As News Reporter for The Superyacht Group I spent my days in various meetings, visiting stands and generally searching out new stories and ideas. What struck me the most, beyond exhibitors’ widespread familiarity and welcome, was the lack of newcomers. Rarely did an exhibitor say ‘this is our first year’, and when they did it was usually followed by, ‘but we have always been at Fort Lauderdale.’ Logistical pragmatism aside, where are the external influences that an industry, especially one with the purchasing power of this one, needs to flourish in previously unexplored ways.
It may well be the case that external innovators are sought out in private, the aces that shipyards, designers and other interested parties keep tacked up their sleeves. A perfectly acceptable situation – individuality in aesthetics, ergonomics, mechanics and technology can be vitally important when creating the ultimate luxury asset. However, for an industry that thrives on progressive design and innovation, it seems a shame that a dearth of new individuals seeking exposure was notable.
Why were the newcomers so hard to find? Was it simply that amongst the throng of acquainted exhibitors the voice of the few new people with something new to say was hard to hear? Or was it that there was no voice to hear to begin with?
As an industry do we need to do more to market our potential benefits to those who may not be aware of them, and could we do more to welcome their ideas? I spoke to one gentleman who had been trying to break into the superaycht market for 13 years. His entry was hindered by a number of reasons; a lack of marketing knowledge certainly contributed, but not knowing through which channels to market proved to be more damaging. Now, with hindsight at his disposal and his place at the Monaco Yacht Show realised, his stand was one of the busier I came across.
The Superyacht Group’s mantra has long been ‘building a better superyacht market.’ As part of that ideal we hold a number of events throughout the year, encouraging inclusion, progress, discussion and innovative thinking.
At The Global Superyacht Forum 2015 we will be welcoming an unprecedented number of speakers from outside the industry to offer insight and inspiration from a range of sectors to help build a better superyacht market. It will be a uniquely useful place to meet and talk to people from inside the superyacht industry.