Ahead of this year’s event, Professional Jeweller caught up with Baselworld managing director, Sylvie Ritter, to find out what visitors and exhibitors can expect from the 2016 edition of the hotly-anticipated Swiss show…
Professional Jeweller: What makes Basel a key destination for the jewellery industry year-on-year?
Sylvie Ritter: Baselworld has rightfully earned itself the reputation of being the one unmissable trendsetting show, which explains it being a key destination for the industry every year. Baselworld is the heart of an entire industry that spreads its influence throughout the entire world. It is the show where trends are set for the year — and that happens year after year!
PJ: How does Basel stand out from other international trade shows?
SR: Baselworld reflects the industry in its entirety and its never-ending anticipation of the market developments and caters to the needs of the exhibitors. Those are the two key factors that make Baselworld the premier show in the world for the global watch and jewellery industry. With the most important key 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 breathtaking new collections.
PJ: What were your highlights from last year’s show?
SR: I never cease to be amazed by the creativity and innovation of this industry, which never fails to deliver. As I do every year, I simply allow myself to revel in all the treasures I spot as I make my rounds of the show. I simply delight in all the wonders and have stopped trying to single out any one product or trend as being a favourite.
PJ: What brands are you looking forward to seeing this year?
SR: Over 1,500 of the best and most renowned brands in the world will once again present their innovations and collections to the public at this year’s Baselworld. Each and every one of our exhibitors has something special on offer, and as we never know in advance what these brands have in store and what innovations, creations and collections they will present, I look forward with equal pleasure and anticipation to seeing everything that is showcased by the brands.
PJ: What have you been implementing/ driving forward for the 2016 show?
SR: For years now our motto and strategy is ‘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.
PJ: What will be different for exhibitors and visitors at this year’s show?
SR: We like to pride ourselves on always delivering top quality service. So from that perspective, the exhibitors can expect that the quality of the show and the services rendered will be at least at the same high standard, if not better. For visitors, on the other hand, there is bound to a difference – certainly in terms of what trendsetting novelties will be unveiled — but to properly answer that we are going to have to wait until the show opens.
PJ: What key advice would you give visitors for navigating the show given its scale?
SR: This depends always on the person’s interests. All I can advise visitors to do is take enough time to work their way through the entire show simply because the wonders that are on exhibition are simply too brilliant to be missed. The special ambience in the halls, the spectacular pavilions, the fabulous new collections and creations are all seriously unmissable. And for those with a purpose, I can highly recommend the free Baselworld App which is a nifty application that will guide them to wherever they wish to go and keep them informed about all the exciting events happening during the show. It is also really useful in helping visitors plan their visit in advance.