Baselworld debutante Newgate demands more support from organizer despite successful show

Newgate promotes its watches and clocks at Baselworld.

Independent British watch business Newgate says it enjoyed a highly successful debut appearance at Baselworld this year.

The company told WatchPro there was anxiety ahead of the exhibition as there was considerable media attention about the show getting smaller.

But commercial director and co-founder of Newgate, Chloe Read, said their experience exceeded expectations.

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“When you’re an independent watch brand Baselworld is an incredibly expensive show to consider exhibiting at, so we approached our debut with some trepidation. However, we were very happy to see our performance seemingly buck the trend as we had a great show. We met distributors from all of our key target markets including Germany, Hong Kong, Australia and Dubai, and the reaction to the watches was even better than we could have hoped for,” said Ms Read.

Newgate, which is best known as a clockmaker, saw rapid growth of its recently launched watch collection in the UK and US last year through wholesale and e-commerce, fueling the decision to appear at Baselworld for the first time.

Husband and wife team Jim and Chloe Read, who founded the Newgate brand 28 years ago and have exhibited at tradeshows across the world for over 25 years, are realistic about the current state of the trade fair industry.

“The heyday of the trade show is long gone” says Ms Read. “There isn’t one that’s as busy today as the quietest show was 20 years ago, and many organizers are being far too slow to adapt to the changing market. Shows need to be shorter, and more supportive of the exhibitors who are their bread and butter.”

Newgate has not confirmed it will return to Baselworld next year, but nor has it ruled it out. “We’re changing our business model to reach far more of our stockists and retailers online, but it’s a shame to lose out on the point of face-to-face contact that the trade show represents. It will be very interesting to see what happens at Baselworld next year,” Ms Read concludes.

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