Metstrade last week ended with record attendance and exhibitor numbers. The organizers said in a statement that 17,792 visitors made 26,984 visits over the three-day event, a five percent increase over the previous year’s record. The show at Amsterdam’s Rai Convention Center also reported a record 1,670 exhibitors from 53 countries, with a total of 7,297 exhibitor personnel. More than 270 companies were new exhibitors from 36 countries.
“At this year’s show we delivered on our operational excellence pledge in a number of ways,” said Irene Dros, maritime director of the Metstrade show in the statement, who released the numbers during a show-end event. Dros, clearly moved by show’s end, added: “It’ been an honor to see people working with so much passion and dedication, committed to their products and services.”
On the show floor, exhibitors were pleased with the foot traffic, which seemed busy until about the middle of the last day. All 30 companies interviewed at Trade Only Today’s livestream studio reported a strong show. First-time exhibitors were also pleased with the results. “We’ve met many high-quality visitors and generated a great deal of publicity, which is why we decided to exhibit here,” said Steyn van Driessel, marketing executive at We Ship Yachts, one of 30 new Dutch companies at the show.
One of Metstrade’s primary themes was sustainability, which came through several panel discussions of various aspects of recycling and sustainability in the boating industry. Sustainability was also addressed during presentations on the I-nnovation Stage, E-nnovation Stage (dedicated to electric and hybrid information sessions) and the Construction in Process stage. The show’s partnership with the Water Revolution Foundation was also evident across the show. The Material District presentation was dedicated to biobased and recycled raw materials.
“At all levels of the recreational boating sector, people are clearly taking ownership of the need to make things better with respect to the environment,” said Dros. “They are tackling the issue from the heart as well as financially, embracing transformation in our industry not just in theory but very much in practice.”
Several exhibitors told Trade Only Today that visitors were asked if they used recycled materials in their products or processes.
“Sustainability seemed to be a much larger theme this year than in the past,” Nigel Pompeus, head of marketing for Lignia Yacht, told Trade Only Today. Lignia, a U.K.-based manufacturer of wooden decks that are similar in appearance to teak, won innovation awards both at Metstrade and IBEX.
Metstrade organizers published a Sustainability Guide that noted all activities that happened during the event. “There is a continuous conversation between all stakeholders that is already leading to revolutionary developments,” said Dros.