Baselworld shortens show following a drop in attendance

Baselworld has announced that its 2018 show will be six days long instead of the usual eight, following a drop in the number of exhibitors.

There were 200 less exhibitors compared with the following year, making it a drop of 13.3%. Meanwhile, more than 10,600 buyers from 100 countries attended the show which was a 4% reduction on last year’s attendance.

The decision to shorten the event comes after talks with exhibitors and industry committee members.

This year saw the 100th edition of the jewellery and watch trade event, which ran from the 23-30 March. In 2018, the event will only run from 22 March until 27 March.

Major brand Hermès has also pulled out of next year’s show, opting to take part in the Geneva Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie instead.

Show organisers released a statement, which said: “The industry is currently going through a challenging phase, which particularly affects smaller companies.

“Listening to our exhibitors and in agreement with the members of the different committees, we have decided to reduce the duration of the show and adjust the prices accordingly.”

The news reflects a decline in Swiss watch exports, with February showing a 10% drop in comparison with the same period in 2016.

Sylvie Ritter managing director of Baselworld said: “Baselworld once again gave the sector a positive impulse by putting it on a pedestal to shine. The passion behind the innovative spirit that distinguishes the industry has been reaffirmed which will undoubtedly drive them forward with renewed vitality.”

“Baselworld will maintain the attractiveness of the show and its global impact by remaining faithful to our strategy which favours quality and leverages diversity in all sectors.”

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