March 24, 2019
“It’s an exchange of ideas”
The watch industry is experiencing a challenging time at the moment. What do you think the future holds?
Ariel Adams: What you’re seeing now is a consolidation of an industry that grew too big. The industry today is experiencing this crisis where they have to shrink in size even though they don’t want to, as that means a lot fewer jobs. I see a natural sort of settling in the future. But people do have a tendency to overexaggerate. Any time you fall three feet, they turn it into a 100-foot fall.
And what does this mean for watch trade shows like Baselworld?
The utility of a watch trade show has not gone away. Trade shows in general across all industries are always one of the first things which are affected when there’s a problem, so it’s not the show that’s the issue, it’s the fact the industry has very different needs now. So, actually, I think the value of a trade show has never been more important than now because these companies need an opportunity to come together to see best practices. So, for me, the transition of what Baselworld needs to become is less about having a place where dealers can come to buy products and more a place where the industry can connect and discuss what’s been going right or wrong, whether there are new people or new technologies. It’s an exchange of ideas. It’s also a vehicle to get the world excited about what’s going on.
So what needs to happen?
The visibility that comes with a trade show and the dissemination of that information and the ability to show it to the world is exactly what the industry needs. I think that this year’s Baselworld organisers have done a very admirable job of making the show more comfortable; it definitely feels more relaxed. You’re starting to get the sense now that the theme comes closer to the product. And we need a lot more of that. It’s an opportunity because the industry is in disarray right now. It’s a chance for the show to reinvent itself. Baselworld should take this opportunity to keep on experimenting. Not all the ideas are going to work, but they need to keep trying.