Baselworld - March 17-24, 2016
Describing itself as "the most important marketplace and trendsetting show for the world's watch and jewellery business", Baselworld is Big.
Basel in Switzerland is a cultural hub with an international reputation as a business centre. These key factors align to give Baselworld the magnetism and prestige that it has gained over the 99 years of it's development from a small, specialised section of the first "Schweizer Mustermesse Basel" in 1917, through the rebranding as Baselworld in 2003, to the giant it is today.
To give an idea of how vast this place is, let's look at the numbers. There are 141,000 square meters of exhibition floorspace. That's 0.141 square KILOMETERS of floor. 34 acres. 14 hectares. 17 football pitches. Whichever way you look at it, this is an enormous space. If it were all laid out in a square (which it isn't), the perimeter would measure 47.5km or 29.5miles. A marathon is a mere 42km/26.2miles. This is an insanely big show.
If that weren't enough, you then have to consider how these fairs are laid out. Within each large section of these halls, corridors are built, with shops and stands on each side. The space is filled with these beautiful avenues containing hundreds of stands on either side. Luckily, the organisers have very sensibly designed a Baselworld App for smartphones which includes 3D hall plans to make it easier for one to navigate the exhbition site. We're a long way past Theseus and the Minotaur now - a ball of string won't work here sadly, even if one could find a ball of string long enough to be useful and small enough to carry!
Not only is Baselworld big, it is also beautiful. This crazy, enormous space is filled with every luxury brand you can imagine, all competing for buyers to come and see them over their competitors. As a result, we get a level of showcase and storefront design that would make Coubousier weep. They really are just extraordinary. Looking back over the pictures from 2015 is crazy enough. Imagining how these brands plan to surpass themselves in 2016 is beyond us.
To find out more, or to book your ticket in advance, have a look at their website for full details of the show: http://www.baselworld.com/