc.; Arlette Emch, member of the general management of The Swatch Group; Nadja Swarovski, vice president of international communications for Swarovski; and Gareth Penny, the man behind the new sale strategy of the DTC.

The conference will be organized into five modules to cover the topic of branding and marketing in the diamond industry. The first module will feature a group of world-class marketing specialists who will present an overview of marketing and branding in the luxury goods sector, and consider how what has been learned can be applied to the diamond business.

Module two will feature diamond industry entrepreneurs who have already implemented major marketing and branding campaigns. In addition to their case studies, the module also will include a panel discussion that will attempt to forecast the nature of the market five years from now. Module three also will include case studies, this time presented by business leaders from other luxury goods sectors, particularly the watch and high-end jewelry industries.

Module four will feature jewelry retailers who will consider the relationships required between the diamond and jewelry sectors to ensure the success of a successful branding and marketing campaign. Finally, module five will focus on Antwerp, highlighting the city’s recently announced campaign to expand its current role as the world’s most important diamond trading center to include being the primary jewelry distribution center in Europe.

Individuals interested in participating in the 2003 Antwerp Diamond Conference can register via the conference’s Internet Web site,

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