No less than 271 new exhibitors attended last week’s event


IBI editor Ed Slack interviews Feadship director Henk de Vries on the I-nnovationLAB Stage

This year’s METSTRADE Show in Amsterdam attracted a record number of exhibitors and the largest-ever number of visitors to the RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre. The event ran from November 19-21.

With 26,984 visits registered by 17,792 unique visitors represented by 115 nationalities, 1,670 exhibitors from 53 countries represented by 7,297 stand personnel, and no less than 228 members of the press, the stats make very good reading for the METSTRADE Show as the 32nd edition continued its relentless year-on-year rise in popularity.

The organisers were especially pleased at being able to welcome no less than 271 new exhibitors, the surest sign that ever-more marine professionals are recognising this annual platform in Amsterdam as a must-attend moment. And the fact that these new companies came from 36 countries added to the event’s unrivalled international character.

“METSTRADE is the first trade show we have participated in and we are very satisfied with the results,” said Steyn van Driessel, sales marketing executive at We Ship Yachts, one of the 30 new Dutch companies on the exhibition floor. “We have met many high-quality visitors and generated a great deal of publicity, which were exactly the reasons why we decided to exhibit here.”

Covering 28,915sq m of exhibitor space, including the ever-expanding pavilions for the superyacht, marina and construction sectors, the METSTRADE Show saw good business being conducted across the board with a range of impressive projects. The large number of social and networking events added to the vibrant atmosphere, reinforcing the sense that the leisure marine industry is very much a people’s business.

While keen to confirm this impression, Irene Dros, maritime director of the METSTRADE Show, says there will be no resting on laurels for her and the team she leads. “There’s always room for improvement which makes the show so rewarding to organise each year. At this year’s show we delivered on our operational excellence pledge in a number of ways, including marking the fifth anniversary of the Boat Builder Awards with an awesome evening at Amsterdam’s iconic maritime museum. And throughout the week, it has been an honour to see people working with so much passion and dedication, committed to their innovative products and services.”

Sustainability was a key element at METSTRADE 2019 and Dros emphasises the strong sense she felt of everyone in the industry pulling together on this issue. “At all levels of the leisure marine sector people are clearly taking ownership of the need to make things better with respect to the environment. They are tackling the issue from the heart as well as financially, embracing transformation in our industry not just in theory but very much in practice. There is a continuous conversation between all stakeholders that is already leading to revolutionary developments.”

Many of these developments were featured at the METSTRADE Show as an enormous amount of information and learning was exchanged across multiple platforms by a record number of speakers. Highlights included the E-nnovation Stage (with dedicated electric and hybrid information sessions), the Construction in Process Stage, the I-nnovation Stage and the Young Professionals Club Lounge, with lots of dialogue after each session at the new Speakers Corner.