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The annual METSTRADE Show has completed a very successful week, reinforcing its reputation as the world’s premier gathering of the leisure marine community. As well as breaking new ground in terms of exhibitor and visitor numbers, the B2B event in RAI Amsterdam convention centre welcomed an exceptional 116 different nationalities, the highest number to date. With some 10,500 visitors coming from outside the Netherlands, six percent more than in 2016, the METSTRADE Show has an unrivalled international character. METSTRADE 2018 will take place from 13 to 15 November.
As the 30th birthday edition of this effervescent platform for leisure marine professionals, METSTRADE 2017 was always destined to be a special event. Early indications are that visitor figures were the highest recorded for the three-day event, with 16,307unique visitors (an increase of over 5% compared to 2016) and an overall total of 24,856 visits (also plus 5%). Even more pleasing to the organisers, who are committed to ensuring that the METSTRADE Show remains the essential global meeting place for the leisure marine industry, was that these visitors came from 116 different countries (107 in 2016).
Growth across the board
An impressive 68% of all new visitors came from outside the Netherlands, with the top five visitor countries (after NL) being Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Spain. Significant growth was seen from Greece, Croatia, Finland, the United States and Ireland. All visitors were welcomed on the show floor by no less than 1552 exhibitors (a rise of 5% compared to last year), whose stands were manned by around 6594 high-end industry professionals. The exhibiting companies were also delighted by the unprecedented international flavour of the event.
“METSTRADE continues to be an important platform for our brand to meet with many of our distributors from around the world, including New Zealand, Canada, South Africa and Singapore,” comments Chris Feibusch, Head of Global Marketing for WesCom Signal and Rescue in the UK. “This was the first time that we have exhibited under our new name following a rebrand last month and it was great to reconnect and discuss business with current and prospective distributors at METSTRADE. We look forward to following these business leads up.”
Atul Gupta, director of the Indian company Multiflex Marine, was equally enthusiastic. “METSTRADE is the Mecca of the marine industry and by far the best show of its kind anywhere in the world. We exhibit at many exhibitions worldwide but nothing beats METSTRADE. Having attended the event over the last eight years we have pretty much built all our international business via the METSTRADE Show.”
Vibrant and innovative
While the facts & figures make good reading for the METSTRADE team, what also matters is the way the show was perceived by all who attended. “This anniversary edition was a success because it was conducted in a vibrant atmosphere where exhibitors and visitors alike enjoyed excellent business,” comments RAI Amsterdam’s Maritime Director Irene Dros. “There was also a great deal of appreciation for the exceptionally high number of new and innovative products on display. The newly introduced E-nnovationLAB added to this, featuring technologies and manufacturers of electric & hybrid marine propulsion systems. The foundations have been laid for a promising showcase which will evolve in the years ahead.”
Another future-oriented theme at METSTRADE 2017 was the way younger people were placed firmly in the spotlight, with the large number in attendance adding to the inspiring mood. The METSTRADE Young Professionals Club lounge was very busy and the first edition of the YPC canal cruise was a great success, with the IBEX Millennials joining the fun. “We have a clear ambition for METSTRADE to embrace the next generation of both people and technologies,” explains Dros. “To thrive in the future, the marine industry must strengthen partnerships, focus on the latest developments in society, and use the latest propulsion and production methods. We believe in stepping into the world which connects the I-pad & game generation – the vloggers and other young influencers who have an enormous impact on consumer behaviour and their followers’ aspirations for luxury products such as boats.”