AMSTERDAM – Irene Dros is stepping down as director of the annual Metstrade event, that under her stewardship has grown into the world’s largest marine equipment show.
“The time has come for me to move from Metstrade to a new challenge,” Dros said in a statement on Feb. 20. “I am honored to have played my part in organizing this platform and have enjoyed investing lots of energy into its growth.”
Dros did not say what new challenge she will take on next. No successor was immediately announced.
Metstrade has seen spectacular growth over the past 18 years, going from 714 exhibitors in 2001 to almost 2,000 from 53 nations last year. The 2019 event attracted a record 26,984 visitors from 122 countries.
Bas Dalm, Executive Vice President Exhibition & Sales RAI Amsterdam said Dros’ “boundless energy, passion and dedication to the industry have really put Metstrade on the map. We wish her all the very best in the next stage of her career.”
Dalm and Senior Exhibition Manager Sarah Westdijk will lead Metstrade until a successor to Dros has been found. Junior Exhibition Manager Eline Heemstra remains the first point of contact for trade associations.
Metstrade is the world’s largest trade exhibition for equipment, materials and systems for the international leisure marine industry. It organized by RAI Amsterdam in cooperation with ICOMIA. The event’s target group includes yacht builders, naval architects, refit yards, distributors, dealers, wholesalers, captains, marina owners and marine equipment manufacturers worldwide. The 2020 event takes place Nov. 17-19 at the RAI center in Amsterdam.