As the show concluded Thursday in Switzerland, Baselworld organizers issued a press release confirming what was obvious to anyone who went to the annual watch and jewelry show: attendance was down. A total of 106,000 buyers from more than 100 countries attended Baselworld 2017, down 4 percent from 2016.
The drop marks the fourth year in a row the Swiss watch and jewelry show has marked a single-digit year-over-year decrease in buyer attendance, as it was down 4 percent in 2014, 3 percent in 2015 and another 3 percent last year.
All told, buyer attendance has fallen off about 30 percent in the past four years, from more than 150,000 to just over 100,000.
Due to what Managing Director Sylvie Ritter described as a “challenging phase” for the industry, particularly for smaller companies, show organizers are shortening the show from eight to six days next year and will be adjusting prices accordingly.
Baselworld 2018 is scheduled to begin on Thursday, March 22 and end the following Tuesday, March 27.