(Press Release) Diamond event CARAT+ welcomes the Antwerp World Diamond Centre as its Main Partner for the 2018 edition.

AWDC will host a series of unique events before and during CARAT+ 2018 to highlight the Antwerp’s world-renowned diamond heritage and expertise.

Highlights will include an immersive 360-degree film to be shown in the Antwerp Diamond Experience Dome on the CARAT+ show floor. This innovative experience will follow the entire journey of a diamond as it heads towards its final destination: from the moment it is mined, through the cutting and polishing process and, finally, landing in the experienced hands of diamond professionals in Antwerp – the world’s foremost centre for rough and polished diamond trading.

In addition, AWDC will host the world’s first Hack4Diamonds event, from Friday, May 4, to Sunday, May 6, in collaboration with Junction and with the support of CARAT+. This "hackathon" event will address contemporary challenges in the diamond industry by bringing together young innovators, students and start-ups with expertise in computer science, marketing, business management expertise, blockchain, artificial intelligence and more. Together they will "hack" problems and seek to solve challenges in an immersive three-days at Antwerp Expo, the home of CARAT+ 2018.

Ari Epstein of AWDC said: “AWDC is proud to be the newest and Main Partner of CARAT+. After bursting onto the diamond scene last year with a successful maiden edition, we knew CARAT+ represented the future of diamond trade shows in Antwerp, and also knew we wanted to be part of it. We expect the second edition of CARAT+ to be another giant step forward in their objective to become the world’s premier diamond event.”

The AWDC’s mission is to ensure Antwerp remains at the forefront of the global diamond industry, to foster awareness of Antwerp’s contributions to local and international trade and to inspire current and future generations.

“In order to stay ahead of global competition, it is also important that we engage with external businesses and professionals and listen to their insights and particular expertise. This culture of co- creation, led by the inaugural Hack4Diamonds event in Antwerp, is what will truly spur innovation across our industry,” Ari Epstein adds.

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AWDC offers a wide array of services, information and benefits to Antwerp’s diamond professionals, including its online platform, the “It’s in our DNA” marketing campaign and the global news website The Diamond Loupe. It promotes the interests of more than 1,600 individual companies, representing 6,600 direct and 26,000 indirect jobs in Belgium.

CARAT+ founder and event director Filip Van Laere said: “I am very happy to welcome AWDC as a Main Partner to CARAT+ 2018. I strongly believe that the combination of an entrepreneurial initiative like CARAT+ and one of the most respected organizations in the international diamond community is a tremendous feat. Together, we will help to ensure Antwerp remains a hub of diamond excellence and that CARAT+ develops into an annual destination for diamond networking and sales.”

CARAT+ has ambitions to become the reference in diamonds, offering an annual meeting place for buying, networking and debating the future of the diamond industry. Launched in 2017, the event attracted more than 3,000 visitors and 130 exhibitors in its first year.

Partners and sponsors who have joined CARAT+ for the 2018 edition also include ABN AMRO; motor company, Bentley; security expert Brinks; Brussels Airlines; insurance broker Driesassur; the world’s foremost authority in gemology, GIA (Gemological Institute of America); and industry media specialist Rapaport.

CARAT+ takes place May 6, 7 and 8 at Antwerp Expo in Antwerp, Belgium. For more information, visit caratplusantwerp.com.

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