Basel–MCH Swiss Exhibition, the company that organizes Baselworld, just announced that it is cutting the size of the show by half.
In an announcement circulated via the Baselworld newsletter on Nov. 9, show organizers said Baselworld 2018 will have between 600 and 700 exhibitors, down from the 1,300 that participated this year and the 1,500 that participated in 2016.
The reduction was a response to consolidation in the market and the “challenges and opportunities of digital technology.”
“Baselworld remains faithful to its strategy of quality and diversity,” show organizers said. “However, the watch and jewelry market is undergoing a period of profound change, first and foremost through the increasing consolidation of market in terms of production and marketing, but also through the challenges and opportunities of digital technology.”
The announcement follows the one made earlier this year that the 2018 show will be shorter, six days instead of eight. The 2017 edition of the show is the fourth in a row to record a decline in attendance.
Baselworld did not respond to an email sent Wednesday asking for a list of next year’s exhibitors but noted in its statement that the 2018 edition of the show was developed in close cooperation with “the most important exhibitors.”
The statement also quotes Chopard Co-President Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, who said: “Baselworld 2018 will be more coherent and more concentrated. I look forward to participating, and I think Baselworld’s management has made the right decision to initiate change.”