Basel 2003 Unveils New ‘Brand Image’

The 2003 Basel international watch and jewelry fair (April 2-10) will unveil a “new brand image,” including a new logo, capping three years of show expansion, improvements, and changes, says new show manager Monica Guarnaccia.

Those changes include revamping of the watch and jewelry halls; a “one show, two locations” concept (Basel and Zurich), effective this year; the revamped Basel Forum; a new research project to gather data on the global watch and jewelry luxury market; and improvements in visitor services.

Guarnaccia, who took over as show director on Jan. 10, continues as marketing and communications manager of the Basel Fair. Martin Fergusson is Basel show director of watch brands, and Sylvie Sengelin is show director of jewelry and related brands. René Kamm, new chairman (since Jan. 1) of MCH Basel Exhibition Ltd., which runs the Basel Fair, and chief executive officer of its parent firm MCH Swiss Exhibition Ltd., remains general manager of global exhibitors, including the fair.

Guarnaccia detailed this year’s changes in a Jan. 15 interview with JCK.

The Basel Fair has hired Ipsos, an international research firm, to collect detailed data annually on the global luxury goods industry and issues facing its retailers, suppliers, and consumers. The data also will provide topics for annual Forums beginning in 2004. The first study starts in April, and results will be released in September in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

The 2003 edition of the annual Basel Forum will present “When Diamonds Shine Through Fog,” dealing with challenges to luxury goods in a difficult environment, said Guarnaccia. Registration (100 Swiss francs, about $65) for the 450-seat Forum (April 6) begins in February.

Starting this year, the Fair will be divided between Basel and Zurich. At the Basel site will be branded watches and jewelry; Zurich will have national pavilions for non-branded watches and jewelry and will include national pavilions for Belgian and Israeli loose diamond dealers—a first for both. Free shuttle buses to Zurich will leave every 15 minutes from Basel’s Hall 1 (watches). In a waiting-lounge tent, attendees can also make appointments with Zurich exhibitors.