Born during World War I, Baselworld is a watch, jewelry, and gemstone trade show that is 102 years old. The show allows the industry to come together once a year to exchange ideas, showcase new products, network, and expand customer and clientele bases.
Baselworld is all about efficiency within the industry, providing a space where smaller companies and brands have access to the industry as a whole, rather than having to attend multiple summits and exhibitions held brand by brand or group by group throughout the year. And with efficiency comes innovation. Here the top 10 new and improved expectations for Baselworld 2020:
Loris-Melikoff, the man behind the Zurich Street Parade—the world’s largest technoparade—plans to offer the 2020 Baselworld attendees a selection of more engaging events. “New experience zones” will be available, zones that feature virtual reality, augmented reality, and holographic experiences.
Education programs will become a staple of this year’s Baselworld, including conferences, workshops, debates, talks, summits, and influencer events. Also to be expected are brand presentations that focus on products and sponsorships. It has not been confirmed, but Loris-Melikoff is considering adding award nights, gala nights, and show and exhibitor-sponsored entertainment, as well.
Announced in its March press conference, “Baselworld will open its doors with a special offer specifically for end customers and collectors.” Traditionally, Baselworld has been a watch, jewelry, and gemstone trade show focused on business-to-business relationships. Although that will remain the same, Baselworld will focus on business-to-consumer relationships this year, as well.
The show’s new slogan is “Baselworld: The World Watch & Jewelry Community.” This year’s show will include everyone involved in the watch, jewelry, and gemstone industries: producers, retailers, distributers, auction houses, e-tailers, collectors, consumers, aficionados, and media. This will be sure to extract not only more exhibitors, but also more visitors.
THE BASELWORLD DIGITAL PLATFORM
Baselworld will create a digital platform that will be available to the entire Baselworld community, both those attending the event and those who cannot. The platform has been described as “live, digital, relevant, all year long.” In other words, Baselworld will be a year-round experience for anyone on the platform, featuring the live events that take place during the show, anytime, anywhere.
The show said in a statement that “the target is to offer all participants in the industry a digital platform with numerous information, service, and networking tools throughout the year.” The platform will be available 24/7.
MORE SHOW AREAS & OPTIONS
At this year’s Baselworld, Hall 2 was closed. At the 2020 Baselworld event, Hall 2—a three-story building—will feature a new area called Innovation Square, which the show describes as “a space for innovation and digital transformation.” This space will feature a section focused on smart watches and wearable devices.
The debut of the Incubator concept at this year’s show—an area featuring start-ups and little known brands in the watch industry—will be expanded in 2020 to include the jewelry and gemstone industry. An interactive event area will also be added to next year’s Exhibition Square, the area outside the entrances to Hall2 1 & 2.
NEW PRICING MODEL
Historically, there has been a high cost to exhibit at Baselworld. This has led to over 1,000 exhibitors dropping out over the past few years. Next year, booth space will be reduced by 10-30%, to help bring back more varied exhibits.
Although this is designed to alleviate the financial strain on exhibitors, management of the show says rental space only accounts for 15% of an exhibitor’s total show costs—overhead accounts for 30% and infrastructure accounts for 55%.
INNOVATIVE BOOTH DESIGNS
Loris-Melikoff says of the Baselworld 2020 show that he wants to have “more creativity, more fancy, open booths, cool designs, in terms of architecture and impression.” The reason behind new booth designs is two-fold: cost and clientele.
Closed booths with sales offices are more expensive to construct than an open-layout design. In the past, the show has been focused on business-to-business, so these closed designs worked better; however, now that the show is opening its doors to collectors and aficionados, open booths are more welcoming. And new, modern booth designs will also help attract a younger audience. Millennials do, after all, account for 20% of the world’s consumer base.
There will be new services next year for both exhibitors and visitors. For exhibitors, marketing services will be available to help increase brand awareness of smaller companies or companies looking to expand into overseas markets. The on-site Office of Retailer Services will be available agin next year, offering communication services (website, content, and videos, for example).
For the show’s visitors, an e-concierge service will soon be available that will allow visitors to book their Baselworld 2020 trip through their smartphones, including travel, hotel, restaurants, and sightseeing.
MORE REVENUE STREAMS
The main source of Baselworld’s revenue stream has been exhibitor fees. Since there has been a drop in the numbers of exhibitors, so too has Baselworld’s revenue dropped. New revenue streams will come from both the new services the show is offering and sponsorships from appropriate partnerships, such as car brands, airlines, and food services. Although sponsorships have never traditionally been part of Baselworld, the exhibitor committee has agreed that they should be available at the “new” Baselworld.
The new Baselworld will be more of a festival for the city of Basel, a festival of watches and jewelry. Baselworld plans to work in partnership with the city to organize cultural and music events at the city’s many museums, venues, and landmarks.
IMPROVED HOSPITALITY PROGRAM
Loris-Melikoff focused this year on improving on-site catering options during the show. That will continue next year with the improvement of new restaurants on all three levels of Hall 1 and take away options for visitors and exhibitors. The show is also focused on keeping prices reasonable at surrounding hotels and restaurants, restricting price increases and compulsory minimum stays. An agreement was made between the show and 75% of Baselworld hotels.