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- 3 Mar 2016
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Q&A: Baselworld 2016 Organisers


This month will see thousands flock to Basel for one of the biggest watch & jewellery brand showcases in the world. Here, we speak to Baselworld 2016 Managing Director Sylvie Ritter about what to expect.

From March 17-24, 2016 Messe Basel, Switzerland will be awash with key players in the luxury watch and jewellery industry – from watchmakers to jewellers, to diamonds, pearls and gemstones dealers, and those in the machines and supply industry.

Here, Baselworld 2016 Managing Director Sylvie Ritter gives Luxury Society a candid insight into how the 2016 event will make its mark, and what it takes to get it off the ground successfully each year.

 This year we will once again have all the key players – over 1,500 of the most major international brands exhibiting 

Baselworld is a colossal event and draws great interest each year from brands, collectors, and the general public. How many attendees are you expecting in 2016 and what’s the split?

As the premier trendsetting event for the global watch and jewellery industry, Baselworld is indeed a huge event and attracts 150,000 attendees each year.

As the attendees don’t need to register to get a ticket, however, it is impossible for us to determine the categories of the attendees.

 Baselworld has rightfully earned its reputation as the one unmissable event for the world’s watch & jewellery industry 

How many brands are expected to exhibit this year?

This year we will once again have all the key players – over 1,500 of the most major international brands exhibiting.

Brands are known to derive up to 80% of their yearly sales just from this event – would you agree with this statement?

As the show organiser, we do not actually know the exact figures of brand sales. But it is a fact that many brands do generate a considerable percentage of their annual sales at Baselworld.


Baselworld 2016 Managing Director Sylvie Ritter

What is the benefit for brands exhibiting at Baselworld – as opposed to SIHH?

We prefer not to comment on other shows and/or make comparisons. What we do know is that Baselworld has rightfully earned its reputation as the one unmissable event for the world’s watch and jewellery industry. This premier position is thanks to the fact we reflect the needs and wishes of the industry in its entirety and stay one step ahead of developments. Also, we get massive coverage from the thousands of journalists that attend each year who instantly communicate to the wide world what’s hot and new. Baselworld is known to be the platform for launching trends.

What is the benefit for customers/retailers/collectors/media/bloggers attending Baselworld?

Baselworld reflects the industry in its entirety and its never-ending anticipation of the market developments and catering to the needs of the exhibitors are the key factors that make Baselworld the premier show in the world for the global watch and jewellery industry. With the most important global brands choosing to exhibit exclusively at Baselworld, this is the annual event where the world gets to witness the unveiling of awe inspiring creations, trendsetting articles and breath-taking new collections.

Equally importantly, Baselworld also is the leading platform for the diamonds, gemstones, pearls trade as well as for machinery and other suppliers to these industries.

 For years now our motto and strategy has been: Quality over quantity 

Getting an event like Baselworld off the ground is a significant undertaking – what are the key challenges involved?

For years now our motto and strategy has been: Quality over quantity! Baselworld’s focus is on delivering excellent quality and service at the highest level. This includes our service to fulfil the needs of the ever-growing media presence at the show. The quality of our services grows constantly.

As organisers of the event, do you have any suggestions about how brands might improve this year to attract more customer attention to their booths and products?

Baselworld is the platform for leading brands to exhibit their innovations and creations and to that extent our role is simply to make the show spectacularly attractive to them. As for the brands themselves, I am sure they have all the necessary know-how to create a buzz and communicate this to attract their customers. All one needs to do is observe the animated activity at the booths year after year to realise that the brands are more than capable of attracting attention to themselves by creatively communicating with their customers and the press.

Are there any big changes to the event this year as opposed to last year – in terms of architecture/layout/exhibitors?

The concept we implemented in 2013 still reflects the structures of the global watch- and jewellery market. We are retaining this concept also for Baselworld 2016. The only novelty is the integration of the sector “machines and supplies” in Hall 2 and the development of a new sector for small companies from the jewellery- and gemstones area in Hall 4.


Can you give an insight into the process behind getting the Baselworld event space ready? What is involved?

There is no beginning and no end as we work round the year to keep Baselworld at the top of its game and retain our reputation as the one unmissable event for the watch and jewellery industry. Actual construction of the infrastructure and the booths starts six weeks before show begin.

What does the marketing mix look like for event organisers of Baselworld – what is the in-house strategy to promote and guide people to/at the event?

As we are the mirror of the industry, we are as well using all necessary channels to communicate to the press and attendees of the show. It can be on both channels –traditional and digital.

You can read the top latest news about Baselworld 2016 on our social media accounts (weibo, wechat, facebook, twitter & Google+).All relevant information about our exhibitors, their latest news and their up-coming event at the show are available as well on our website.

 The Baselworld App 2016 is a MUST tool during Baselworld 

You can also get a comprehensive overview of Baselworld with our different publications:

- The Brand Book which reflects the ever-changing watch and jewellery landscape. Our diverse industry will be represented through an inspirational mix of features, brand profiles, designs, types of paper and artworks to produce a book readers will want to keep and enjoy long after the Show has closed. An e-version is available as well in our website and will be available on the first day of the show.

- The Selection Stone & Pearls Selection is a publication that constitutes the ’Who’s Who’ in Stones and Pearls Industry. You can as well browse the publication and get a clear overview of the key suppliers and optimize your visit to the show.
Don’t forget to download the Baselworld App 2016 as well – this is a MUST tool during Baselworld that will update you on the show and guide you through the halls. Last but not least, the Baselworld Daily News, is exclusively distributed to the visitors at all hall entrances, and covers highlights, trends and events for every day of the show.

 All our exhibitors & sectors have their place within the show – we don’t offer any special services for particular sectors 

How has the increasing prevalence of the digital era influenced the Baselworld offering and event production process?

Baselworld provides a platform designed to reflect the watch and jewellery industry in its entirety. To that extent all our exhibitors and sectors have their place within the show, meaning, we don’t offer any special services for particular sectors.

Our goal is to serve each segment with the ideal and most exceptional platform to showcase and promote their innovations and creations.

For more exclusive Baselworld-related coverage, follow Luxury Society‘s exclusive ’Baselworld 2016 Inside/Out’ series via: #LSBaselworld

To further investigate Luxury Society’s Baselworld 2016 related coverage, we invite you to explore the related materials as follows:

- 7 Top Watch Retailers In Switzerland
- Inside The Independents’ Digital Strategies
- In Conversation With Kari Voutilainen, Independent Watchmaker


Baselworld Watch and Jewellery Show is an annual trade show for the international watch and jewellery industry, organised each spring in the city of Basel, Switzerland.

Ahead of the event, Luxury Society will be publishing related coverage via a Special Baselworld ‘Inside/Out’ Editorial Series, live now using #LSBaselworld.

Follow the latest news & insights here: