Sengelin-Ritter is new director of BaselWorld

There have been some sudden changes in the management of the BaselWorld watch and jewelry show, the world’s largest watch trade fair, effective Jan. 12.

Sylvie Sengelin-Ritter has been named the new show director of BaselWorld by MCH Swiss Exhibition Ltd., owners and operators of the annual spring trade fair in Basel, Switzerland. Sengelin-Ritter has 10 years’ experience with the trade show company. She had been in charge of BaselWorld’s jewelry and precious stones sections and national pavilions.

René Kamm, MCH’s chief executive officer, was show director before he was elected CEO and general manager of its global exhibitions division (including the Basel show) in 2002. Monica Guarnaccia, in charge of marketing and communications for the show, has been acting show director since late 2002.

Guarnaccia, who has been with the company for five years, is leaving “of her own accord [following] years of successful work,” says the MCH announcement, which cited her “consistently constructive and professional collaboration.” During her time with the show, she was involved in promoting the multi-year project repositioning the Basel Fair, including renovation and restructuring of its prestige watch and jewelry halls, the show’s unsuccessful “one fair, two cities” concept, the Basel Forum and Basel Prize jewelry award, the new annual survey of the world luxury market, and a new hall for the fair national pavilion exhibitors, set for BaselWorld 2004.

Bernard Keller, who worked with Guarnaccia, will take over communications, while Sengelin-Ritter also will handle marketing, temporarily.

Martin Fergusson has been named the show’s sales director, working with exhibitors in all of the show’s sectors, including watches (which he already directs), jewelry, precious stones, and the national pavilions (the sectors that Sengelin-Ritter oversaw before her promotion).

The 2004 BaselWorld Watch and Jewelry Show is scheduled for April 15-22.