By Craig Ritchie
Records continue to fall at the 29th METS, with opening day attendance announced at 8,133 people – a new opening day record, and an approximate 10 percent increase over the 7,390 visitors who set the previous opening day record last year.
This edition of the world’s largest marine equipment trade show has also set records for the largest number of exhibitors, at 1,471, the largest number of first-time exhibitors at 270 companies, and the largest amount of floor space, with the addition of a new exhibit hall this year. It will also boast a record number of national pavilions this year, as the new Polish Pavilion brings the total to 19.
The heavy crowds continued Wednesday, to the delight of both long-time METS exhibitors and companies that are new to the show. Burnaby, BC-based electrical equipment manufacturer Xantrex is exhibiting at its second METS, this time as part of the Canadian Pavilion in Hall 12.“Our experience at METS has been very successful,” said Mitul Chandrani, Senior Marketing Manager. “We came to the show for the first time last year and it was successful, so we’re back. The booth traffic in the Canadian Pavilion has been very steady through the first two days. We’ve been able to meet a number of international manufacturers and also aftermarket and OEM companies based here in Europe. I’m glad we came.”
Rens-Jan van Vliet, Product Manager – Maritime for METSTrade, says the strong support by both exhibitors and show visitors reflects improving economic conditions worldwide. “The economy in Europe has been moving forward, after being flat for a long time,” he said. “We’re seeing more economic activity in key boating markets like Spain, Italy France and the UK while at the same time, economies in North America and Asia remain strong. So these improving conditions are driving demand for leisure products.”
New to this year’s METS is a Pitch The Press component modeled after a similar program at IBEX. Exhibitors showing new product have the opportunity to pitch the product’s benefits Dragon’s Den-style to a panel of international journalists.
Cody Warner, Business Development for Ayr, Ontario-based Deep Trekker, presented the company’s compact ROV underwater camera system as a solution for examining the undersides of boat hulls, engines and marine facilities without the risk or expense of hiring a diver. “This show has been great,” he said. “The product has enjoyed a lot of attention.”
The 29th METS runs through November 17 at the Amsterdam RAI Convention Centre, the Netherlands.