AMSTERDAM -- Opening day attendance for the 27th annual Marine Equipment Trade Show (METS) was up by four per cent, according to show organizers.
The world’s largest marine equipment trade show, which opened Tuesday at the Amsterdam RAI convention complex, saw a total of 7,039 marine industry professionals pour through the doors – a welcome increase from the 6,761 people who attended in 2013.
Exhibitor numbers are also up this year, as 1,345 companies from 46 different countries show a wide range of marine parts, accessories and yard equipment. The figure surpasses 2013’s total of 1,320 exhibitors, which was itself a record. Exhibitor booths fill seven buildings and include no less than 18 country pavilions.
“This is definitely the place to be if you want to grow your international business,” said Captain Bernardo Herzer of Los Angeles-based LEHR Inc., which was recognized with a Special Mention in the pre-show DAME Award presentation for its propane-powered 15 hp outboard engine. “We sell in 16 countries now and growing. The marine market seems to be bouncing back.”
The show kicked off with the annual Breakfast Briefing, featuring a keynote presentation from Carla Demaria, President of Monte Carlo Yachts and General Manager for Beneteau. Demaria spoke on the need for companies in the marine industry to remain open to new ideas regardless of how far-fetched they may initially sound – drawing laughter when she made her point with a famous Bill Gates quote from 1981, where the Microsoft founder said a computer with 168 kilobytes of memory would be “more than anyone would ever need.”
New ideas and new ways of thinking are very much the theme at this year’s show, which features an all-new Innovation Lab spotlighting entries in the show’s annual innovation awards, and providing a stage where industry experts present discussions on a wide range of topics. A presentation on 3D printing technology in yacht making by James Day of Southampton, UK-based Green Marine was attended by a full house.
The 27th METS runs through November 20 at the Amsterdam RAI Convention Centre, the Netherlands.