Crowds, Record Number of Exhibitors Open 27th METS

The 27th annual Marine Equipment Trade Show (METS) opened today at the Amsterdam RAI to crowded halls and a record number of exhibitors.

Opening day attendance was announced at 7,039, a four percent increase over the 6,761 people who attended opening day in 2013.

A total of 1,345 companies from 46 different countries have taken exhibit space at the world's largest marine parts and accessories trade show. The figure surpasses 2013's total of 1,320 exhibitors, which was itself a record. Exhibitor booths fill seven buildings and include no less than 18 country pavilions.

The show kicked off with the annual Breakfast Briefing, featuring a keynote presentation from Carla Demaria, President of Monte Carlo Yachts and General Manager for Beneteau. Demaria spoke on the need for companies in the marine industry to remain open to new ideas regardless of how far-fetched they may initially sound – drawing laughter when she made her point with a famous Bill Gates quote from 1981, where the Microsoft founder said a computer with 168 kilobytes of memory would be "more than anyone would ever need.'

The Breakfast Briefing also saw the announcement of a new award program dedicated to boat builders. The new Boat Builders Business Achievement Awards, created by METS and media partner IBI magazine for launch in 2015, is designed to offer boat builders the "platform they deserve during the world's largest annual gathering of marine equipment suppliers.' Full information on the program is expected to be released in the next few weeks.

The 27th METS runs through November 20 at the Amsterdam RAI Convention Centre, the Netherlands.