Baselworld’s 2020 show has been cancelled. The news broke today just hours after Switzerland’s Federal Council banned events for more than 1000 people.
“For health safety reasons and in accordance with the precautionary principle following the bans of large-scale public and private events issued today by the Swiss federal and cantonal authorities, Baselworld announces that it has taken the decision to postpone the show to Thursday 28th January 2021 to Tuesday 2nd February 2021 due to concerns related to Covid-19,” an announcement circulated by the organizer says.
The date at the end of January is the perfect slot for both brands and retailers. Moving this year’s event to the end of April as part of a plan to run it back-to-back with Watches & Wonders Geneva turned out to be a disaster that caused a number of additional brands to withdraw.
There has been no announcement from Watches & Wonders on when its 2021 event will take place, but the industry will be hoping it will overlap with the Baselworld week, allowing executives to travel just once to Switzerland.
Baselworld says it had no other option than to make a decision today as all preparations, in particular, construction in the halls and of the stands was scheduled to commence next week in the first week of March.
“We deeply regret having had to postpone the event as planned due to the coronavirus, in full consideration of the needs of the watch and jewellery industry to be able to benefit from the platform to develop their business. This decision has been all the more difficult in view of all the positives that have been achieved through listening and dialogue over the last few months, which resulted in new concepts and new solutions, that have attracted exhibitors to return and new ones to sign on. We registered encouraging growth in all sectors; watchmaking, jewellery, the gemstone and pearl trade, as well as in the technical branch,” says Michel Loris-Melikoff, managing director of Baselworld.
“By postponing the show to January 2021, we have found a solution that enables the industry and all our customers to avoid losing a full year and at the same time reset their calendars for the beginning of the year, a period that is conductive to the presentation of their new products, new trends and order taking. This postponing will also allow Baselworld to continue developing and bringing new formats and solutions as well as improvements to the new concept we propose.”
Bernd Stadlwieser, Group CEO of Baselworld’s owner MCH Group, adds: “Within the process of the last weeks, I was very impressed by the involvement and trust of all our customers, partners, stakeholders and team, to pro-actively find the very best solution in the interests of the industries. By communicating intensively all together, we were able to work on different scenarios and to jointly decide on the very best one. I would like to thank everybody for their belief in and commitment to our platform. Baselworld is not only the largest watch and jewellery event in the world, but is also destined to become the industry’s largest global community platform, active all year round. In the coming weeks, we will be presenting a new digital service that is essential and useful to our entire community, and which we trust will meet the needs of the brands that have become even more important in these difficult and turbulent times.”