27 March 2019
Basel, Switzerland – Organisers of premier watch and jewellery show Baselworld is laying out a massive plan to enhance future editions beginning 2020 through digitalisation; new events and sections; and hospitality initiatives, among others.
The changes are to be undertaken over a three-year transformational period (2020 to 2023), according to Michel Loris-Melikoff, managing director of Baselworld.
The 2020 edition will feature numerous innovations such as new event and experience zones. Among other things, a Retailer Summit, CEO Talks and a Virtual Reality Zone are planned. The hall layout has also been reenvisaged: The gemstone exhibitors will move into Hall 2. An Innovation Square will be established in Hall 2 and a large area will be reserved for smartwatches and wearables. The outside exhibition square will be completely redesigned and interactive. At the same time, Baselworld will open its doors with a special offer specifically for end customers and collectors.
The fair also has a new tagline – Baselworld: The Watch and Jewellery Community – which signals the new direction it is taking. The show, Loris-Melikoff said, is not just a watchmaking platform but also a place of business for jewellery, loose stones and other related industries.
Next year’s edition will also be moved to April 30 to May 5, right after the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva.
Baselworld 2019 featured 520 exhibitors, down 20 percent from around 650 last year. Visitor numbers reached 81,200, representing a drop of 22 percent from 2018.
Swatch Group announced its exit from Baselworld early last year, saying watch fairs no longer make sense amid a more modern, fast-paced environment. It also called for the need for traditional fairs to modernise.
Commenting on the changes to take place, Loris-Melikoff said, “This vision stands for what the industry is looking for. The feedback was positive.” He added that some brands that were not present in 2019 but with whom the management has been in discussions have promised to return in 2020.
Baselworld is expected to make more announcements in the coming weeks and months, added the company official.