METS 2016 wraps up with new attendance record

The 2016 edition of METS has seen record after record smashed, and that explosive pace continued through the final day as the show wrapped up Thursday afternoon in Amsterdam, Netherlands with a final attendance of 23,702 visits – an 8 percent increase over the previous record of 21,953 set last year.

Wednesday’s attendance was announced at 9,844 visitors, a gain of about 7 percent over the 9,159 visitors recorded for the same day in 2015. Attendance for the final Thursday was 5,725. The third day of METS is typically the lightest of the three-day show, but it can be lucrative for North American exhibitors since it tends to attract more local-area buyers, reps and distributors.

According to organizers, 64 percent of all show visitors this year came to METS from outside of the Netherlands.

“We have worked very hard and been very careful to take care of our core group of exhibitors and show visitors,” said Irene Dros, maritime manager for show organizer METSTrade. “But at the same time we have also identified a number of niche markets and made specific efforts to reach out and engage them in order to grow the show overall. Examples would be our Superyacht Pavilion, with 265 exhibitors this year compared to 224 last year. The Marina and Yard Pavilion this year has 64 exhibitors where last year we had 49. The Construction Material Pavilion this year has 45 companies exhibiting, and last year we had 31. These new exhibitors all bring new elements to the show. But just as importantly, they also serve to each attract new visitors to the show as well. So it becomes a cycle that adds value on multiple levels.”

For many exhibitors, this year’s METS was the best yet.

“Buyer attendance seemed to be up this year, everyone that came into our booth was ready to buy,” said Brock Templeman, president of Lenexa, KS-based Savior Products, Inc. “Traffic was a little slower on the Thursday, but we still had visits from buyers from China and the UAE, for example, here to see our new Savior battery case and tray. Our international sales are now close to half of our total sales, and that’s really saying a lot since sales at home in the US have been so strong. The European economy has been flat for a while, and our strong dollar against the Euro hasn’t made things any easier. But things are moving again in Europe, and they’re bouncing back now. So this show is important for us, and this year’s METS was a good one.”

For SmartPlug Systems CEO Tony Barber, the 2016 METS was the best yet. “We’ve been exhibiting at METS for a couple of years but this year we came with a couple of new products that were designed specifically for the voltage and amperage ranges of the European market,” said Barber. “We’ve been showing new 16-amp and 32-amp shore power package and they’ve both been very well received. We’ve been busy all week with our rep group here in Europe, we’ve met lots of new buyers, and it’s been very exciting.”

The 30th METS will be held from November 14 to 17, 2017, at the Amsterdam RAI Convention Centre, the Netherlands.

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