Baselworld starts today…

After five years of development and planning and three years of construction, the organisers were able to commission the new hall complex in February 2013 on schedule and on budget.
The Tornos’ SwissNano (news here) is ready to offer you a coffee on the booth and Willemin Macodel presents some new products dedicated to watch making (news here).

At a cost of 430 million Swiss francs, the new exhibition venue is the largest investment ever made in the Swiss trade show industry. Over 200 contractors were involved in this project; at times over 1,000 people were at work on the construction site. The quantities of materials that went into the complex are staggering: 6,800 tons of steel, 43,000 cubic meters of concrete, 820 kilometers (or 534 miles) of electric wiring and cabling … the list goes on.

Impressive architecture
The new building is a consummate blend of functionality and esthetics. With the new venue Messe Basel now has a total exhibition space of 141,000 square meters, with 74,000 square meters available in Hall 1 alone and a total of 83,000 square meters for multi-story booth structures. The large continuous areas in Hall 1 enable flexible space management. And visitors will also benefit from the more concentrated exhibition area.

Benefits for exhibitors and visitors?
There are two categories of exhibitors, the watch making companies to whom Baselworld is more or less the only European event every year… and there are machine-tools and peripherals builders to whom the show is only a small part of their marketing activities (that is anyhow far less developed than watch brands). And those are indeed not at the level of the shiny brands. Is it still worth going to Basel for them? Only the future will answer this.
This year I discussed with a few ones that were not ready to invest the necessary amount of money to be there and decided to only exhibit to Geneva in June.

What about manufacturing?
The new building and the watchmaking aspect will be outstanding (even more than usual). If you’re just looking for a manufacturing solution the dedicated hall (4U) may be of interests to you, nevertheless its size is quite small and there are not that many exhibitors (you can download the plan of the “manufacturing hall” here). If you are in Switzerland often, you would certainly need to go to EPHJ in Geneva in June for a more comprehensive exhibition on that aspect.

Open from today till May 2, 2013.