Thousands of boating industry professionals representing boat builders, parts and accessory manufacturers, distributors, dealers and naval architects worldwide have begun arriving in Amsterdam in preparation for the opening of the 30th annual METS, the world’s largest marine equipment trade show.
An announced total of 1,526 exhibitors from more than 50 countries, including 237 first-time exhibitors, have filled the massive Amsterdam RAI complex for this year’s event, up considerably from the record 1,471 exhibitors who displayed at METS last year.
Jackets and briefcases bearing recognizable marine industry logos are everywhere in Amsterdam, as an expected 20,000-plus visitors prepare for this week’s event.
One of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities, Amsterdam has taken on an even more worldly flavor today as METS visitors from more than 110 countries explore a variety of pre-show companion events.
The show officially kicks off Tuesday morning with the annual pre-opening Breakfast Briefing, with Brunswick Corp. chairman and CEO Mark Schwabero scheduled to present his Global Marine Trends and Opportunities keynote address.
Hosted at the RAI in collaboration with the International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA), the Breakfast Briefing also features the presentation of the 2017 Design Award METS (DAME) Awards, recognizing innovation in marine parts and equipment.
Where just over 100 exhibitors participated in the first METS, held at the Amsterdam RAI in 1988, this year’s show occupies 11 full exhibit halls, filling one of the world’s premier exhibition facilities. The 30th annual METS features no less than 19 national pavilions, including the largest USA pavilion to date.
There has also been a notable rise in the number of companies opting to exhibit within industry-specific pavilions, such as the SuperYacht Pavilion with 290 exhibitors, the Marina and Yard Pavilion with 69 exhibitors this year, and 49 companies exhibiting in the Construction Material Pavilion.
Exhibition space within the SuperYacht Pavilion sold out in July, with prospective exhibitors placed on a waiting list since. A total of 32 of the 2017 METS exhibitors will enjoy the added distinction of having exhibited at every METS.
“The event’s ability to remain at the forefront of innovation is one of the reasons why we continue to attract new entries,” said RAI Amsterdam’s Maritime Domain Manager, Irene Dros. “There can be no better illustration of enduring value than that.” The 30th annual METS runs through Thursday, Nov. 16, at the Amsterdam RAI.