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METS 2016: Show sets exhibitor and visitor attendance marks

METS Trade Show organizers said today that the 2016 show, which wrapped up Thursday in Amsterdam, set records for exhibitor and visitor attendance.

Organizers said the 6,610 personnel representing 1,471 exhibiting companies welcomed 23,702 visits. The total of 15,541 unique visitors was an increase of 8 percent from the previous high point, which was set last year, and they represented 11,091 companies, a year-on-year increase of 7.5 percent.

The three-day show, which opened Tuesday, was flanked on either side by leading conferences in the superyacht, leisure marine sustainability, yacht design and construction and marina sectors.

Wednesday, the busiest day of the exhibition, saw almost 10,000 visitors file into the RAI Amsterdam center to access the 11 halls open for business.

Organizers said strong year-on-year growth was seen at the three shows-within-a-show: the SuperYacht Pavilion hosted 265 exhibitors (compared with 224 in 2015), with 64 stands in the sold-out Marina & Yard Pavilion (49 in 2015) and 45 in the Construction Material Pavilion (31 in 2015).

Organizers said no fewer than 64 percent of visitors were from outside the Netherlands. Italy, France and Denmark, three countries that organizers said have always been well represented at METS Trade, saw significant increases this year. And there were a large number of Russian, Polish and Swiss visitors, which had not previously been the case.

Organizers said 85 percent of the overall visitor total had decision-making authority in their company; 22 percent of visitors were younger than 35, a 10 percent increase from the 2015 show.

“The 2016 edition of METS Trade may well be remembered as the year in which the show raised the bar to the next level,” RAI Amsterdam's Maritime METS Trade manager Irene Dros said in a statement.

“The side program of conferences and events was bigger and better than ever before, and it is clear that METS Trade increasingly serves as a magnet for smart initiatives from across every discipline and market within the maritime world. Not only are we compering more events: Crucially, they are all proving to be very successful and focused on the kind of face-to-face meetings for which RAI Amsterdam is renowned.”

Dros cited the examples of the new Leisure Marine Sustainability Conference and the Boat Builder Awards gala, which was held at Amsterdam’s iconic Maritime Museum.

“These kinds of events attract the crème de la crème from the industry and add excellent high-end networking concepts to the show,” she said. “We will continue to emphasize this aspect in the years ahead, as it is a win-win situation for everyone.”

The recently announced decision by RAI Amsterdam to take a 50 percent stake in the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference in the United States reinforces this forward-thinking approach toward expansion. So, too, does the METS Trade Online Community, an initiative launched earlier this year that enables members to network and stay up to speed with the latest industry innovations year-round.

“None of this would be possible without the excellent long-lasting partnerships we have with the exhibitors at METS Trade,” Dros added. “Their willingness to innovate is the engine — the wind in our sails — that will drive us on as we continue taking this show to new heights of B2B excellence.”

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