Switzerland: Major projects successfully accomplished

Soon to be over 2013 has been exceptional in many aspects for the MCH Group. The Swiss market leaders are just as confident for 2014.

Unlike other convention and exhibition centres, the HKCEC has not outsourced its catering to external service providers. (Photo: MCH Messe Schweiz (Basel) AG)
Unlike other convention and exhibition centres, the HKCEC has not outsourced its catering to external service providers. (Photo: MCH Messe Schweiz (Basel) AG)

The completion and launching of operations of the new hall complex in Basel this spring represented a milestone for MCH. Directly linked to this was the set up and managing of the entirely redesigned world trade fair for watches and jewellery, Baselworld. The corporate group has also become more active abroad: beyond the borders of Switzerland, Art Basel was held for the first time in Hong Kong. “Those were major projects that we worked on very intensively for several years,” emphasises Christian Jecker, Head of corporate communication , “and which we successfully realised.” In the first half of the year the MCH Group was able to report a new record in turnover (345 million Swiss Francs) – despite the fact that odd years are actually weaker because of the biennial rotation of many shows. The good start will affect the final results of 2013: “We can therefore expect a positive annual result once again.” 

The buoyant figures are partially a consequence of special effects that occurred during the Baselworld. “They include a new pricing system and the positive results of the stand construction business,” explains Christian Jecker. 2014 promises to be a strong year thanks to the biennial scheduling of the rented space-intensive Swissbau with approximately 1,300 exhibitors. The positive effects of the building exhibition will be countered, however, by “negative circumstances”. “The special effects of Baselworld will not contribute to turnover in the same way as they did in 2013,” forecasts Jecker. “At the same time, higher financing costs related to the construction of the Messe Basel fairground will accrue.” 


Nevertheless, MCH is looking forward to 2014 optimistically. This is due to also making the way the goal, as the implementation of a strategy embarked on some time ago is continued. At the core of the group’s many activities is the continuing expansion of the exhibition and service portfolio. The Swiss aim not least to augment the traditional exhibition concept with supplementary, value-generating offers. An example for this is the ILMAC Lounges: “In contrast to traditional exhibitions the Lounges are positioned as community meeting points,” says Christian Jecker, describing a concept already tested in Germany. “Their focus is more intensively set on transmitting knowledge and networking.” He describes a trend-setting life-science platform with a mixture of exhibitions, specialists talks, and product presentations. The ILMAC Lounges will augment the ILMAC trade fair for pharmaceuticals, chemistry, and biotechnology, held every three years in Basel. In this manner the MCH Group will fill in the years with an additional offering for this field when ILMAC is not scheduled.

The ILMAC Lounges focus more on disseminating knowledge and networking. (Photo: MCH)
The ILMAC Lounges focus more on disseminating knowledge and networking. (Photo: MCH)

The exhibition portfolio will also be augmented with the eco.expo show, the successor to the Basel Natura. Soon it will be launched parallel to the three large general public exhibitions in Basel (muba), Zurich (Züspa), and Lausanne (Comptoir). The eco.expo exhibition aims to become the nationally leading show for sustainability. In addition, the MCH Group, one of Europe’s top event companies, will expand its services in the digital sphere. A so-called “Device Independent Design” for websites and online catalogues for exhibitions will be developed and introduced. “This means that these online services will be optimised for mobile devices of all types in the near future,” explains Christian Jecker. The expansion of services is likewise a continual topic in the “Event Services”. For example, the stand design subsidiary Expomobilia has for some time been offering “Interior Solutions”: interior decoration of reception areas, showrooms, shop-in-shop solutions and much more. “From consulting to conception up to production and set-up,” is their motto (www.mch-group.com).


Author: Peter Borstel

This article was published in TFI issue 5/2013


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