Canadian Marine Businesses Prosper at METS

Canadian marine professionals exhibiting as part of the Canada pavilion at the 2010 METS show are reporting confirmed sales and strong leads, two days into the event.

Paul Fry, of Kropf Industrial Inc. says exhibiting at METS has provided an opportunity to meet international customers in a comfortable, face-to-face setting. “This is our fifth year exhibiting in the Canadian pavilion, always under the Canadian flag, which I think makes a difference,” says Fry. “Yesterday was a little slow but traffic has picked up considerably today and we've had some very good leads from customers in Ireland, Norway, and Finland. The Canadian market has always done well, and the American market has bounced back fairly well for us, but in today's environment it is important to develop international business.”

Wiarton, ON-based Caframo has been exhibiting at METS for four years. Marketing Coordinator Aron O'Brien notes that international trade has become increasingly important to the company. “West Marine does a great job for us in Canada,” he says. “But maybe 35 to 40 percent of our business is now international. It's an important market for us.”

Opportunities to develop international trade are also a key interest for Jason Mitchell, International Account Manager for Delta, BC-based Canadian Metal (Pacific) Ltd. “We have a strong interest in the European market, and recently attended the Genoa Boat Show in Italy,” says Mitchell. “We have a number of new products that are highly suited to the European market, so we have focused on developing that side of our business. Our aluminum and magnesium products are completely cadmium-free, so that has been a key focus for us.”

Michael Szwez, Genera Counsel / Corporate Secretary for Dock Edge+, notes increased diversity at the 2010 METS show. “There seem to be more international distributors here than before, particularly from Asia and the Middle East,” says Szwez. “It does seem more diverse, which represents whole new opportunities.”

Virtually all Canadians that Boating Business spoke with agreed that the greatest opportunity is to develop face-to-face contacts and strong leads. With stronger attendance reported for the 2010 show and one day still to go, exhibitors were universally positive.

“We've spoken to more people in the first two days of this show than we saw last year in total, so we're very pleased,” says Kit Rehm, VP, Sales and Marketing for Moeller Marine Products. “We come to METS to meet our international customers. It's a true international show, and it's a true trade show, so we see our US customers, and our international customers, all in one venue. METS provides an atmosphere of many different products and different marketplaces all under one roof, so it's an interesting environment that gives you a unique perspective.”

You'll find full METS coverage from a Canadian perspective in the January edition of Boating Business.