Cannes Day 3: Exhibitors seemed pleased with the new layout

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New sailing section in Port Canto

New sailing section in Port Canto

The Cannes Yachting Festival developed a positive rhythm on Thursday, the third day of the show, after a rainy first day. Sunshine and crowds returned. The show, now separated in two with motoryachts and motorboats in Le Port Vieux, and sailboats, sailing yachts and brokerage yachts in the adjoining Port Canto, was initially a challenge for some exhibitors who had been in the same space for many years.

A random sampling of exhibitors at the show said they understood the logic behind the reorganization, even if they were not all pleased with the new layout. The event is easier to navigate for showgoers, with more logical groupings of brands in each category, and more in-water space for boats.

Motoryachts in Le Port Vieux

Motoryachts in Le Port Vieux

Axopar CEO Jan Erik Viitala told Trade Only Today he appreciates "the better space to work with more boats in the water and more opportunities for our customers” to see the products.

Evo Yachts’ Valerio Rivellini, who designs that brand, agreed. “It's better because it gives more space to the public--and us.”

Some exhibitors with spaces in both harbors were also in favor of the new layout. "From the beginning, I supported this idea, because it follows the same model as the American boat shows,” said Franck Bauguil, vice-president of Travelopia, which manages Mooring and Sunsail charter bases as well as Leopard catamarans. “Before that, there was just not enough space. The boats are now better presented.”

Boat tests at the show

Boat tests at the show

The reorganization also appeals to some exhibitors who had the same location for years. Sea Ray has an entirely new position in the Le Port Vieux. "This fits perfectly into our new strategy--Elevated Experience--with more space, boats in the water and therefore a better way to welcome customers," said Hans Roelants, European general manager for Sea Ray Boats. "We are also very satisfied with the attendance and spirit. Halfway through the exhibition, we’ve almost reached the total number of sales achieved last year.

Added Valerio: “The visitors are really interested and highly motivated, and not tourists.”

Axopar CEO Jan Erik Viitala

Axopar CEO Jan Erik Viitala

"For us, the show is really positive,” says Bauguil. “We’re still young in the world of power catamarans, and while our regular customers come to the sailing side, our motorboat stand is also welcoming a new clientele who are discovering us."

While exhibitors seem generally optimistic about the new layout, some added that it’s more difficult for smaller companies with two exhibit spaces in the two port areas to provide adequate staffing.

The show wraps up Sept. 15. 

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