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Luxury Swiss watch fair goes all-digital during COVID-19 lockdown

Luxury Swiss watch fair goes all-digital during COVID-19 lockdown

Watches and Wonders, luxury Swiss watch fair, goes digital this year. To avoid pause caused by lockdown, the organizers preferred to try the new approach. The digital format also offers live-streaming events aimed specifically at the Chinese market.

Watches and Wonders’ organizers decided to take the traditional fair online for the first time. As the coronavirus outbreak has forced the cancellation of in-person events, the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH) has created a digital platform to provide a virtual fair, Springwise reports.

Being the organizer of fair, FHH is considered horology’s premiere event. Up to now, the high-end watch and jewellery sectors have resisted moving online. This is largely due to concerns that it would dilute the sense of exclusiveness, along with customers’ willingness to pay five and six-figure prices for the luxury goods.

However, Chinese market is extremely perspective for FHH. For Asia, Watches and Wonders has gone even further, with the introduction of a live-streaming campaign in partnership with Tmall Luxury Pavilion.

The digitalization of fair, its streaming videos will remain accessible on the site permanently. Visitors can also access social media content, including promotional videos and online events with Chinese celebrities and influencers. Swiss and not only watchmakers have adapted to the online fair by creating standalone sites and streaming videos.

“If we manage to bring the emotions and the experience that the visitors usually get when visiting the fairs, then we win. Reducing costs while engaging a broader audience is the key to future success of fairs. This is a good way to start,” said Edouard Meylan, CEO of luxury watchmaker H. Moser & Cie.

Following coronavirus outbreak, the world of luxury goods has been steadily moving online. However, often in a measured way that targets particular markets and segments. This has now sped up considerable, thanks to the national lockdowns. Businesses that incorporate these technologies now, may also be well-positioned to recover faster.

If successful, the FHH move could be long-lasting and could provide the luxury horology sector with an expanded reach, along with a way to cater their marketing to specific groups of customers.

During the pandemic, the use of live-streaming and online marketing has grown, and this trend is likely to continue even after the lockdowns end.