As March 2018 approaches, it is due again: as every year, the worldwide watches and jewellery industry met for its largest gathering at Baselworld. Manufacturers present their novelties and stage their brand ambassadors, suppliers meet potential new clients, experts discuss current trends and developments, young entrepreneurs showcase themselves to the market and enthusiastic aficionados try to catch a glimpse of yet unpublished novelties from their favourite brands. For the sixth time, an international group of luxury researches met for the Luxury Research Brownbag @ Baselworld, co-chaired this year by the ZHAW School of Management and Law and Lucerne School of Business.
Like in previous years, the researchers’ day started off with a keynote speech by René Kamm, CEO of MCH Group, organiser of the Baselworld fair and sponsor of the Brownbag. Thereafter, participants headed out in small groups to explore the show and met again at noon for the traditional selfie at the main entrance followed by expert dialogue over lunch. Throughout the afternoon, talks with executives from various exhibitors were scheduled where academic theory and research met business reality and the researchers explored current industry trends beyond the closed curtains of the exhibition booths.
After several difficult years, the Swiss watches industry again follows an upward trend while Baselworld for the second time in a row suffers from dropping number of exhibitors and shrinking exhibition space. Large brands and industry groups continue to be present prominently, spreading optimism on the overall industry and the yearly meet-up in Basel, while the share of smaller exhibitors has clearly shrunk at the show. If such an industry event could possibly be a systematic support to the internationalisation of Swiss SMEs is currently investigated in a research project by the Lucerne School of Business. So quite naturally, this year’s group of researchers stopped by the exhibition space of HSLU’s industry research partner to end an insightful and fascinating day.
Picture: Courtesy of Baselworld