Baselworld Is Off Again, For Now
In addition, the show’s managing director, Michel Loris-Melikoff, is stepping down.
On Friday, show organizer MCH Group Ltd. announced it needs more time to reformulate the show and will not be holding Baselworld in the spring of 2022, as last announced.
In addition, the show’s managing director, Michel Loris-Melikoff, who took over the show in 2018, is leaving to “take on a new challenge,” MCH Group said.
MCH Group gave no indication of when, or if, Baselworld might return, noting only that its decision was based on the experience it gained during the Baselworld pop-up event held during Geneva Watch Days in late summer 2021, and discussions with both manufacturers and retailers.
It also mentioned the difficulty of a relaunching a trade show amid the “renewed aggravation of the COVID situation” and the uncertainty it creates among attendees and exhibitors.
While COVID-19 numbers have been falling in the United States, case numbers have been climbing across Europe, including in Switzerland.
The announcement that there will be no Baselworld show in 2022 is the latest dip in the rollercoaster ride this once-massive show has been on since 2020.
After canceling its 2020 edition due to coronavirus, experiencing backlash over its refund policy from exhibitors and watching as major brands like Rolex and Patek Philippe left to organize their own show, many thought Baselworld was dead.
But in July 2020, MCH Group announced that the show would indeed be back in Basel in spring 2021 but with a new name—HourUniverse.
In January 2021, show organizers pushed the debut of HourUniverse back to June.
HourUniverse, however, never happened and in June, MCH Group announced it was rebooting the Baselworld brand and holding a show March 31-April 4 in Basel.
Commenting on the cancelation of this show, MCH Group CEO Beat Zwahlen said: “Over the past few months, we have studied in detail our watches, jewelry and gems ecosystem and gained important insights from discussions with major industry representatives.
“The conclusion is that the market exists for a business-business-consumer platform that brings together mid-sized and specialized manufacturers with independent retailers. But their needs must be analyzed in more detail. This means we need to have significantly more time to get there.”
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