Baselworld 2017 …. it starts officially on Thursday of this week, March 23. It is the largest and perhaps the most important (depending on your viewpoint) exhibition for watches in the world. I have been covering Baselworld as an editor and reporter for more than three decades. My very first show was most likely 33 or 34 years ago — time has a way of muting the exact date. Except for one year when my daughter was born, I have not missed a single Baselworld — once called the Basel Fair (and several names before that). Here, we bring you a little insight in to the show, the do’s, don’ts, ins and outs of it … in case you are planning to attend, or just follow along virtually.
The Do List for Baselworld 2017
The first “DO” on the Do List is probably the most important one: Go. If you are a watch lover, this exhibition — where hundreds of the finest watch brands in the world showcase dozens of new timepieces side by side with exciting new technological concepts and stunning Metiers d’Arts — is a bucket list event. It is like being a kid in a very large and exotic toy store, and you just don’t want to miss your chance to find the ultimate toy.
The second “DO” on the list: Follow ATimelyPerspective. So, if you cannot go to Baselworld 2017, then you will want to follow the news and the fun. We urge you to visit our site every single day, including the weekend, multiple times a day, as we bring you news and products being unveiled during the eight days. Also via our social media channels we will be bringing at least half a dozen or more wrist shots and product shots daily.
Instagram.com/atimelyperspective and instagram.com/RobertaNaas@ATimelyperspective
The Don’t List for Baselworld 2017
Top on the Don’t List: If you are going to the Fair, Don’t plan to sleep, eat or even visit the “facilities” on a normal basis. This is a working show. I have a standing wakeup call for 6 am every morning — whether or not I have gotten to bed before 2 am. Appointments in the five halls of the Fair and around the town and surrounding hotels typically start at 8:30 am and, if lucky, end around 6:30-7 pm. Mind you- that is working through lunch most days. Additionally, because the fair grounds are huge and multi-levels, trips the bathrooms (typically in the corners or sides of the building and often up or down multiple flights of stairs) take at least 20 minutes of your time. Plan accordingly.
The second Don’t on the list: Don’t forget to bring your smile and handshake. I know this sounds funny, but the truth of the matter is that Baselworld is not just about the products. It is about the friendships, and relationship building. At this show, people from around the world converge and if you are too busy running around gaping at windows (granted, you want to see the watches), you just might walk right by the next opportunity of your life. This exhibition is a top proving ground for networking and it should be used wisely.
The Ins and Outs of Baselworld 2017
Ok, by now you know we are working hard, networking hard, and filling to the brim with great interviews (this year, i have time private time allotted with about 100 brands, and top CEOs such as Jean-Claude Biver and Nayla Hayek, among others) and great products. We are also socializing — enjoying our fill of the wonderful events and re-solidifying friendships. There are some keys here:
Use the trams to get around – they are great, not just for travel, but for seeing people and doing a bit more networking.
Indulge in the schnitzel and fondue. I believe that Basel city has some of the best places to get away for schnitzel one night and fondue a second night. Sometimes the smaller the group, the better the conversations. I avoid large parties where possible, especially those where seating is non-existent (I just walked all day).
Don’t forget to see the city. You don’t need a lot of time to see Basel, but it is well worth the adventure. Get outside the show walls and just walk Marketplatz to take in the history and architecture. The city also has some fine museums, old clock towers, one of the oldest churches in Europe and more.
Unlike most trade fairs in the world, Baselworld is open to the public. This means that the weekends are typically jammed with baby strollers, kids, dogs, and window shoppers galore. Don’t plan to be in the main hall for watches or the main hall for jewelry then, instead go to the less-trafficked halls and get a lot more done, you will spend a great deal less time fighting the crowds. Plan around the locals.
The Three Kings. This is on the ins and outs list because… well… you have to go. However, once there you won’t leave. It is the place that sucks people in at 11pm or midnight and then spits them out at 2 or 3 am to stumble home … Trust me, once inside, leaving is difficult.
Put aside differences during the fair, there is no time for petty squabbling — nobody wants to see or hear about it.
Well, that’s it now, as we close up and head to Switzerland for our 34th?? Baselworld — if you are there, seek me out — I am always happy to say hello and talk watches.