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BaselWorld Managing Director Sylvie Ritter, in a chat with Mitrajit Bhattacharya admits that with each year the show is becoming bigger
Being the face of the BaselWorld, I think it would be right to ask you: How did you manage to get the weather right this year?
In Switzerland, we say you have to deliver a good work and then the weather is with you.
We saw a great change last year in the format. This year again, we saw some changes too. How has this year been in terms of planning and distribution of space?
To be the number one you have to always work forward. If you stay where you are, the others are likely to move ahead. Our goal is really to improve our show not only for our exhibitors, for the brands to do better business but also for our buyers and the media. The media impact of BaselWorld is becoming more and more important because they are the link between the manufacturers and the end consumers.
Isn’t it a challenge because the number keeps on increasing with each year?
We already know today that next year we will have more numbers because we receive calls from several media organisations who have realised that BaselWorld is the place to be. We have many more TV stations coming from different parts of the world. We have the lifestyle publications, the big dailies etc. We have to organise it differently for each of them according to their needs. We had around 3,600 journalists last year, and this year it’s over 4,000.
What is your expectation about the number of visitors? Will the numbers be more than 100,000 this year?
I think so. This year, we really have the big buyers. We have an increase on the buyer side even if the figures are not much over last year. That’s what I hear from the exhibitors. We have others too who may not be from the industry.
What is the process of planning an event like BaselWorld? Is it an 18-month long process?
It takes us more than 12 to 15 months to establish the following year’s show, around eight weeks for building up of the pavilions and a month to dismantle them. It’s all about listening to the market which includes the exhibitors, buyers and the media too. The markets are changing so you always have to adapt. I always tell my team it’s all about listening and trying to understand what our partners expect from us.
How do you reach out to the prospective exhibitors, buyers, visitors etc?
We visit the major retailers all over the world. We pay personal visits and ask them to elaborate on their expectations. We seek out ideas to improve ourselves. Over the years we have established a relationship and so it becomes easy.
How well have you planned for the 2015 BaselWorld?
I would say almost 80 percent of it. We are in constant evolution. We plan to continue adapting the show until it opens.
How big is your team?
A core team of 20 works throughout the year. As we advance towards the end more will join us. During the show it reaches a figure of around 2,000 to 3,000, men and women.
Where do you think BaselWorld will be in 2015?
It’s always a matter of discovering something new. We would like to astonish the markets, also to have a good surprise for the market.