Well, by any measure it’s been a great METSTRADE 2016. There isn’t a company I have spoken with this year that will not be travelling back, north, south, east or west, without a satisfyingly full enquiry file. Now the hard work commences – to contact all of those leads and turn them into solid business.
The RAI’s Marine Manager, Irene Dros, stated at the end of the show that visitors this year represented more than 11,000 companies – that’s an impressive 10 per cent up more than 2015.
I tried to visualise what that meant exactly in terms of scale. I guess if each one took a booth at METSTRADE we would need more than five RAIs to house them all!
We often think about the leisure marine industry being a relatively small player in global economic terms, but 11,000 companies, 1470 exhibitors and 22,000 marine professionals all in one place suggests almost unlimited opportunity to collaborate across national boundaries.
During the show I chatted for some time with a member of the Young Professionals Club. His badge declared his current home as Spain, but his country of birth was Venezuela and he was temporarily working in Poland. Our meeting served to remind again how so many people think much more internationally now. Okay, so recent political shifts feel like the risks of retrograde steps back towards xenophobia are real, but it feels like the most natural thing in the world for a Brit to be talking to a Venezuelan in the Netherlands while looking at a product from Japan.
That’s why METSTRADE is so great. I have a really strong network in the UK through my membership of the British Marine industry association. But for a global meeting of minds you cannot better those three intense days in Amsterdam each year. We all anticipate them keenly for months, then they arrive and it is time all too soon to say our au revoirs again.
The METSTRADE Community now provides a great opportunity to extend the conversation, right across the globe, 365 days of the year (or perhaps 364 – we all deserve one day off).
It’s been my privilege to work for the Community team at METSTRADE this year and I’ll be engaging with some more pieces and will look to comment on your items as well in the weeks ahead. Please do connect and let's all stay in touch until the next time we meet in person.