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Amid reports of unreasonable cancellation policies from Basel hotels, Baselworld is offering financial flexibility for exhibitors. | Image: Michel Loris-Melikoff at the launch of Baselworld 2019.
Amid reports of unreasonable cancellation policies from Basel hotels, Baselworld is offering financial flexibility for exhibitors. | Image: Michel Loris-Melikoff at the launch of Baselworld 2019.

Baselworld calls on industry to work together

Baselworld managing director Michel Loris-Melikoff has urged the watch and jewellery industry to work together during the difficult times created by the COVID-19 crisis following the cancellation of this year’s event.

Loris-Melikoff explained that Baselworld employs a team of 25 people working throughout the year, along with internal and external partners for planning, building, and marketing.

Michel Loris-Melikoff, Baselworld
Michel Loris-Melikoff, Baselworld
"We are all in this together and that is why we are committed to supporting our exhibitors as best we can in these turbulent times"
Michel Loris-Melikoff, Baselworld

He stressed that substantial financial commitments had been made, but that a “generous” cancellation policy would be available to exhibitors.

“We are all in this together and that is why we are committed to supporting our exhibitors as best we can in these turbulent times. We are offering unprecedented conditions, which go far beyond contractual obligations (general terms and conditions) and are much more generous than the vast majority of similar European shows that had to be cancelled or postponed,” Loris-Melikoff said.

MCH Group, organiser of the Baselworld, is offering to carry forward 85 per cent of the fees for 2020 event to Baselworld 2021, with the remaining 15 per cent kept by MCH Group to “serve to partially offset out-of-pocket costs already accrued”.

“The closer you are to the show date, the higher the costs incurred. By the time the crisis began to unfold, Baselworld was just a few days before setting up the fairgrounds and the major portion of the expenditures in preparation for Baselworld 2020 had already been made,” Loris-Melikoff said explained.

An announcement made on 3 April stated that, if needed, exhibitors could request a cash refund of up to 30 per cent of the fees, with 40 per cent carried forward to Baselworld 2021.

“It seemed essential to make these significant financial efforts. I wish for all of us a return to business as soon as possible,” Loris-Melikoff added.

"MCH Group, organiser of the Baselworld, is offering to carry forward 85 per cent of the fees for 2020 event to Baselworld 2021"

He has also called on the Basel Hotel Association to “show their commitment to supporting exhibitors by offering terms and conditions that are adapted to these extraordinary circumstances.”

This point was made following reports that some of Basel’s leading hotels are refusing to offer free cancellation to long-standing companies that book rooms during the annual event.

UK publication WatchPro reported that a high-profile jeweller received an email from one such hotel three weeks after Baselworld 2020 was cancelled, which read, “Should [guests] wish to cancel the booking we will charge 100 per cent of the costs.”

In what was termed an “egregious insult to its loyal and long-standing guests”, the email stated that guests wishing to change their booking to Baselworld’s new dates, 28 January–2 February 2021, would be charged a 10 per cent ‘no show’ fee.

WatchPro also reported that Loris-Melikoff had "threatened [hoteliers] with moving Baselworld to another city if they do not change", and that European retailers were planning to limit their time at Baselworld 2021 to a single day instead of booking a hotel for the full duration of the show.

 

More reading:
Baselworld 2020 cancelled

 











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