Organizers said the 2016 METS Trade Show will have a record 1,471 exhibitors when it opens Tuesday morning at the RAI Amsterdam convention center.
The Nov. 15-17 event is the world’s largest business-to-business exhibition in the marine equipment industry. More than 22,000 professionals are expected to attend.
After the Global Superyacht Forum, the HISWA Symposium on Yacht Design and Construction and the Leisure Marine Sustainability Conference kick off METS Trade week today, the trade show will start early Tuesday with the traditional breakfast briefing — the keynote speaker will be the circular economy expert Steven Beckers — and the announcement of the DAME Design Award winner.
The doors of the exhibition will then swing open to unveil an expanded show floor layout that includes a brand-new hall where 168 companies will present their products, including Dometic, International Paint (Akzo) and Yamaha. The show has an additional 32,300 square feet of space this year.
Organizers said the exhibitor total represents a significant increase from 1,385 stands in 2015, a total that was then a record figure. There are 290 companies exhibiting at METS this year.
Strong year-on-year growth can also be seen at the three shows-within-a-show: The SuperYacht Pavilion will host 265 exhibitors (compared with 224 in 2015), with 64 stands in the Marina & Yard Pavilion sold out (49 in 2015) and 45 in the Construction Material Pavilion (31 in 2015).
Organizers said there will be new platforms designed to enhance visitors’ experience and strengthen the show’s standing as a platform for innovation. The Construction in Process Stage will feature live presentations of how materials showcased in the Construction & Material Pavilion are used.
Organizers said one of the companies represented will be French resin technology firm Resoltech, which will demonstrate a composite repair system that allows race sailors to make repairs in all weather conditions. Selected by the technical committee for the recent Volvo Ocean Race, the effectiveness of this system shows clear potential for use in broader applications, organizers said.
Another example is a presentation by composite specialists from Gurit, who will show how their Sprint system facilitates consistent build weights with a controlled fiber/resin weight ratio.
More learning opportunities will be available at the METS Trade Theatre (powered by Trade Only) in Hall 12, where exhibitors will offer product demonstrations.
A new item on the program is Pitch the Press. On Wednesday, 15 companies will pitch products to the press and visitors that a small group of international marine journalists selected the day before.
A further highlight of the new layout at the show is the move of the InnovationLab to Hall 6, close to the entrance of the new Hall 7. Here it will form a central hub of smart thinking with presentations by DAME Design Award and Boatbuilder Award winners and shortlisted nominees.
Also on the agenda will be a live on-stage interview Tuesday morning with Beckers, the keynote speaker at the breakfast briefing. A panel discussion will follow in the afternoon on “sustainability and the boatbuilding revolution,” examining how the circular economy is transforming industry models and how “going green” in the marine industry can be good for business.
These and other events elsewhere on the show floor, such as the Material Xperience on tour exhibition with its Lightweight Miracles theme, will reinforce the prominent role of sustainability throughout the show.
Other noteworthy speakers during the three days of the InnovationLab include Els Zijlstra, creative director at Materia, the international platform for innovative materials, and Adjiedj Bakas, a trend watcher and author.
Nick Bice, director of boats and maintenance at the Volvo Ocean Race, will provide an update on the status of the race and the progress made since last year’s talk on how suppliers are becoming partners in a platform of collaboration, efficiency and reliability.
The IMO Polar Code and Large Yachts will be examined by James Roy, yacht design director at BMT Nigel Gee Ltd.
Carlo Ighina, research and devlopment manager at the Azimut Benetti Group, will explain how the yachting experience can be enhanced by advanced research and technology.