It’s always a slightly strange feeling to return to work after the Christmas break. The adrenaline builds up among the METSTRADE team in the weeks leading up to the actual show in November and by the time we’ve come back to earth the end-of-year festivities are upon us. Now, in the cold light of January, we can look back on how things went in 2016 with the METSTRADE Show and everything that revolves around it.
Thankfully, this reflection is a pleasant experience as the METSTRADE brand had a fantastic year. The 2016 edition of the show again broke all records for exhibitor and visitor attendance. I’m not going to blind you with stats (you can read more stats in the PDF, see link below) but my favourite figure was that we welcomed 15,541 unique visitors (up 8%) from 11,091 different companies (up 7.5%). The incredible variety of people this represents is such an encouragement to me because everything we do involves reaching out to the global marine industry.
How does the METSTRADE Show keep attracting so many people each November to Amsterdam? In my opinion, cooperation is the number one factor as we work closely with the people for whom the event is intended. This proves to me that co-creation is the way forward for the maritime world. By continually building on the success of the annual physical gathering in Amsterdam, we open up new doors to connect with people in the virtual world throughout the year.
That is also the primary reason for this online community, and I’m pleased it has developed well since the launch last September. With almost 11 months to wait until the 2017 show – which will be a special 30th edition – the METSTRADE Online Community is now the hub for business between all those who recognise the benefits of sharing useful content related to industry developments and being able to ‘meet’ with each other all year round.
Co-creation also involves a willingness to forge genuine partnerships and an aspiring approach that pushes the window of innovation. A fine example for METSTRADE was our decision to team up with IBI magazine on the first Boat Builders Awards in 2015. Because both parties were committed to the idea from the get-go, we booked the prestigious Maritime Museum in Amsterdam for the gala dinner. This went down very well and, thanks to our shared desire to innovate, the awards were an even greater success in 2016.
In 2017, METSTRADE enters its fourth decade having reaped the rewards of cooperation. It has evolved from a once-a-year trade show to an all-year-round bridge-building movement which spans the globe. And this is how we will approach the future too – an inspiring co-creative future in which METSTRADE looks forward to playing a leading role.