The METS show team is all smiles this year, as records continue to fall at the world’s largest marine equipment trade show.
Opening day attendance was announced as 8,133 people, setting a new opening day record and representing a significant climb over the 7,390 visitors who set the previous opening day attendance record last year.
Rens-Jan van Vliet, product manager – maritime for METSTrade, says the strong support by both exhibitors and show visitors reflects improving economic conditions worldwide.
“The economy in Europe has been moving forward, after being flat for a long time,” he said. “We’re seeing more economic activity in key boating markets like Spain, Italy France and the UK while at the same time, economies in North America and Asia remain strong. So these improving conditions are driving demand for leisure products.”
Kyle Aeschliman, with Aquatic AV, is very pleased with the show so far.
“It’s been great, really. We’ve been busy throughout," he said. "Tuesday morning started off a bit slow for us but it’s picked right up and Wednesday has been very busy. We’ve been able to reconnect with a lot of our existing customers and meet some new customers as well.”
Aeschliman agrees that evidence of a stronger European economy can be seen at this year’s show. “We’ve been doing well in Europe. The rate of growth for our marine business has been faster in Europe than it has been in the US.”
West Palm Beach-based Glidecoat is one of 270 first-time exhibitors – another record for the show – displaying product as part of the USA Pavilion at this year’s METS.
“We’ve of course heard about the show for years but this is our first time exhibiting,” said Paul Westhorpe, managing director. “We’re obviously looking to build our international relationships and this is the place to do that. It’s been an excellent experience so far, we’ve gathered 35 or 36 well qualified prospects, including distributors from Iceland to New Zealand, Australia, and just about everywhere else in between. I think it’s safe to say we’ll be back next year.”
The 29th METS runs through November 17 at the Amsterdam RAI Convention Centre, the Netherlands.