By Craig Ritchie
The 29th annual Marine Equipment Trade Show (METS) opened Tuesday at the Amsterdam RAI to crowded halls and a record number of exhibitors. Show visitors were still lined up at the entry points 20 minutes after the doors opened to kick off the 29th edition of the world’s largest marine trade show.
This year’s METSTRADE features a theme of recycling and embracing the concept of a circular economy. Steve Beckers, President of the Implementation Centre for Circular Economy in Brussels, spoke at length about the concept during his keynote presentation during the Tuesday morning Breakfast Briefing, held just prior to the show opening. Beckers identified a circular economy as one where resources are kept in use for as long as possible, and where materials are recovered and regenerated at the end of a given product’s service life. With growing concern in some regions about large numbers of boats nearing the end of their service life and the potential cost of their disposal, Beckers suggested manufacturers begin thinking of boats as “raw material banks,” and begin designing and building them with an eye to future deconstruction. Not only is this approach expected to better resonate with environmentally-conscious, next-generation boat buyers, Beckers said the value of certain recyclable materials could help old boats retain a greater residual value than they would otherwise, and help offset mounting production costs.
Canadian exhibitors a METS received a welcoming visit early Tuesday morning from Sameena Qureshi, Senior Trade Commissioner, and Judith Baguley, Trade Commissioner, Sustainable Technologies, with the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service in The Hague. NMMA Canada Executive Director, Sara Anghel, introduced the government representatives to a number of exhibitors within the Canadian pavilion, who enjoyed the opportunity to present their products and discuss trade objectives.
With the addition of a new exhibit hall this year and several changes to the floor plan, show visitors spent some time this morning orienting themselves. Among the most significant changes are the SuperYacht Pavilion now occupying the entire span of Halls 10 and 11, while the Marina and Yard Pavilion has moved to Hall 5 to be next to the conference location in the RAI’s new Amtrium building. The Construction Material Pavilion remains in its existing location inside the Elicium building, allowing it to be closely connected to the Material Experience, but its expanded presence has resulted in the Innovation LAB and stage moving to Hall 6, where it will form a central innovation hub together with dedicated presentations of the winning and nominated products for the prestigious DAME design award.
The 29th METS runs through November 17 at the Amsterdam RAI Convention Centre, the Netherlands.