Baselworld is back – and MD Michel Loris-Melikoff was delighted to present the new concept for the famous watch, jewellery and gems show to a live audience for the first time in two-and-a-half years. He did it at a press conference at their popup at Geneva Watch Days, a multibrand watch show being staged at various hotels in Geneva, Switzerland, until Friday, September 3.
MCH Group CEO Beat Zwahlen was there too. “I am really excited to experience this great moment. A brand new and very different Baselworld is back. The brand is known worldwide, but we have reinvented and adapted it to meet the new business environment and trends in the watch, jewellery and gems industry. Baselworld will be an open platform for all parties. At the new Baselworld, manufacturers, retailers and consumers of the complete watches, jewellery and gems ecosystem will meet and share their knowledge, passion and know-how. The pace of change of our business requires more speed, agility and courage to experiment. In the future, we will follow a prototyping principle – going to market quickly, and continuously innovating, rather than going for the perfect one-shot launch. We will host smaller, more frequent events, closer to the consumer, supported by digital technology.”
What is the new Baselworld? Loris-Melikoff describes it as a global hybrid solution combining several live platforms in the most relevant markets around the world with digital solutions to ensure that Baselworld is available 24/7, 365 days a year. The digital platform is not a media platform, he explains. It will be curated by the Baselword team, and populated with content provided by them as well as brands and media partners. It is a tool that will enable media visibility and networking, while serving as a social platform where consumers, retailers, brands and enthusiasts can share their passion through connection and engagement. “What is really important is this digital platform is open to everybody. Brands that are not represented at Baselworld can still have a presence here,” says Loris-Melikoff.
The Baselworld popup at Geneva Watch Days serves partly to activate their new concept but also enables the team to reconnect with the community, live and digitally, and share their platform with participating brands – Claude Meylan, Ice-Watch, AHCI (represented by Ludovic Ballouard and David Candaux), BA111OD, Bomberg, Furlan Marris, Ikepod, Riskers and Sinn Spezialhuren.
Loris-Melikoff emphasised Baselworld’s customer-centric approach, acknowledging the need to focus on attracting the right visitors to get the right exhibitors. “We talk not only about watches, but also the jewellery and gem industries. Certified pre-owned watches will play an important role in the new Baselworld, and the technical and service providers of the industry will also be represented,” he says.
Attendees at the next Baselworld to be held in Basel from March 31 to April 4, 2022 can expect a strong focus on jewellery and watches, including certified pre-owned and connected watches as well as gems, incorporating lab-grown diamonds.
Innovation will be under the spotlight, highlighting new services relevant to visitors, retailers and consumers interested in sustainability, ecommerce, digital marketing, etc.
The style and layout will be very modern, minimalistic, open, inclusive and urban. The focus will be on the product and not the architecture.
Importantly for exhibitors, the Baselworld team has reworked terms and conditions to mitigate the impact of the pandemic. “Should Baselworld be cancelled, exhibitors will get a full refund. If the country of an exhibitor is on the red list, or that country considers Switzerland to be on the red list, and therefore cannot attend the show, they will also get a full refund. And instead of paying the full amount on signing the contract, exhibitors can sign today and pay from January 2022 onwards. There is more flexibility,” says Loris-Melikoff.
Attendees will be pleased to know that the organisers have reached an arrangement with Basel Tourism and the Basel Hotel Association that “cannot be compared with the past. We have much better control over the hotel price,” says Loris-Melikoff.
All events during Baselworld will be presented digitally as well, so there is no fear of missing out for those who can’t attend in person.
For more information, check-out #baselworldisback