METSTRADE 2018 was especially vibrant as it deployed a tried & tested concept against a background of a thriving leisure marine industry,” says Irene Dros, Maritime Director at RAI Amsterdam. Exhibitors, visitors and show partners were all pleased with how productive and friendly the event was and the genuine sense of community it provided. As organisers, we were delighted with the response to the new initiatives set up to keep the show fresh. The overall air of enthusiasm was further reflected in the unprecedented number of over 1100 companies who have already booked to ensure themselves a place at METSTRADE 2019.
The right visitors
The record number of exhibitors who filled the RAI convention centre were especially satisfied with the diversity of the people they received. An analysis of the show statistics confirms the impression of an event that continues to grow in stature year on year. For the first time this year, METSTRADE welcomed a large group of trade counsellors, representing embassies from 37 different countries.
This year saw an considerably increase in the number of visitors from the USA (13% rise on 2017), Italy (8%) and Denmark (5%), as well as those from key upcoming countries in the marine sector, including the UAE (+9%) and Russia (15%). A five-percent rise in visitors from the Netherlands was especially welcome, as they mainly represented large companies.
The number of country pavilions grew this year to 19, with Denmark being a newcomer. The mood in these national hubs with in the show is captured well by Julie Balzano, Sr. Director Export Development with the US National Marine Manufacturers Association. This was a great show and the quality of the buyers was felt among our exhibiting members. The USA Pavilion will be back again in 2019 because METSTRADE has become a must-attend event for NMMA members.
Across the generations
Another noticeable feature at METSTRADE 2018 was the way in which the younger generation seems to be embracing the show, mirroring their greater involvement in the industry as a whole. Many new faces were spotted in the busy METSTRADE Young Professionals Club lounge and YPC events were exceptionally well attended.
Overall, the show organisers successfully ensured that the show attracted the broadest possible cross-section of the marine industry, as Hendrik van der Linden, Sales director at Lewmar confirms: This year's METSTRADE Show was very successful for Lewmar as we not only got to meet all our major customers, but also came into contact with smaller yards too. There was a great deal of optimism, with lots of new projects. And it was inspiring to see the next generation of engineers and people linked to the marine industry visit our stand. It is fantastic to hear their innovative viewpoints and see the way they embrace modern technologies. And the working relationships with this group are enhanced by the experience of those of us who have been coming to METSTRADE for many years.