Baselworld focuses on quality rather than quantity as exhibitor numbers dip to 600

BaselworldThe world’s biggest watch and jewellery show is adapting to the changing state of the Swiss watch industry. AFP PHOTO / Fabrice COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

Baselworld has said that the number of companies exhibiting in 2018 will be between 600 and 700.

The world’s largest jewellery and watch show has also been shortened to six days.

The Swiss watch industry has endured two difficult years with global exports falling, particularly to Hong Kong and the USA.

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The downward trend has been reversed since the start of this year, but the Swiss watch industry has adjusted the way it spends its marketing money, particularly in the new age of digital promotions.

Baselworld says it is focusing on quality rather than quantity when it comes to the exhibition next year and in the future.

“Baselworld has decided to maintain its outstanding quality for the next edition. The show does not rely on quantity, but will remain the leading event for premier global brands. And this in all segments,” a statement from the organiser MCH Swiss Exhibition (Basel) Ltd said today.

“The watch and jewellery market is undergoing a period of profound change, first and foremost through the increasing consolidation of the market in terms of production and marketing, but also through the challenges and opportunities of digital technology. Responding to this development, Baselworld 2018 presents itself in a denser and more concentrated form in several respects. The duration of the show will be shortened by two days and will run for six days. The number of exhibiting companies will be between 600 and 700,” the company adds.

Visitors to Baselworld will be presented with a considerably different event to previous years. As recently as 2014, Baselworld described itself as the annual event, where around 1,500 exhibitors, including all the leading brands, from over 40 countries first showcase their innovations and novelties. The exhibition was open for eight days.

MCH says that the Baselworld 2018 concept was developed in close cooperation with the most important exhibitors. Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, co-president of Chopard, voiced his support. “Baselworld 2018 will be more coherent and more concentrated. I look forward to participating in 2018, and I think Baselworld’s management has made the right decision to initiate change.”

Eric Bertrand, president of the Baselworld Exhibitors’ Committee, added: “I believe that these are the first steps in a very forward-looking direction.”

François Thiébaud, president of the Swiss Exhibitors’ Committee said: “All these measures are positive for Swiss exhibitors. We now focus on the essence of what constitutes our industry.”

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