6 Mar 2015
The centre of the universe!
The first ever London Yacht, Jet & Prestige Car Show will take place in Old Billingsgate and St Katharine Docks from Wednesday 8 – Friday 10 April, and it is set to become a powerful weapon in the superyacht industry’s arsenal.
London has defined itself as the world’s financial epicentre, since the global economy emerged from the crisis of 2008, and is arguably the richest source of potential clients available to the industry. And yet, up to now, the city has been deprived a platform that adequately showcases the top-end luxury sectors.
Granted, the longstanding London International Boat Show has served the sailing and yachting communities well for many years, but its attractiveness to the superyacht sector has waned, as logistics and scheduling have precluded participation.
Heirloom’s general manager, Ruth Douglas agrees, saying the London boat show is positioned more appropriately for the UK’s mariners and sailors, rather than those who are going to commission a new build.
The new event, she says, “is a brilliant opportunity”, because of its potential “to introduce clients first-hand to the superyacht industry”, who may not otherwise have encountered yachting. “It’s Monaco coming to the City of London for an exclusive luxury event and I think it’s a great prelude for our own industry to SuperyachtDESIGN Week and then Monaco itself.”
The establishment of this event then, should be most welcome for everyone in the industry, and this stance has been validated by the impressive exhibitor uptake for a nascent show. The pedigree of companies attending is high, as Blohm+Voss’ sales and marketing director, Patrick Coote, demonstrated. "London is an important hub for the superyacht industry, not only for Europeans, but also due to its popularity with clients from regions such as Russia and the Middle East”, Coote explained.
“For over 10 years there's been a prime opportunity for someone to establish a superyacht event in the capital: a small, focussed gathering to showcase the top builders, brokers and other players.”
Its value proposition is also not lost on Nautor’s Swan regional director for northern Europe and Russia, Barry Ashmore, who told SuperyachtNews.com that it comprised a key part of the Finnish builder’s growth in the superyacht sector. “As part of the company’s strategic expansion, Nautor’s Swan has further strengthened its commercial team around the world”, he said. “Participation at this show, which will feature some of the leading luxury brands in yachting, aviation and motoring, was a natural fit for Nautor’s Swan.”
And it is London’s unrivalled current en vogue status that appears to have drawn the superyacht industry’s most brand-aware operators, including Porto Montengero, which has generated a lot of column inches in the mainstream media as well, and whose internal PR manager, Daniel Kalezic told SuperyachtNews.com, “We are exhibiting at the London Yacht, Jet and Prestige Car Show as we see the UK as a consistent superyacht marina and real estate market with high quality leads. We have received lots of interest in Montenegro and the marina, Porto Montenegro by those looking for something different to the likes of South of France and Mallorca, but still within the Mediterranean.”
There are plans to have superyachts at anchor on the Thames.
But while the event is overtly selling the luxury experience, exhibitors are not limited purely to luxury brands. The Isle of Man SuperYacht Forum is a conglomeration of companies offering a variety of services, and Baker Tilly’s Oscar Brown, a member of the Forum said many of these companies shared a common interest in the management of luxury assets.
The event represents, Brown says, “an ideal platform to explain to builders, owners, intermediaries and other industry professionals why the Isle of Man is considered the centre of excellence in this exciting area. Furthermore, the SuperYacht Forum is keen to support British industry in London, the worldwide hub of international wealth management.”
It seems then, that most of the ingredients are already in place for a successful first edition, but as Coote added, “This new show is as yet unproven and its success will depend entirely on the organisers' ability to attract genuine, qualified, potential clients. If they succeed then I’m sure the exhibitors will be supportive."
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