By Brecken Branstrator
Baselworld organizers have announced a restaurant and bar partner program, featuring a number of establishments located close to the show that have vowed to keep prices down. Pictured here is a shot outside the 2018 edition of the jewelry trade show.
Basel, Switzerland—Baselworld has launched another initiative it hopes will bring people back to the watch and jewelry trade show.

Show organizers announced earlier this week that they have partnered with a handful of local restaurants that, among other things, have agreed not to raise their menu prices during the show.

Baselworld has been struggling in recent years, losing exhibitors and attendees over the rising cost of exhibiting as well as the costs involved in staying and eating in the small Swiss city.

One major exhibitor, Swatch Group, announced last summer that it would not be returning to the watch and jewelry trade show in 2019, stating that the current trade show model no longer makes sense for business as it today.

After that news broke, show organizers scrambled to put together a detailed list of planned changes designed to woo back brands and buyers alike and to prove to its largest exhibitor that it is willing to change.

In November, Baselworld launched a hotel partner program, in which more than 40 hotels agreed to a set of rules regarding prices and minimum stays.

Now, organizers of the watch and jewelry trade show have announced the expansion of the hospitality program to include restaurants, bar and clubs.

More than 30 restaurants around the Swiss city have agreed to not raise prices during the Baselworld period. They are all restaurants that are located less than 10 minutes away from the show and can offer seating for more than 30 guests.
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Additionally, the restaurants will offer a special Baselworld menu.

Baselworld Hospitality Manager Justin Scott told National Jeweler they encouraged the restaurants to “get creative” in developing a menu. He said this menu will be separate from their regular offerings but added that there are no restrictions on what they can do with it—it could be a cheaper meal or a specialty of that restaurant.

Partner restaurants include Côte Jardin, Restaurant Hahn Basel, Spale Bar, Vapiano, 800° Premium Steakhouse and more. The full list can be found on

In addition to the restaurants, three bars and clubs also have become Baselworld partners: Acqua, Soho and Singer, the latter of which will open a pop-up restaurant on its second floor specially for Baselworld visitors.

All three are located on the route from the Exhibition Square into the city.

“We know that gastronomy in the city plays an important role in the evaluation of our visitors’ sojourn during the show,” Baselworld Managing Director Michel Loris-Melikoff said. “In this area, there was repeated criticism, especially that prices were too high at the time of the show or that the cost/benefit ratio was not appropriate. Together with our partners, we are now demonstrating that there are many positive alternatives in Basel, because we only recommend restaurants that offer our guests demonstrably fair prices and a culinary standard commensurate with Baselworld.”

In other company news, Baselworld operator MCH Group has appointed Bernd Stadlwieser as CEO.

He succeeds Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard, who has been in the interim CEO position since September 2018, a role he took after René Kamm left the company in August after news broke that Swatch Group was pulling out of Baselworld.

Stadlwieser has more than 20 years’ experience in the watch, jewelry and arts sector as well as business development and digitization, having held positions at Swarovski, the Thomas Sabo group, photography company Avenso and Mondaine watches.

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