By Craig Ritchie
More than 22,000 delegates representing boat builders, parts and accessory manufacturers, distributors, dealers and consultants from 112 different countries have begun arriving in Amsterdam in preparation for tomorrow’s opening of the 29th METS.
The 2016 show will host a record 1,471 exhibitors, representing a significant increase over the 1,385 exhibitors who filled the massive Amsterdam RAI convention complex last year to set the previous record. The mood in Amsterdam is clearly upbeat as exhibitors finalize preparations for the show, which this year features a reworked floor plan and one entire new hall, bringing the total to eight. The new hall will increase the show floor space by more than 32,000 square feet, and house 168 exhibitors.
No less than 19 national pavilions will participate in this year’s METS, including the first-ever Polish pavilion with 10 manufacturers exhibiting. Industry-specific pavilions have also shown significant growth this year, including the SuperYacht Pavilion with 265 exhibitors compared to 224 last year, the Marina and Yard Pavilion with 64 displays over last year’s 49, and the Construction Material Pavilion with 45 exhibitors this year, over 31 in 2015.
Also new this year is the METSTRADE Theatre in Hall 12, where exhibitors will have the opportunity to present product demonstrations. The METSTRADE Theatre will also host a new Pitch The Press program, where selected exhibitors can demonstrate their product to a panel of marine journalists. A similar Pitch The Press program at IBEX proved to be highly popular with participating exhibitors.
Pre-show events held on Monday, including the Yacht Sustainability Conference and the 24th HISWA Symposium on Yacht Design and Construction, were both well attended, pointing to a successful week ahead. The 29th METS runs from November 15 to 17 at the Amsterdam RAI.