Basel exhibitors face price hikes for 2013 show

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Ti Sento to take larger stand while Stephen Webster holds firm.

As BaselWorld closed the doors of the 2012 show it signalled the end of the exhibition in its current format, as organiser MCH Swiss Exhibition knuckles down to complete the construction programme that will revolutionise the trade show when it takes over the Swiss town of Basel once again next year at a slightly later date than usual of April 25 to May 2.

As visitors and exhibitors bid farewell to the familiar format, rumours started to make the rounds about the changes that would be introduced, fuelled by MCH Swiss Exhibition’s policy of silence about next year’s show.

Nicole Ritter, press spokesperson for MCH Swiss Exhibition, said the reason for the lack of communication is that the majority of BaselWorld exhibitors are still in the process of finalising stands for 2013. “Jewellery exhibitors may be found in Hall 1 and 2 [but] regarding the surface we may not yet give numbers as the booking is not closed yet,” she said. “Some jewellery brands will be showcasing collections at new spaces and in larger stands [but] we would like to give the exhibitors the opportunity to communicate their new presence at the show and will not spread out further details before the exhibitors themselves do.”

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One of the rumours confirmed by existing exhibitors is that prices will be increased for stand space by a reported 20%; a hike that could price out some smaller companies, but one that is softened by a price freeze over the next few years.

Stephen Webster, which has had a presence at BaselWorld for more than a decade and enjoyed its best BaselWorld to date in 2012 with an increase in business of 40% year-on-year, will return in 2013. Its eponymous founder Stephen Webster told Professional Jeweller that he has accepted the price hike. He added: “We’ve played ball with the Basel organisers because although the prices have gone up 20% for a stand they will be capped for some time.”

Webster did not, however, allow himself to be persuaded by the fair organiser’s pleas for the brand to upscale its stand space from 145sqm to 160sqm. Instead to confirm where they will be next year as they are still negotiating. The fact they will be moving stand space is 100% confirmed, however.”

Stephen Webster, a brand that has had a presence at BaselWorld for more than a decade, was offered a bigger stand of about 160sqm for 2013, an increase on its current space of 145sqm.

Speaking about the changes to the halls and his show space, the brands eponymous founder Stephen Webster said: “We’ve played ball with the Basel organisers because although the prices have gone up 20% for a stand they will be capped for some time.”

Webster said that he turned down the larger space but that exhibitors either side were happy to take on the extra square footage. “We thought ‘do we need it?’. The fact is, no. We’re in a place where we can start giving out particular appointments to spread out the visits during the show while keeping our stand size the same.”

This year Stephen Webster recorded its best BaselWorld to date, with a 40% year-on-year increase in terms of business, something Webster says spurred him to secure a stand for 2013.

The brand will be moving to a new space in an area that MCH Swiss Exhibition assured will be the main go-to for high-end jewellery brands. Webster expects to be show alongside pearl brand Autore and Shamballa Jewels. “We’re not quite Hall 1.1 yet, with the high-end watch brands, but maybe the next move in three to four years,” he added.

One jewellery company that has accepted a larger stand is IBB Amsterdam which will be introducing a two-storey stand in Hall 1.1 dedicated to brands Ti Sento and Tirisi at BaselWorld 2013. The majority of the stand, which will cost the brands a six-figure sum, will be given over to silver jewellery brand Ti Sento with a smaller section dedicated to sister brand Tirisi. 

IBB Amsterdam added that show organisers have told it that the Tirisi/Ti Sento stand will be positioned next to Swarovski. The cystal brand has been rumoured to have signed a long-term agreement for a stand surrounding a large-scale ring-shaped space in a newly constructed connective section of the Messe but the company is yet to confirm this. 

Speaking on behalf of Swarovski, UK representative Dru Plumb said: “Swarovski are yet to confirm where they will be next year as they are still negotiating. The fact they will be moving stand space is 100% confirmed, however.”

Changes to the show space will mean Hall 1 is extended to three exhibition floors, while Hall 3 will be replaced with a complex of three exhibition floors, with a multi-functional event hall situated on its ground floor.

Building work that took place during 2011 has revealed a new connective structure between Halls 1 and 3, something MCH Swiss Exhibition has dubbed “a two-storey superstructure”. The ring-shaped space covers the outside Exhibition Square centre between the halls, and will include the City Lounge, a space for events or launches.

Some changes, however, will mean that jewellery-related products are shifted to the back of the show space and away from the main concourse trod by visitors. The current related products hall where gemstone dealers, packaging and associated goods companies are located will move to Hall 5 at the back of Hall 1, however this will maintain the name Hall 3.

At present, the construction of the new Messe Basel space is in its second phase and should be completed by April next year, when BaselWorld 2013 will take place. Work began in June 2011, based on designs by architects Herzog & de Meuron, who have produced renderings of the anticipated show space.

The renovation project will use about 1,900 tonnes of steel and 7,400 m³ of concrete. It will cost in the region of CHF 430 million (£297 m) to complete.

 

This article was taken from the April 2012 issue of Professional Jeweller. To view a digital version of this issue online click here.

 

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