Thanks to its November timing as well as sheer size – the largest get-together of its kind in the world – the METS exhibition in Amsterdam RAI is considered by many to be a trustworthy sign of the general health of the maritime equipment industry, bringing a positive prognosis for the upcoming year. A record attendance for this year’s METS is good news for the sector and its many partners as well as customers.
With a grand total of 20,500 visitors and the same number of exhibitors seen at last year’s 25th anniversary edition, the three-day B2B exhibition marked an increase in attendance of more than five percent over last year. The 2013 show introduced several new features and future events such as the raw material display area.
“We had just as many exhibitors as at last year’s historic event, more country pavilions than ever, and anchored two pavilions, the Construction Material and Marina & Yard,” comments Maritime Domain Manager Irene Dros. “It’s been a record-breaking event that reinforces the reputation of METS as an unmissable exhibition.”
The Marina & Yard Pavilion was a success, with many satisfied exhibitors reinforcing how much they looked forward to seeing it organised again in the same location in 2014. Another highlight was the Construction Material Pavilion which was organised again this year for the second time. This year it featured the Material Xperience On Tour showcase featuring over 125 innovative raw materials. Both pavilions received many enthusiastic reactions.
McCoy sets tone at Breakfast Briefing
The 26th edition of METS got off to a rousing start with the traditional Breakfast Briefing officially opening the proceedings. All present were impressed by the keynote presentation delivered by Brunswick Corporation CEO Dustan McCoy. He set an appropriate business tone for METS by identifying four areas in which the boating industry should improve. As a priority McCoy stressed the need for companies to hold the line on retail pricing.
Sleipner Motor overall DAME AWARD winner
Another highlight at the kick-off of METS 2013 was the announcement of the prestigious DAME Award to the Vector Fin Stabiliser system from Sleipner Motor AS. The Jury stated that the Norwegian company had “thought out of the box to produce a fin that better suits many of the modern hull forms to which stabilisers are becoming a standard fit”. Chairman of the DAME Awards Jury, Bill Dixon praised the quality of many of the entries and the effort made by companies to present their products in a clear and concise way.
Once the exhibition got underway, the unique position of METS as the largest B2B event of its kind soon became evident. The quality of the visitors led to high degrees of satisfaction among the exhibitors. Justine Heeley of Drew Marine Signal & Safety underlined that “METS continues to have huge international appeal and we met with over thirty of our distributors from all over Europe and as far as Canada, the USA, Japan, the Middle East and Africa. This year we held our semi-annual sales meeting the day before the show to make the most of the fact that key business managers from our operations across the UK, Spain, Germany, USA and Australia had all flown to Amsterdam to attend METS.”
Xia Jianzhong, General Manager of five-time exhibitor Zhejiang Jinrui Hardware Rigging Co., underlined the importance of the exhibition for his company: “We still enjoy the business done here at METS. It’s a great place to meet all of our existing clients and we intend to continue to participate in the future.” Paul Holland of Energy Solutions felt that this year’s METS may have been a watershed moment for the health of the industry, pointing out that “our feeling was that the mood of the industry had lifted and that there was a general sense of modest optimism for 2014.” Who are we to disagree!
World Marinas Conference launch
The much anticipated World Marinas Conference of the International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA) was also launched during METS 2013. During a Turkish-themed reception at the Marina & Yard Pavilion, Irene Dros revealed details about the upcoming conference, which is expected to be an extraordinary learning and networking opportunity for professionals in the marina and maritime tourism domains. Featuring an exciting line-up of speakers and events, the World Marinas Conference is expected to attract more than four hundred attendees.
Alpaslan Sirkecioğlu, Chairman of the Turkish marine industry association DENTUR, which will host the conference, explained that the topics covered at the conference will include the emerging markets of the Eastern Med, Black Sea, Middle East, Asia and South America. Breakout sessions will examine marina management and operational practices, revenue maximisation, marina classification, and facility design & engineering. The ceremony was closed by Roberto Peroccio, Chairman of the ICOMIA Marinas Group, who declared that registration was now open.
The 2014 edition of the World Marinas Conference will be held in Istanbul on 2-4 June 2014. This will be the eighth time the event takes place, and the first time it is organised in partnership with Amsterdam RAI. Participants registering by 1 March 2014 will qualify for early-bird rates.
METS 2014 – 18-19-20 November Amsterdam RAI Convention Centre
In 2014 METS will be held 18-19-20 November in Amsterdam RAI Convention Centre.