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Leisure marine sector getting ready for business in Amsterdam - METSTRADE 021

by Sandra Huijbregts, METSTRADE 14 Oct 05:39 PDT 16-18 November 2021

The world's largest B2B exhibition for the leisure marine industry is almost set to open its doors at the RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre. After a one-year delay due to the global Covid crisis, the 33rd edition of METSTRADE promises to be a special event that will reunite the sector from 16 to 18 November.

"Everything is in place to ensure that METSTRADE 2021 offers a dynamic mix of business opportunities, networking and social meetings to the approx. 1,300 exhibiting companies and thousands of visitors who will head to RAI Amsterdam. There is a genuine excitement in the air as the leading B2B event for the leisure marine industry is back after two years and all elements of the METSTRADE DNA that make this event so unique are in place," says METSTRADE director Niels Klarenbeek. "The various boat shows this autumn (e.g. Cannes, Southampton, Genova, Monaco) have illustrated just how ready people are to get together again and the tremendous energy that is released when they come face to face."

The all-new METSTRADE TV enables the trade show as a whole to go fully hybrid: a single event to cater to audiences both in-person and virtually. During the three days top-notch content will be produced in talk shows, expert sessions and panel discussions. All attendees, in-person and online, will have access to the online METSTRADE Connect platform, which includes exhibitor profiles, a matchmaking tool, a livestream of METSTRADE TV and much more.

A strong boating market

While the global pandemic has had a turbulent impact on many people's personal lives, the leisure marine industry as a whole has come through the storm in a strong position. "Covid has increased the popularity of boating as it offers a safe and distanced environment for recreation and relaxation," says ICOMIA secretary general Udo Kleinitz. "Almost every market and segment is enjoying a positive outlook, with double-digit growth in some countries. We remain cautiously optimistic as we navigate the sustainable development of boating beyond the pandemic age."

The superyacht market is also in a bullish mood, as a recent statement from the SuperYacht Builders Association (SYBASS) made clear: "The Covid crisis has further whetted the appetite for the comfort and safety of owning a superyacht. With the number of Ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs) growing by a third in 2021 alone, the SYBAss Economic Report notes an exceptionally positive momentum in the market, and estimates that the number of superyachts under 15 years of age could pass the 1,450 mark by 2025."

That said, it is important to note that the pandemic has also brought new challenges to the maritime industry, with disrupted supply chains resulting in stock shortages and an even greater scarcity of raw materials. METSTRADE will be the ideal place and event to seek out new suppliers and partnerships.

Central themes - Sustainability and On-board Comfort

Another effect of the events of the past eighteen months has been to further increase the importance people attach to sustainability, which was already a hot topic within the leisure marine world. Maintaining healthy marine ecosystems is crucial, and boat owners are increasingly eco-conscious when it comes to their purchasing decisions. Many exhibitors at METSTRADE 2021 are supporting the move to sustainability by reducing the environmental footprint of products, using more recycled materials and converting to electric propulsion.

Sustainability will be a focal point in various pavilions. The Construction Material Pavilion, for example, will feature a new composite made from reused materials based on proven technology already used in wind turbine blades. The Marina & Yard Pavilion will present products that simplify the separation of various waste streams, while the SuperYacht Pavilion will underline the crucial need for ecologically responsible yacht building and management.

At the same time as securing the future, the industry continues to ensure new buyers a top-notch boating experience and equipment manufacturers are pushing integrated systems to simplify boat handling and enhance on-board comfort. In this framework too, METSTRADE will showcase the very latest products and developments.

Embedded in the exhibition programme, both these trends - sustainability and on-board comfort - will serve as central themes in the DAME Design Awards, the Boat Builder Awards, the Breakfast Briefing including keynote speaker Dee Caffari and in a fascinating three-day schedule of METSTRADE TV:

Floor plan - A one-off layout

This year's METSTRADE will have a temporarily adjusted floor plan as a consequence of the challenges caused by Covid. The 2021 edition will be held in the RAI's Europa Complex (Hall 1-7, Europa Foyer & Elicium) and the state-of-the-art extension to Hall 5. There will also be new locations for the SuperYacht Pavilion (SYP) in Hall 7, the Marina & Yard Pavilion (MYP) in the Elicium building and the Construction Material Pavilion (CMP) in the Europa Foyer.

As usual, the country pavilions will be a strong element of the exhibitor base with a total of 17 countries represented in 26 different pavilions. For the first time at the event one country - France - has a pavilion in all four locations: METSTRADE, SYP, MYP and CMP.

Traditional side events such as The Superyacht Forum Live (15-17 November), the HISWA Marina Symposium (18 November) and the GMI Certified Members Global Meeting (17 November) will also be organised again during METSTRADE 2021.

Safe and hospitable

METSTRADE and RAI Amsterdam are more than ready to welcome the leisure marine industry in a safe and hospitable environment, with the Dutch Covid measures regarding social distancing, travel and quarantine largely lifted at the end of September. Nonetheless, this year's event will naturally be organised in accordance with RAI's stringent Covid protocols to ensure RAI Amsterdam is a safe venue and METSTRADE 2021 provides a successful and pleasurable experience for exhibitors and visitors alike. Detailed information on travel instructions and how to get access to the show is available on the METSTRADE website.

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