25 September 2016

20 Oct 2015

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It is now widely accepted that the Monaco Yacht Show has evolved into something more than a traditional owner-populated boat show. Owners still play a major role in the culture of Monaco, but the increase in business-to-business attendance is undeniable. So with the Monaco make-up shifting, has this left a gap in the market?

SuperyachtNews.com speaks with Eric de Saintdo, former head of the Cannes Boat Show and CEO of Camper & Nicholsons, about his latest venture, a buyer focussed, luxury show in the Old Port of Cannes. The Cannes Collection, as it is to be known, will be an exclusive collection of the world’s most desirable superyachts, prestige cars, helicopters, real estate, fine watches and more, most of which will be available to purchase on site.

Having worked on both sides of the fence, as show organiser and a major exhibitor, de Saintdo and his team have a wealth of experience at their disposal. In addition, de Saintdo’s partner and co-founder of The Cannes Collection, Bertrand Foäche, is the owner and founder a number of high-profile European luxury fashion events.

Old Port, Cannes

“Monaco is one of the leading shows in the world, but it is more and more a business-to-business show and the idea with The Cannes Collection is to have a show where you can buy,” explains de Saintdo. ‘Buying’ in this instance does not refer to engines, electronics, HVAC units or anti-fouling products, rather the more glamorous end of the retail spectrum.

“You will be right in the centre of Cannes at the beginning of June. Most other boat shows are at the end of the season. The season is gone,” de Saintdo continues. “This is good for the shipyards because people can order the yachts or refits they want done for next year. What do you do if you want to buy a yacht now, in time for the season?”

Although not exclusively a superyacht show, there should be around 50-70 yachts present. The hope is that superyacht owners will be interested in the other products on show, while yachtless UHNWIs, there for the cars or watches, will become enamoured with the superyacht market.

Chartering is widely regarded as the most common route to superyacht ownership, but people still require a route into the charter world. The Cannes Collection will offer sea trials for vessels present, which may well spark that interest in charter. Similar trials for helicopters, cars and watches will also be made available.

This homogenisation of the luxury experience has the potential to work – but its success relies on the exclusivity and calibre of both visitors and exhibitors. Run of the mill simply will not succeed.

“You get the right visitors from the right exhibitors and you get the right exhibitors from the right visitors, and in the middle you need the right organisation,” de Saintdo adds. Using a database and network of clientele developed by de Saintdo and Foäche over many years, de Saintdo believes this enterprise will fill the void left by Monaco and others. Look out for The Cannes Collection 2-5 June 2016.


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