SIHH 2018 - Smoothly shifting up a gear

The Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie sees the successful implementation of its new resolutely connected formula designed to promote conviviality and encounters. 

Attendance record also highlights the sector’s recovery and particularly that of the Fine Watchmaking segment.

Bigger, more connected and more open than ever, the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie concluded on a successful note today, heralding a promising year for Fine Watchmaking.

The attendance figures are extremely positive, with a record number of almost 20,000 visitors over the Salon as a whole (approx. +20% vs 2017), along with 1,500 media accreditations (+12% vs 2017). At 2,500 visitors, this year’s Open Day on Friday registered a similar attendance to that in 2017.

Fabienne Lupo, President and Managing Director of the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie: “The new approach has proven its worth and the Salon has successfully undertaken a significant transformation process that implies evolving in order to offer exhibiting Maisons not only the best platform conducive to doing good business, but also the finest showcase in terms of communication and visibility – all firmly plugged in to today’s world.”

Featuring a strong focus on connectivity, the 28th edition of this inherently professional introduced a new formula that could in several ways be considered a new stage, as much in terms of the number of exhibitors as the many new features provided for visitors:

  • Firstly, as far as exhibitors are concerned, the Salon had never yet hosted so many watch Maisons, with 35 in all, compared with 30 last year and 16 just three years ago. This implied enlarging the total surface area to 55,000 sq. meters, 20% more than previously.
  • Secondly, the creation of the “SIHH Live” concept designed for enhanced networking, notably including the new auditorium – open to all and designed like a TV set – that welcomed no less than 29 presentations by the Maisons, encounters with CEOs and themed talks, all broadcast live on various communication channels including the SIHH2018 App. The entire setup sparked considerable enthusiasm.
  • The three new VIP lounges that enabled private banks and financial institutions to host their private clientele in excellent conditions – along with the cozier areas – all worked very well, as did the press area entirely redesigned as a full-fledged media center.

Finally, the open day intended for connoisseurs and passionate Fine Watchmaking enthusiasts also gave the SIHH 2018 a whole new dimension. Hitherto reserved exclusively for retailers and the media, the newly transparent event enjoyed far wider coverage, particularly of the digital variety. In this respect, it is worth noting that in addition to the 400.000 posts featuring the #SIHH2018, the Salon achieved a global reach of 288 million people during the event – not to mention repercussions that are set to continue over the next two or three weeks, with Twitter, Instagram and Weibo accounting for more than 80% of conversations.

All in all, opening up further exciting new prospects for future editions, the formula that has been test-run at this edition is clearly a success and has helped create new dynamics that are perceptible right from the visitors’ entrance. See you at the SIHH 2019 that will take place from January 14th to 18th 2019 at Palexpo – Geneva.