The International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA) Congress held this past January in Jaipur, India, welcomed a record 250 attendees (plus family members) and included a post-congress Sri Lankan mine tour. GIA president Bill Boyajian gave the keynote address.
The educational portion of the five-day event consisted of more than 30 seminars and panel discussions. Many concentrated on colored-gemstone marketing, promotion, and public relations with an emphasis on developing and improving Web sites, as well as the technical gemological topics presented by representatives of the major international gem labs.
Held biennially, ICA Congresses have been hosted in the most recent past by Brazil (1997), Italy (1999), and Australia (2001). This year’s participants came from Australia, Austria, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Tanzania, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
“Our Indian hosts did such a fantastic job with this congress,” concluded ICA’s newly elected president, Joseph Menzie, “that they’ve set a standard that will be hard to beat, wherever the congress is held two years from now.” Nonetheless, a number of countries have already indicated a desire to host the 2005 congress, including Korea and China. A questionnaire will be sent out to ICA’s worldwide membership, and the chosen host country will be announced later this year.