As the largest B2B event for the leisure marine sector prepares to open its doors next week, the 31st edition of the METSTRADE Show is set to be the largest to date. Nearly 1600 exhibitors from 50 different countries will be joined by thousands of visitors from around the world for this year’s exhibition. The METSTRADE Show takes place in the RAI Amsterdam convention centre from Tuesday 13 to Thursday 15 November.
The bustling Dutch capital will be even more lively than usual over the weekend before METSTRADE as exhibitors and conference delegates begin arriving and initiate the first of many meetings.
With major partner events such as The Superyacht Forum and the 50th anniversary edition of the HISWA Symposium on Yacht Design and Construction already starting on the Monday morning, METSTRADE revolves around more than a three-day trade show. The vibrant business vibe spreads well beyond the exhibition halls into the city of Amsterdam, with networking, knowledge exchange nights, awards evenings and various gatherings of marine media and marketing professionals.
“As is the case every year, METSTRADE 2018 will be about bringing people together from across the spectrum of the leisure marine world,” says RAI Amsterdam’s Maritime Director, Irene Dros. “No matter how well people communicate by email, regardless of how pleasant the phone calls, nothing beats face-to-face meetings. And as well as being good for commercial purposes, the personal connections made during the METSTRADE week serve as an unrivalled source of inspiration and creativity for the year ahead.”
“Our goal is to offer the global boating industry the best possible platform for business and for one-to-one personal encounters as people make new contacts and share expertise. The new Meet & Mingle event on Monday 12 November is a good example, giving several hundred stand personnel the chance to take a break from the build-up and get to know their fellow METSTRADE exhibitors.”
The impressive sales figures in advance of METSTRADE 2018 illustrate how well this approach is working. Nearly 1600 exhibitors have booked a spot, representing a 3% growth on last years’ edition. No less than 237 companies will be exhibiting at the show for the first time. The number of visitor registrations also indicate that last year’s total of 16,307 unique visitors and 24,856 visits may well be exceeded.
Visitors will certainly have much to see and do during their time at the show, with various areas having been expanded.
The SuperYacht Pavilion, for instance, has been extended to three halls in order to accommodate no less than 325 exhibitors. Newcomers at this year’s event include Cobham Satcom and Wempe, and the pavilion will feature a new networking area called the Shipyard.
Another centrepiece of METSTRADE 2018 will be the newly extended Construction Material Pavilion, which will include Round Table sessions on materials and methodologies and rapid prototyping and 3D printing plus the Material District pop-up on the theme of ‘New Luxury’. First-time attendees such as Lantor, Weis Chemie and Cortizo have helped bring the total to a new watermark of 59 exhibitors. Meanwhile, there will be 69 exhibitors in the Marina & Yard Pavilion, with Ronautica, ASAR Safe Harbor and Dry Stacks among those making their METSTRADE debut.
Also increasing in size and scope is the E-nnovationLAB platform for electric propulsion technology, reflecting the growing demand for hybrid and electric engines in the leisure marine market. This will have an even more prominent position in Hall 7 with 12 different stands and 11 showcase displays by exhibitors who have a stand elsewhere. There will also be a new E-Lab stage where the revolutionary products in this part of the show will be visualised in a personal way.
The METSTRADE Show will be officially opened on the morning of Tuesday 13 November with the traditional Breakfast Briefing and DAME Design Award ceremony, including a keynote speech by Bénéteau CEO Hervé Gastinel.