IBI News gives an insight into the twists and turns of the Salone Nautico Internazionale di Genova

Anton Francesco Albertoni, UCINA’s executive director and president of Salone Nautico, owner and organiser of the Genoa show, said last year’s event was “more than satisfactory” and in line with a three-year plan for its development

Anton Francesco Albertoni, UCINA’s executive director and president of Salone Nautico, owner and organiser of the Genoa show, said last year’s event was “more than satisfactory” and in line with a three-year plan for its development

It was unclear why Massimo Perotti, who was elected president of UCINA last year, left his post four months before his term was finished.

But it might have something to do with the twists and turns of the Salone Nautico Internazionale di Genova. The beleaguered Genoa show was sinking last year, with many shipyards, including its major exhibitor Azimut, deciding not to attend for financial reasons.

Azimut announced just weeks before the show that it was putting its marketing dollars into other shows like Cannes, Monaco, Düsseldorf and Ft Lauderdale, following the collapse of sales in Italy.

Many exhibitors told IBI that they believed this was a make-or-break event for Genoa, and that if it was as poorly attended as 2013, it would be the last show ever.

Perotti had earlier proposed a second Genoa show in May, a splashy event that included a charter show, a superyacht segment, and the traditional boat show. It would be tied, he said, to Expo Milano to pull in a fresh, affluent audience who had never seen boats before.

Twist of fate

The idea seemed to have some staying power, though most equipment builders and some shipyards said they probably wouldn’t attend.

It would be during their busy season and boatbuilders wouldn’t have new models ready.

Then an unexpected thing happened: Genoa received a burst of great late-autumn weather and attendance, not to mention exhibitor enthusiasm, was higher than it had been for years.

With Perotti stepping aside, the idea of the May event is history. Anton Francesco Albertoni, UCINA’s executive director and president of Salone Nautico, owner and organiser of the Genoa show, said last year’s event was “more than satisfactory” and in line with a three-year plan for its development.

“The new format will strengthen strategic product areas while developing new ones,” Albertoni told IBI. “Traditional exhibition areas will be flanked by areas dedicated to fishing, diving and every kind of watersport.”

The show philosophy, he added, was to go beyond mainstream boating and include other water-borne activities. There will be a new ‘Sea Life’ exhibit that allows enthusiasts to try different watersports. “The aim is to attract and engage ‘new fans’, especially the young, from all over Europe,” says Albertoni.