Global watch exhibition Baselworld has revealed how it plans to replace the exhibition space that has been left vacant by Swatch Group’s dramatic withdrawal from the show.
Replacing the massive area in Hall 1.0 that used to be occupied by giant stands from brands like Omega, Tissot and Longines, will be a ‘Central Plaza’, which the show’s organisers claim will feature better services for the media and new restaurants, bars and lounges.
“We examined and sketched various scenarios to determine how best to utilise the space which became available after Swatch Group’s withdrawal”, explains managing director Michel Loris-Melikoff. “In close coordination with the Comité Consultatif (Exhibitors’ Committee), we decided to redesign the area in a unified style and to set important new accents. The decision was to not use the space for exhibitors, but instead to create a park-like environment for encounters and dialogue.”
Journalists will enjoy a new media centre that gives them 60% more space than before, while new restaurants in the Central Plaza will be open all day to serve both exhibitors and visitors.
This move comes on the back of years of criticism of Baselworld for its almost unbelievable lack of catering facilities for its tens of thousands of visitors every year. The organisers will hope that the benefits of the Central Plaza to the visitor experience will outweigh the damage to the show caused by the high profile exhibitor withdrawals.