Clever ideas save Art Basel

Die Art Basel Miami Beach ist in einem modernen Gebäude untergebrach
The launch of Art Basel Miami Beach was a good move. (Image: media service Art Basel)

Who wants to play a role in the globalized world, must become the market leader in important regions. This demonstrates Art Basel.

The interconnectedness of the world is advancing and companies have to ask themselves how to position themselves in regional markets.

Organizing everything solely at headquarters, for example in Switzerland, does not seem to be a solution, as the example of art fairs impressively shows.

Advantages disappear

After all, Art Basel at headquarters is no longer what the art fair used to be. Everything is much too expensive in Switzerland for the galleries as well as art collectors and in order to see or buy art, no one really has to leave their house anymore.

The advantage of being able to view and also buy all art in one place on a few days is simply melting away in a globalized world with the possibilities of digitalization.

20th anniversary

The creators of Art Basel, which was launched in 1970, also recognized this in good time and reacted cleverly by establishing a second mainstay in North America with Art Basel Miami Beach. This happened for the first time back in 2002, and these days this art fair is already celebrating its 20th anniversary.

Until next Saturday, interested visitors can now visit the approximately 240 galleries and marvel at the artworks of the hundreds of artists as well as purchase them.

It is interesting that at the headquarters in Basel the temperatures are around three degrees Celsius and in Miami Beach the visitors can enjoy the art and the accompanying program at a pleasant 25 degrees Celsius while making new contacts.

Champagne instead of Monitor

The diversification was not only regional, but also spread throughout the year. Even in U.S. art metropolises, such as New York, freezing temperatures and mostly snowy chaos prevail at this time of year. Hardly anyone wants to enjoy art there.

On the beach, in hotels and restaurants in Miami with its pleasant temperatures, on the other hand, there is an exciting supporting program, which can be hardly replaced by online events in the digitalized world.

There is champagne in abundance and visitors don’t just have to look on their monitors. For the sponsors, such as the Swiss bank UBS or the luxury manufacturer Louis Vuitton, all that personal interaction is also much more convenient.

Shifting the focus

But these are not the only moves Art Basel has made to maintain its global leadership in art fairs. Art suddenly gained much more importance in Asia, and alongside Japan, China was gaining in stature.

Wealthy Chinese, for example, no longer wanted to travel to Europe only once a year, but also wanted to spend time with art and its purchases during the year.

This gave rise to the idea of holding an Art Basel in Asia, i.e. in Hong Kong. The origins of the idea date back to 2008, when the Basel-based company organized its first art event in the former British Special Administrative Region in cooperation with a local provider.

Local market leader

The success hit home, and starting in 2013, Swiss-based leaders launched Art Basel HK. In the meantime, it is impossible to imagine the scene without the art event. This is now where the music plays.

Next March, 172 galleries from over 30 countries will exhibit again. Art Basel recently proudly announced that two-thirds of them will come from Asia and the Pacific.

Sustainability fulfilled

In other words, even the mega-trend towards ‘sustainability’ is becoming more and more important, because visitors and exhibitors no longer have to jet all the way over to the other side of the world.

As market leaders, companies must also lead the market and always be at the forefront. This is clearly evident at art fairs, because the whims of collectors want to be served and suppliers are quickly out of the window.

In the art scene, for example, it became clear that, after America and Asia, staid Switzerland could hardly serve as a dynamic location for the third pillar, Europe.

Eliminate the problem child

The federation’s gears run far too slowly for artists and visitors and are not revolutionary enough. Therefore, Art Basel recently launched Art Basel Paris and landed a real coup, as is also reported by

Companies have to move with the times, otherwise they go with the times, it is always so nicely stated. Now the challenge for the Basel fair is to also bring the once-legendary fair of luxury watches and jewelry, Basel World, back to success.

After all, the organizers believed that the Swiss watch industry would forever be the center of the world. But Basel was mistaken and now has to find something new in the centers of luxury watches and for diamond lovers.


Clever ideas save Art Basel

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