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In addition to being the usual bustling hub of face-to-face business for the marine leisure industry, this year’s METSTRADE show also focused on taking the virtual platform metstrade.com to a new level. The METSTRADE Online Community team used the three-day event from 17 to 19 November to share preliminary ideas and collect feedback to support future developments via a proactive co-creation approach. More than 60 professionals from the industry have been interviewed and over 70 people have already signed up to join the co-ceation club.
Listen to the industry
“Many professionals in the marine leisure industry are connected through METSTRADE's networks and they enjoy a genuine sense of community,” says Irene Dros, Maritime Domain Manager at RAI Amsterdam. “The challenge is to create an online extension of the METSTRADE show to ensure year round value to all who participate. The starting point for the METSTRADE team is always to listen to and talk with people from the industry, and there is no better place to do that than during the METSTRADE show.”
Julie Balzano, Lars Wiklund, Roberto Perocchio involved
The Online Community project team had its own stand in the InnovationLAB, and shared the drafts of the new community concepts. iPads gave an interactive opportunity to tag elements which people liked or didn’t like. Furthermore, some 60 people were interviewed from a wide range of backgrounds, including Julie Balzano (Export Development Director, National Marine Manufacturers Association), Lars Wiklund (founder of Nimbus and owner of Epoca Yachts), Willem Dekker (representative of the European Boating Association) and Roberto Perocchio (Managing Director of Venezia Terminal Passeggeri S.p.A.). The excellent feedback from these discussions will be used to enhance the first draft of the concept.
Over 70 people already signed up as co-creation club member
Everyone with ideas for the online platform was invited to join a ‘co-creation club’ and play an important role in its further development. More than 70 professionals from various disciplines in the marine industry have already signed up. Co-creators will receive emails with online community related topics, including short questionnaires, visual elements of the user interface and questions regarding content.
Having concluded its busiest week of the year, the METSTRADE show team is now turning the spotlight on the equally important online platform. “Our ultimate goal is to create an online community that is relevant 365 days a year,” concludes Dros. “This co-creation approach will help us attain that ambition as we extend our platform and make it even more relevant to people’s day-to-day business.”
METSTRADE.com is the first online port of call for professionals from the worldwide leisure marine equipment industry. Focused on innovation, market developments, knowledge sharing and networking, this global business platform and community offers added value all year round to the circa 1400 exhibitors and 22,000 visitors to the METSTRADE show – and to those who cannot make it to Amsterdam each November.
Note to the editor (not for publication):
For more information, please contact the Brand Marketing Manager: Petra IJmker