The EPHJ watchmaking subcontractors fair celebrates 20 years with a promising edition

The famous Round Tables will each day address topics around important issues in the sector, such as the need to see more clearly in the certification jungle.

the 20and Anniversary edition of the most important fair in Switzerland, from June 14th to 17th at Palexpo-Geneva, shows an increase in participation compared to September 2021. This edition will be placed under the banner of innovation, employment, business and youth. The EPHJ will reveal the results of the follow-up survey carried out 6 years ago across Switzerland among 16-25 year olds to update their links and their perception of the world of watches, their expectations and their favorite brand.

In September 2021, the EPHJ was the first salon to reopen its doors in Switzerland following the health crisis. A daring risk acclaimed by the high-precision players who responded and by the visitors whose quality and qualification were recognized by 98% of exhibitors according to the satisfaction survey carried out at the end of this 2021 edition.

Just 8 months after this last edition, the 20thand from the EPHJ Show once again looks promising. The number of exhibiting companies has increased by 26% compared to September 2021, reaching 700 exhibitors to date. The easing seen in international travel is confirmed with 15 countries represented among exhibitors, including the United States and a trend towards first returns from foreign visitors expected.

Most exhibitors remain Swiss with 22 cantons represented according to the following ranking for the top five: Neuchâtel (24.6% of the Swiss contingent), Bern (19.9%), Jura (14.9%), Geneva ( 11.4%) and Vaud (10.6%). Of this Swiss contingent, French-speaking Switzerland represents 64% of exhibitors and 36% for the German-speaking part and Ticino.

Reasonable growth based on intangible principles

Twenty years after its start in 2002 with 92 exhibitors in Lausanne, a quarter of which were present without interruption, the EPHJ has presented an average of more than 800 exhibitors and 20,000 Swiss and international visitors from five continents during 6 years. This growth has been built around five main principles:

  • equal treatment of exhibitors with identical basic modules for stands
  • business development: 90% of exhibitors say they signed orders during the fair or have them in the pipeline.
  • highlighting innovations
  • the spirit of conviviality: all the actors are happy to meet, to meet, even the exhibitors who do business with each other
  • support price stability for 20 years

Twenty years later, the heart of this 20and the edition remains the professional environment of watchmaking and jewellery, upstream and downstream of the finished product. However, the trend towards medtech diversification is felt more and more strongly among exhibitors, almost half of whom announce a diversification in this sector thanks to the mastery of very high precision techniques in a safe environment. The professional environment of microtechnologies also continues to be a strong sector of the fair with many companies, from start-ups to multinationals, presenting their latest machines or truly innovative processes.

Special Day of Work Meeting

Among the major concerns of the high-precision market, recruitment difficulties continue to be current in an increasingly tense market where recruitment periods are increasingly longer. After a survey of exhibitors, it turns out that almost a third of them currently have vacancies and are recruiting. This is a sign of the sector’s vitality, but also a real constraint in attracting young people to technical and industrial professions.

EPHJ has therefore decided to dedicate the last day of the Fair to this topic in partnership with JobWatch, which will mobilize its vast network of candidates around these job offers to organize a Job Dating session on June 17th. Candidates, future graduates or future apprentices will thus have the opportunity to meet business leaders during this day, which should be useful for growing companies.

The desire for watches among young Swiss has evolved

Six years after the first part, the EPHJ again questioned young Swiss, through a national survey of young people aged 16 to 25, to better understand their aspirations, their relationships, their consumption and their perception of watches and of your universe. The results show an interesting and challenging evolution of customs and habits in this area with a change in your favorite brand. The full results will be revealed on the first day of the fair in the presence of watchmaking experts who will discuss them.

Other highlights, the famous Roundtables will address daily topics around hot topics in industry news, such as the need to see more clearly in the jungle of certifications and other ESG/CSR seals, innovation opportunities for high precision, the ongoing trend of Switzerland watchmaking to develop essentially for the top of the range, medtech prototyping or the shortage of industrial manpower.

The Exhibitors’ Grand Prix will, as usual, award the year’s best innovation chosen by its peers from among all the technological advances that will be showcased this year.

The Watch Medtech Challenge winners will also be revealed to highlight the bridges between watchmaking jewelry and medical technologies.

See you at Palexpo-Geneva from the 14th to the 17th of June.

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