Rai Amsterdam, organizer of Metstrade, reported a five percent increase in visits across the three-day event by 16,716 visitors representing 115 nationalities. The show also had more than 1,600 exhibitors from 50 countries, with 237 companies displaying for the first time.
The number of visitors from the U.S. was up 13 percent compared to last year’s show, while Italian visitors also rose by 8 percent. More visitors from Russia (up 15 percent) and the United Arab Emirates (up 9 percent) also meant emerging boatbuilding countries were coming back to the Amsterdam show for the first time in years. The organizers noted that a five percent rise in visitors from the Netherlands was also especially welcome since it signaled they mainly represented large companies.
“Metstrade 2018 was especially vibrant as it deployed a tried-and-tested concept against the background of a thriving leisure marine industry,” said Irene Dros, maritime director at RAI Amsterdam, in a statement. “Exhibitors, visitors and show partners were all pleased with how productive and friendly the event was and the genuine sense of community it provided.”
The number of country pavilions grew to 19 at this year’s show, including Denmark. The U.S. had more than 90 exhibitors in the U.S. Pavilion. “This was a great show and the quality of the buyers was felt among our exhibiting members,” said Julie Balzano, Senior Director of Export Development, in the statement. “The USA Pavilion will be back again in 2019. Metstrade has become a must-attend event for NMMA members.”
The organizers included exhibit halls for a cross-section of the global boating industry. This year, they expanded the SuperYacht Pavilion to three exhibit halls. Rai also worked hard to facilitate meetings between exhibiting companies and attendees.
The organizers included on-site events like its I-nnovation area with displays of the Dame award winners and nominees, E-nnovationLAB (for electric and hybrid marine propulsion technology), Pitch the Press (where exhibitors show new products) and MaterialDistrict Pop-Up as well as lectures and networking groups like the Young Professionals Club.
“Metstrade is always the highlight of the year because we see most of our customers from around the world,” said Suzanne Blaustone, CEO of Barton Marine, which manufactures sailboat equipment in the U.K. “We are already booked for Metstrade 2019 as there is no other show that creates such a degree of fervor, fun and engagement for professionals in the marine trade.”
Dros said that more than two-thirds of the exhibit space has been sold for next year. It will run November 19-21, 2019.