AMSTERDAM – Every year, the mid-November METSTRADE show is a unique, not-to-miss gathering in Amsterdam’s RAI events center of people and companies active in global yacht building. But the 2020 edition, bowing to the inevitable, skips a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In its place: a Dec. 10 virtual event called Metstrade Connect.
METSTRADE’s Maritime Affairs Director Niels Klarenbeek says canceling the 2020 show was a sad decision, but one that yielded much sympathy, respect and understanding.
He added while many exhibitors have already decided to take part in the 2021 METSTRADE, “there is no time to sit back. We must follow global developments worldwide with our partners and stakeholders.”
“Many of our health and safety protocols will still be in force next year,” says Klarenbeek. “The 2021 METSTRADE will be a combination of physical and virtual elements. It is still too early to say what the show will look like in the future. We are developing different scenarios.”
Klarenbeek adds industry professionals’ wish to still meet each other remains strong. “Many work from home and their call for networking solutions is greater than ever,” he adds. “Which is why we introduce METSTRADE Connect, a virtual, informative event on Dec.10 that offers networking and matchmaking possibilities through an advanced, online web-based platform.”
METSTRADE Connect highlights:
- State of the Industry. ICOMIA provides a global perspective on the yacht building industry and on important developments and opportunities in different markets.
- DAME Award Ceremony has been converted into a one-time competition. The DAME R&D Excellence in Adversity Award celebrates equipment and accessory makers who will remain at the forefront of design during the pandemic.
- The TechTalks series follows 3 tracks: METSTRADE Track (provided by IBI), SYP Track (The Superyacht Report) and CMP Track (led by Simonetta Pegorari). Each track is available on request and includes a variety of panel discussions with suppliers, yacht builders and technical experts. METSTRADE Connect gives visitors the opportunity to make contact in live Q&A sessions.
- Sustainability Sessions. With ICOMIA’s support, Peter Franklin, METSTRADE’s sustainability partner, will lead panel discussions on such themes as ‘Ocean Biodiversity and Biofouling’ and progress at ‘End-of-Use Boats.’
- Product Pitches. The METSTRADE Connect platform offers space for product pitches by exhibitors.
- The Boat Builder Awards cover 5 categories: Exceptional Commercial Achievement in an Unprecedented Year; Community Support Initiative; Environmental Initiative; Rising Star for under-35 individuals and the Lifetime Achievement Award