In what is surely, surely the last press release relating to the collapse of Baselworld, the MCH Group has announced that it has “taken the decision not to hold Baselworld in 2021”. Insert saddest ever meme here. The release also outlines the “amicable” end to a dispute over brands accessing refunds for this year’s cancelled fair. It appears some remuneration has now been negotiated and accepted by brands including Rolex, Patek Philippe and TAG Heuer.
“I welcome the constructive attitude of the representatives of the MCH Group, which has enabled us to find a balanced solution,” says Hubert J. du Plessix, President of the Swiss Exhibitors’ Committee. “I would also like to thank Patek Philippe, Rolex, Tudor, Chanel, Chopard, Hublot, Zenith and TAG Heuer, who, in a spirit of solidarity with the sector as a whole, have agreed to a lower refund so that the other exhibitors can benefit from better conditions.”
Bernd Stadlwieser, CEO of the MCH Group, stresses: “We are pleased to have worked together and, in just a short time, found a solution that is acceptable to everyone. In the light of the large loss of revenue due to COVID-19 and our responsibility to all our stakeholder groups, this solution marks the limit of what is possible for us. With the amicable settlement for Baselworld 2020, we can now concentrate fully on the future.”
On that note of “the future”, the release continues that while “the MCH Group has taken the decision not to hold Baselworld 2021 that had been planned for 28 January to 2 February 2021”, it is not ruling out possible “follow-up formats” of Baselworld.
“Together with the exhibitors and visitors, we are working intensively on clarifying and discussing the requirements and options for new platforms,” says Michel Loris-Melikoff, Managing Director of Baselworld. “We will be taking a decision on possible follow-up formats by the summer and will then provide information on the new concept and scheduling.”
Meanwhile, journalists all over the world could be heard breathing a collective sigh of relief that the press releases from brands, MCH Group and Baselworld relating to the doomed fair will now stop. Rumours that a Netflix special re-enacting the saga is in production, with a working title of Sausage King, are not circulating.