Luxury watch exhibition SalonQP has confirmed that it will be returning to the Saatchi Gallery this year, its home since 2011.
There had been rumours that the show, owned by media company Hearst, would be held at an alternative venue in 2019 because the Saatchi Gallery will be closed for renovation work in November, which is the month that SalonQP has always been hosted in. To get around this, it will be held in October instead.
Alun William, Hearst’s managing director of men’s lifestyle, spoke to WatchPro about this year’s event and how it will be the most exciting show yet.
WatchPro: How pleased are you that SalonQP will remain at the Saatchi Gallery this year?
Alun Williams: We’re delighted to be returning to the Saatchi Gallery for the 11th edition of SalonQP. We had really positive feedback from last year’s event, both from exhibitors and attendees. Salon QP is a premium experience of scale and there are very few central London locations which have both the gallery space and luxury credentials to host such an event – the Saatchi Gallery is a great fit for the SalonQP brand.
WP: What are the benefits and drawbacks of it being hosted a month earlier in October?
AW: Salon QP will take place on 10-12 October this year. We have brought the date forward after listening to our exhibitor partners and working with the Saatchi Gallery to find the best availability for the event – we have yet to hear of any drawbacks!
WP: How different will the show look this year?
AW: The show will continue to evolve to become even more immersive and interactive and a more exciting consumer experience than ever before – building on the foundations we put in place last year. Our editorial team are currently working up the themes for this year’s editorial features and galleries and we will be able to share these within the next couple of weeks.
From our consumer feedback from last year’s show we know that half of the attendees had a dwell time of between three and eight hours, and the thing they liked most was meeting with watch brands face-to-face. With this in mind we are devoting an additional gallery on the 1st floor to further watch exhibitor space so we can add to the 47 brands that exhibited in 2018. We are also bringing more jewellery brands to the Bazaar gallery on the ground floor to complement the female watch brands in this space.
WP: Who are the main groups of people that you’re looking to attract to attend SalonQP?
AW: We had 6,500 attendees at last year’s event (which equalled the 2017 number) and we are confident of building on this figure for this year’s event. Through the power of our Hearst luxury brands we will attract not only serious watch collectors, but also CEOs, female industry leaders and next-gen entrepreneurs, all of whom are high-net-worth individuals who appreciate luxury brands and have lots of disposable income!
WP: What does it say about Hearst’s commitment to the watch industry that you’re hosting a bigger and better SalonQP at the same time that shows like Baselworld are struggling?
AW: We are firmly committed to supporting the watch industry, with whom we have a mutually-beneficial relationship. Watches and jewellery are of huge interested to our audiences, they love our editorial content around these categories which in turn drives sales both in boutiques and online. SalonQP differs from shows like Baselworld as we put the consumer experience at the very heart of the show. This was evidenced by the fact that every exhibiting brand either sold watches or had follow-up boutique appointments from this year’s event.
For more information about this year’s SalonQP exhibition, click HERE.