Using an anagram of our host city Amsterdam, the Global Superyacht Forum in 2016 was driven by the phrase ‘Made Smart’. With the sole intention of equipping our delegates with smart ideas, better solutions and innovative problem-solving techniques, the event brought together an eclectic and informative group of speakers.

The CEO Summit, featuring Rose Damen, Amels; Massimo Perotti, SanLorenzo; Vincenzo Poerio, Benetti and Henk de Vries, Feadship opened the forum. The frank dialogue between the panellists and chairman Martin H. Redymane of The Superyacht Group stressed the importance of education, quality of the market’s products and discussed levels of service currently available for owners, as well as the reputation of the industry to outsiders.

The trio behind Winch Design, Andrew Winch, Aino Grapin and Jimmy Carroll (founder, CEO and head of marketing respectively) then took to the stage to discuss the legacy, ideals and future of the iconic design studio. A respective look at Andrew Winch’s designs over his 30-year period in the market, this armchair conversation saw the growth of the market through the eyes of one designer’s experiences.

Closing the first day, Frank Salzgeber of the European Space Agency (ESA) entertained, educated and inspired the audience to look to the sky for latest innovations and future-technologies. Illustrating how many every-day items we use that came from space technology, Salzgeber emphasised the importance of lateral thinking, “When we speak about space, it’s not just the space above us, but the space of imagination.”

Day two kicked off with a presentation from Dr. Alexander Kotouc of BMW i, the sustainable-focused wing of the car brand. Highlighting how a luxury brand can move into the eco-friendly sector without damaging or changing its reputation, Dr. Kotouc illustrated how similar the two industries are, “From a rational point of view, a superyacht and a luxury sports car are nonsense, because you don’t need it. But from an emotional point of view… there’s a value.” In this vein, if the superyacht industry wants to move forward with eco-friendly technology, they must follow BMW’s aim of combining pleasure with sustainability.

Investment bankers Alan Dargan of Lonsdale Capital and Jonathan Turner of Bowline Capital Partners closed the event with The Superyacht Investor’s Summit. Both speakers having recently entered into the superyacht world, astutely commented on the market and stressed the need for education, “You need to understand what you’re looking for… are you looking for an investor to exit? Or to help you grow the business? You must really understand what capital you need and what you can offer investors,” noted Dargan.

Over 20 workshops took place throughout the through days, discussing a range of pertinent and relevant issues for the market. Moderated by industry experts, these workshops ensured productive debate, as panellist Marc Verburg of IRI Marshall Islands noted, “It attracts the right people that are interested in the topic and working in the same field, in smaller expert groups.”

Podcasts from the keynote sessions, photographs, videos and more will be available on the Global Superyacht Forum website in the coming days.

With thanks to the 2016 Global Superyacht Forum partners Amels, Awlgrip, Caterpillar, Cayman Islands Shipping Registry, Clyde & Co, Genesis Technologies, Hiscox MGA, Marlink, MARSS, MTN (a Global Eagle Brand), MTU Friedrichshafen, Palladium Technologies, Triton Submarines and Van Berge Henegouwen (VBH).