Innovation has been a crucial theme at METS since this leading B2B marine equipment trade show opened its doors in 1988. Surveys of the many thousands of visitors from around the world consistently demonstrate that innovation is the number one reason to come to Amsterdam each year for METS. With this in mind, METS organizers Amsterdam RAI are delighted to present the all-new ‘Innovation LAB’, an onsite activity platform that pays even greater attention to the exhibition’s innovations, products, as well as technologies. This year’s METS is set to run from November 18 to 20.
With a full show floor, with over 1.320 exhibitors expected of which 220+ are new companies from a global origin, and larger SuperYacht, Marina and Construction Materials Pavilions than ever, METS 2014 is sure to be an unmissable event for professionals in the leisure marine equipment industry. Taking a forward-thinking approach, the METS organisers continually seek new and innovative ways to enhance the show’s attractions even though it is already the world’s leading event of its kind.
By tradition, METS highlights the innovative character of the industry via its renowned DAME (Design Award METS) award. The winners of this prestigious prize receive enormous publicity throughout the global leisure marine industry and the DAME award stimulates the industry to invest in research and development.
“Innovation propels the marine equipment sector forward and METS has long been the platform of choice when it comes to showcasing new (design) developments,” says Amsterdam RAI’s maritime domain manager Irene Dros. “In addition to the DAME awards, with its extra focus on design, METS always showcases thousands of innovations and new products. Due to the large number and wide range of marketing and promotion opportunities, not all these premieres get the attention they deserve. The new ‘Innovation LAB’ concept will resolve this through a variety of channels.”
Six innovation ‘’pillars’’ at the heart of the show
Situated in the Elicium building at the core of the Amsterdam RAI, the ‘Innovation LAB’ is built on six pillars. Firstly, the products nominated for the DAME award will be displayed in the entrance of the Holland Complex (halls 9-10-11). Each category will have an IPad presentation of the products offering visitors more background information. Secondly, the DAME award category winners will be on display in the Elicium, again supported by virtual presentations and an explanation of the DAME jury decisions.
The third pillar of the ‘Innovation LAB’ will be a special Innovation Stage in the Elicium featuring a large AV screen and an open audience seating area. Visitors can drop in for inspiration via new product presentation videos and interviews. All DAME winners will present their products and the stage will also see inspirational keynote speakers examining new technologies and insights on the future of the industry. Last but not least, the Innovation Stage will host workshops, debates and presentations, all of which are free to attend.
The fourth pillar into innovation is the Innovation Newsroom, powered by IBI magazine. This media centre will be home to live interviews conducted by IBI, recorded and cut live by RAI film crews and shown on the large AV screen in the Innovation Stage. IBI’s roving reporters will also collect content about the show and its exhibitors, which will feature in the METS Daily News Bulletin distributed around the show each day.
Pillar five revolves around the Material Xperience area of the Construction Material Pavilion (CMP). Suppliers and experts from the global network Materia will display raw materials that they believe can add considerable value to the maritime sector. Last but not least, the final pillar of the ‘Innovation LAB’ is the Innovation Café. Here innovative sustainable catering will be served that matches the atmosphere and generates an ideal environment for networking.
Fresh new ideas across the board
There are also other innovations underway at METS 2014. The SuperYacht Pavilion will be bigger than ever at METS 2014, with an increase of ten percent in exhibitors to at least 200. “We have created a new stand design for this area based upon the specific wishes of participants,” adds Dros. “This will provide for more open spaces, generating a stylish look and feel that reflects the unique nature of the superyacht sector. At the same time the uniform character of the pavilion and METS as a whole will be retained, keeping the focus on B2B activities to the fore. ”
Another key factor at METS is the demand for networking opportunities. “This year we are going to facilitate even more meetings than before,” continues Dros. “A new ‘online introductions’ concept will be launched, designed to bring people in contact with each other in order to stimulate networking opportunities and make them more accessible.”
Add in the various ways of meeting peers and sharing knowledge and best practices such as at the Global Superyacht Forum, the HISWA Symposium on Design and Yacht Construction, the International Sailing Summit, the ICOMIA /IBI Technology Seminar and the NMEA educational sessions, and it is clear that METS 2014 will embody innovation throughout every aspect. Featuring extended opening hours, METS 2014 will be held from 18 to 20 November in the Amsterdam RAI Convention Centre.