METSTRADE ready for largest show to date

The 2016 edition of the METSTRADE Show, the world’s largest B2B exhibition in the marine equipment industry, opens its doors on Tuesday 15 November at the RAI Amsterdam convention centre. With a record number of 1,471 exhibitors and an extra 3,000 square metres of layout, the 22,000-plus professional visitors from around the globe will have much to learn, see and do. Add in the many hundreds of people attending conferences before, during and after the actual three-day show, and the concept of a METSTRADE week in Amsterdam is more firmly anchored than ever.

After the Global Superyacht Forum, the HISWA Symposium on Yacht Design and Construction and the Leisure Marine Sustainability Conference kick off the METSTRADE week on Monday 14 November, the METSTRADE Show itself will start early on Tuesday with the traditional Breakfast Briefing, with keynote speaker and circular economy expert Steven Beckers, and the announcement of the DAME Design Award winner. The doors of the exhibition will then swing open to unveil an expanded show floor layout, which includes a brand-new hall where 168 companies will present their products, including Dometic, International Paint (Akzo) and Yamaha.

Year-on-year growth
A grand total of 1,471 exhibitors will be found throughout the RAI Amsterdam complex, a significant rise on the 1,385 stands in 2015, which was itself a record figure. The fact that 290 companies will be exhibiting at the METSTRADE 2016 is further testimony to the show’s position as the platform of choice to meet the maritime world. Strong year-on-year growth is also seen at the three shows-within-a-show: the SuperYacht Pavilion will host 265 exhibitors (compared to 224 in 2015), with 64 stands in the Marina & Yard Pavilion sold out (49 in 2015) and 45 in the Construction Material Pavilion (31 in 2015).

NEW Construction in Process
The impressive programme at the METSTRADE Show includes various new platforms designed to enhance the visitor experience and strengthen its standing as a platform for innovation. The Construction in Process Stage, for instance, will feature live presentations of how materials showcased in the Construction & Material Pavilion are used.

One of the companies represented will be French resin technology firm Resoltech, which will demonstrate a composite repair system that allows race sailors to make repairs in all weather conditions. Selected by the technical committee for the recent VOLVO Ocean Race, the effectiveness of this system shows clear potential for use in broader applications.

Another example will be the presentation by composite specialists from Gurit, who will show how their SPRINT system facilitates consistent build weights with a controlled fibre/resin weight ratio. Again, details of how these quality levels and production time reductions are achieved can serve as inspiration for other companies.

There will be more learning opportunities available at the METSTRADE Theatre (powered by Trade Only) in Hall 12, where exhibitors will be offering product demonstrations. An exciting new item on the programme will be Pitch the Press on the Wednesday of the show as some 15 companies pitch products which were selected by a small group of international marine journalists the day before to press and also visitors.

Innovation and sustainability
A further highlight of the new layout at METSTRADE 2016 is the move of the InnovationLAB to Hall 6, close to the entrance of the new Hall 7. Here it will form a central hub of smart thinking with presentations by DAME Design Award and Boatbuilder Award winners and shortlisted nominees.

Also on the agenda will be a live on-stage interview on Tuesday morning with the renowned architect Steven Beckers, keynote speaker at the Breakfast Briefing. A panel discussion will follow in the afternoon on ‘sustainability and the boatbuilding revolution’, examining how the circular economy is transforming industry models and how ‘going green’ in the marine industry can be good for business. These and other events elsewhere on the show floor such as the Material Xperience on tour exhibition with its Lightweight Miracles theme will reinforce the prominent role of sustainability throughout METSTRADE 2016.

Leading speakers
Other noteworthy speakers over the three days of the InnovationLAB include Els Zijlstra, creative director at Materia, the international platform for innovative materials, and Adjiedj Bakas, the acclaimed trendwatcher and author. Nick Bice, director of boats and maintenance at the Volvo Ocean Race, will give an update on the status of the race and the progress made since last year’s talk on how suppliers are becoming partners in a platform of collaboration, efficiency and reliability. The IMO Polar Code and Large Yachts will be examined by James Roy, yacht design director at BMT Nigel Gee Ltd, while Carlo Ighina, R&D manager at the Azimut Benetti Group, will explain how the yachting experience can be enhanced by advanced research and technology.

The show must go on
Even after the METSTRADE exhibition closes on the evening of Thursday November 14, the week continues with the second and third days of the ICOMIA World Marinas Conference. Focused on the future of marinas in a changing world, delegates from around the world will discuss the latest developments with key stakeholders. Saturday will see the conclusion of the conference and the METSTRADE week with a tour of the best marinas in the Netherlands.

Even then the show will continue in the form of the METSTRADE Online Community, successfully launched in the summer of 2016. This enables members of the leisure marine sector to stay up to speed with the latest developments and innovations all year round. Participants share ideas, insights and initiatives with peers while learning from and connecting with colleagues from around the world. Just as is the case with the METSTRADE week, this is a community that continues to raise the bar for business and networking in the marine equipment world.

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