The first edition of the Gateway International Jewelry Show in Honolulu has apparently been canceled and the company behind it has gone out of business.
But at press time both exhibitors and the convention center were angry they never received official word of any cancellation of the show, which was scheduled for the last week in August. None of the parties contacted by JCK have been able to get in touch with the organization putting on the show, or its president, Alan Feigen.
The answering machine at Feitech Hawaii, the company sponsoring the event, says, “Due to economic considerations, Feitech Hawaii is unfortunately closing its business” and gives a mailing address for further communication. The company’s fax and other numbers have been disconnected. Its web site is still up, but does not mention any cancellation of the show.
Feigen did not return multiple calls JCK left on his office answering machine, cell phone, or home phone.
“We’ve come to the conclusion that the show is not going to happen,” says Joseph Scheper, director of finance for the Honolulu Convention Center. “We have not heard anything from Feitech and to our knowledge, neither has anyone else.”
Sandra Merino, vice president of sales for the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, agrees. “We are very disappointed we are not able to reach them,” she says. “This is a highly unusual situation. It’s a shame because we had high hopes for the show.”
Many exhibitors were puzzled they hadn’t been notified of the cancellation and were nervous about having their money returned.
This is actually the second time the show has been canceled. It was originally scheduled for March, but Feigen postponed it, citing post-Sept. 11 “security concerns.” Explaining the first postponement in a letter to the jewelry industry, Feigen said he “had a very difficult phone call with [Hawaiian] governor [Ben] Cayetano, where he succinctly laid out the downside options of having the show [in March.] His information was current and his judgement impeccable – and my own group of trusted advisors then confirmed every point he made.”
This received a stinging rebuke from the governor. “Not only have you and I never spoken to each other, no one from your organization has ever had any contact with any staff member from my office,” said a letter from Cayetano to Feigen, which was sent to the media. “More importantly, I would never have discouraged any group from gathering in Honolulu at this time … It is extremely disappointing that you would falsely report a conversation and ascribe comments to me that in no way reflect my views, and further that you would create a false impression with your colleagues by using it as a basis for your decision to postpone this event.”