It's no secret, the statistics for Baselworld do seem to have been on a constant decline in recent years. With brands like Hermès, Ulysse Nardin, and Girard-Perregaux having shifted towards the SIHH, the number of exhibitors are rumoured to be half of last years, ranging at around 600 – 700.
But, then again, with brands from the Swatch Group and LVMH Group, and Rolex, Patek Philippe, Breilting etc on display, one can expect a couple of surprises this year at Baselworld. The fact that most of the fashion brands will also not be displaying at the fair this year, gives the participating brands more room to experiment and more time to showcase their novelties to the media and the public this year.
One might argue, that brands like Hublot also conduct their Geneva Days during the SIHH, but that doesn't really stop them from exploring new avenues and introducing new novelties during the Basel Fair now, does it? It does, in a way offer them a more diverse range of areas to showcase their many timepieces in full glory, and celebrate each timepiece equally. A brilliant marketing move on behalf of Jean-Claude Biver, if you ask me.
Moving on towards the infrastructure, the SIHH went all out this year focusing on digital innovation which allowed journalists to share their images, videos, telecasts live from the exhibit without any technical glitches. One can only hope that Baselworld follows the same route to make the experience as digitally advanced as possible, other than having the ChatBot which they released this month.
If you look at more events like the Dubai Watch Week, you'd realise the need for constant WiFi. With most of the brands moving towards their new target audience in the virtual world, the need for constant internet is a must. Though, I have to give it to the DWW organisers, having separate meetings rooms way from the public noise and play was a relief for conducting interviews, videos, and talks – something I hope to witness at the other watch fairs.
Keeping all this in mind, I do hope for a more splendid display at Baselworld this year from the participating brands. One might say, it leaves them with more space to enhance the experience of their brand. Let's hope they grab the opportunity at hand. See you there!