In Depth: Silver jubilee for METS

From 13 tot 15 November, the international marine leisure industry heads to the Amsterdam RAI Convention Centre in the Netherlands for the 25th edition of the equipment, materials and systems exhibition METS. The silver anniversary of the event will not go unnoticed, with a fancy Silver Jubilee Cocktail for exhibitors and VIPs on Tuesday night and small gifts for all participants of the trade show.

 

METS started in 1988 with just over 100 exhibitors. 1,331 exhibitors took part last year and this year, the organisation expects even more companies to display their products. “We have grown every edition for the past 25 years and also expect to grow this year. The market in Germany has been improving for some time and we also hear that the industry in the USA is improving, which might result in more exhibitors”, says Irene Dros, RAI’s Domain Manager Maritime. 210 of the exhibitors are Dutch. Next to a Dutch pavilion, the UK, the USA, Denmark, Italy, Sweden, Finland, France, Canada, Germany, Norway, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand and Spain will have their own national pavilion. During the 2002 exhibition, the Marina & Yard Pavilion was established and a year later, the Composite Pavilion was added. This year, the pavilions are more pronounced. Dros: “This was a market demand, so the pavilions get their own stage, where short presentations are given. We offer visitors plenty of opportunities to exchange knowledge.” The SuperYacht Pavilion (SYP) first featured in 2005 and because of its success it has its own dedicated hall and special social networking programme. “In fact, the SYP is so successful that we expanded the exhibition space, as one hall is not enough anymore”, comments Dros.

DAME

To encourage marine product design and innovation, METS introduced the Design Award METS (DAME) in 1991. Last year, the DAME was awarded to the Revolving Portlight of S.C.M. (Stampaggio Costruzioni Meccaniche). The jury praised the combination of “inspired practicality, delightful aesthetics and first-class engineering”. The prize is awarded at the annual Breakfast Briefing. The meeting marks the start of the event before show opening time early Tuesday morning and features a special guest keynote speaker. This year, the keynote will be held by Dr. Jens Ludmann, CEO of Bavarian Yachts. At press time, the nominees in the eight different categories for 2012 were not revealed yet.

Highlights

Visitors to the METS – the organisation expects more than 19,000 visitors from over 100 countries, all strictly professional – will be treated to a showcase of thousands of new products, but can also attend several seminars  and side events. On Monday, 12 November, the 2nd International Hybrid Marine Propulsion Conference takes place, Monday, 12 and Tuesday, 13 November, the 22nd HISWA Symposium on Yacht Design and Yacht Construction is being held, Wednesday, 14 November, the Workshop on New Technologies and Manufacturing can be visited and ICOMIA organises the IMO NOx Tier III Seminar on Thursday, 15 November. From Monday, 12 to Wednesday, 14 November, the Superyacht Group’s Global Superyacht Forum will focus on the superyacht industry’s New Business Plan, New Ideas and New Thinking, and the Next Generation. “This year, we will organise a special networking event on Monday evening to give the delegates of this conference and the exhibitors of the SYP the opportunity to meet, something that was difficult up until now. We already received positive feedback about this initiative, so we expect a lot from it”, says Dros. Another highlight is the extensive Young Professionals Club programme. The Young Professionals Club was established last year for young professionals under 35 years of age in the marine leisure industry to jumpstart their career by facilitating new and easy ways to network and learn amongst their peers. Dros explains: “Last year we started this initiative, very low profile to see if there was any interest. And there was interest! Therefore we decided to expand the programme with a Young Professionals Club lounge, where members can meet each other and where presentations are given. Amongst others, the DAME winner will speak, but also other nominees will pitch their innovation to the young professionals. Members of the Young Professionals Club will also have access to the Breakfast Briefing and the Silver Jubilee Cocktail.”

Facts & figures
– 25th anniversary
– Over 1,300 exhibitors
– Over 19,000 expected visitors
– 15 national pavilions
Location
Amsterdam RAI Convention Centre
Europaplein 22
1078 GZ Amsterdam
The Netherlands
www.metstrade.com
Opening hours
Tuesday, 13 November 10:00 – 18:00 hours
Wednesday, 14 November 10:00 – 18:00 hours
Thursday, 15 November 10:00 – 17:00 hours

Digitalisation

As the world is digitalising more and more, the METS introduces a convenient new feature: visitors can digitally make an appointment with exhibitors before going to the exhibition. “This is a pilot”, says Dros, “and some of our exhibitors already activated the planning module. There they can indicate when they are available for meetings with visitors. It is a planning tool without obligations. We offer the tool, but after that it is up to the exhibitor and the visitor to keep in contact with each other. We are excited to find out how this will develop.”

Gail van den Hanenberg

WMN 32 end

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