Czapek, Baselworld 2019
Event Name: Baselworld 2019
Agency Website: unltd.xyz
Baselworld used to be the most important platform for the global watchmaking, jewelry, gemstone and related industries.
In 2011, Xavier de Roquemaurel, a luxury marketing consultant and watch lover, Harry Guhl an art expert, and Sébastien Follonier, a watchmaker, came together to revive Czapek.
We were initially contacted by Czapek and were invited to tender for the design and installation. We visited them at the previous year’s show to evaluate their existing stand design and layout, and to provide a constructive critique of it and to assist them in formulating the brief to us.
To be designed with being seen as a new artisanal watchmaker of limited edition pieces of the highest calibre and competitive player in the luxury watch market.
The main challenge we faced was working to a modest budget, whilst providing a luxury look and feel for the exhibition stand design. We set about creating a suitable vision for them, knowing that we would need to give the impression of high-end materiality and specifications, whilst using budget driven materials.
The other main task was to incorporate a significant amount of functionality within a compact space. An access controlled reception, two meeting areas, a product viewing area, secure storage, a compact hospitality preparation area and internal and external product displays were required, whilst still feeling open, inviting and approachable for new prospects and existing clients to visit.
Raising the profile and brand awareness of the Czapek brand and watch range was of key importance to the client.
The Solution and Activation
Our starting point was the spatial arrangement of the required areas, as we realised that the client was pushing the boundaries regarding the amount of functionality, versus the reality of the 30m2 stand space, which was configured as a 6m wide and 5m deep space.
Working from a central axis and symmetrical layout to create a sense of order, the reception desk was positioned centrally with a welcome wall to the rear. This provided us with an entrance/exit to either side of the reception/welcome wall so that visitor access could be controlled accordingly. As many prescheduled meetings had been arranged and as space was a premium, a reception controlled diary of where each meeting would take place was implemented to control the amount of visitors within the compact space. Furthermore, the welcome wall displayed the main branding and had a recessed AV screen within aperture to showcase the Czapek brand heritage and launch through the looping video show reels. The welcome wall also provided privacy to the main central boardroom style table to the internal side, where the most important discussions and sales deals were taking place.
To either side of the stand there were linear wood open slatted screen panels that provided sight lines in and out of the space, as well as airflow. These panels then helped to create a connection from outside to inside and thus made the internal space feel larger than it was in reality, as well as providing adequate privacy for the meetings taking place. The usage of planting also helped with privacy as well as bringing some nature into the corporate aesthetic.
Once inside the exhibition stand, the symmetrical layout provided for a more relaxed lounge style to one side and a more formal meeting space to the other side, with a centrally positioned boardroom style table for the reviewing of the company’s latest range of watches.
The colour palette was inspired by the company’s brand identity and the strong and corporate dark blue of the brand was used sparingly and toned down against the soft light laminate finish grey walls. Whereas the light Scandinavian fir pinewood slatted panels brought a sense of calm and nature to the space. Regarding the flooring specification, the main area of the stand was in a dark blue carpet finish to match the brand palette and an inset light wood floor with radius corners below the central boardroom table for contrast.
An inset wall recess was created centrally within the perimeter walls and lined in a dark blue fabric to showcase the art like photos of beautifully captured timepieces and detailed engineering of the finest horology of the Czapek watches.
Lighting was a key element to insuring the stand space was illuminated according to each areas specific function. Recessed and dimmable controlled lights within a lower ceiling fascia were specified for the perimeter of the space, to evenly light the walls and displayed watch artworks. Whereas dimmable controlled suspended minimal glass sphere pendant lights were used above each of the specific meeting, lounge and boardroom table areas. This combination created an intimate home like interior environment, whilst the overall aesthetic was of a corporate nature.
We realised that the client had some high quality furniture pieces at their head office that we utilised to complete the look and feel of the space, this also helped to keep the budget contained.
The balance of materiality and considered lighting and interior design styling, created a real sense of luxury overall and gave the impression of a much higher level of budgetary spend than the reality afforded and thus we answered the brief accordingly and far exceeded the clients expectations.
Feedback at the show was extremely positive from all levels of engagement. From the client and show, sales and marketing staff all the way to CEO/Founder level. Furthermore, the show organisers and even competitors were openly complimenting on the design and visual presence of the stand design.
Post-show client feedback from the Marketing and Sales teams provided discreet, however upward trajectory of significant sales leads and more meetings being requested and scheduled at the show in relation to historic data.
Increased sales leads figures weren’t provided due to confidentiality reasons, however a higher level of commercially viable leads were made and overall general awareness of the brand within the watch market sector increased significantly, which was one of the main purposes of exhibiting at the show.