INSIGHT – “Make Baselworld Attractive Again”
By David Brough
MUMBAI, India, August 11, 2019 – The Managing Director of Baselworld is on a mission: “Make Baselworld Attractive Again.”
During the IIJS Premiere trade show in Mumbai, Michel Loris-Melikoff, who was appointed in July 2018, outlined to journalists his vision for boosting the appeal of Baselworld, which is rebuilding its image after a sharp drop in exhibitor numbers in recent years.
A main focus will be to improve customer service for suppliers.
“I asked staff: who pays your salary? The exhibitors,” Mr Loris-Melikoff said.
Baselworld will continue to concentrate on a B2B model.
“We need to concentrate on the needs of the retailers,” the Managing Director said, adding that retailers had continued to do excellent business at the show.
Some of the most disgruntled exhibitors in recent years have been the gemstone suppliers.
Baselworld aims to respond to their concerns by relocating the gems area to Hall 2.
Mr Loris-Melikoff said he did not have a formal plan to tackle the rival GemGeneve show, but rather would direct his energies toward making Baselworld a more attractive event.
“I do not have a ‘GemGeneve strategy,’” he said.
“My strategy is to improve Baselworld.”
Next year the competition of the Swiss shows, including dates coordinated by Baselworld and SIHH, will be even more intense as they are positioned more closely on the calendar, in April and May.
Mr Loris-Melikoff is focusing on a “1/3 watch, 1/3 jewels and 1/3 gems” concept and said Baselworld would be delighted if the Swatch group returned to the show, adding that he communicates regularly with the group’s leadership.
In another new direction, Baselworld is planning workshops, or seminars, to take place at the 2020 edition, likely to include topical themes such as sustainability and design trends.
Michel Loris-Melikoff speaks to journalists