Coronavirus has exacerbated issues with the autumn events calendar
How will the industry respond to an autumn events schedule that is more congested than ever before?
As you might have guessed from the clever title, this article will include passing references to the now global COVID-19 pandemic. However, it should be noted that while coronavirus has undoubtedly had a negative impact on the superyacht market’s events calendar, the phenomenon of staging yacht shows had spread and become viral long before the world became aware of coronavirus. With this global health emergency meaning 11 superyacht events are now scheduled between September and November in 2020 (with more likely to be added), how on earth is market itself going to respond?
On 7th February, it was announced that Singapore Yacht Show 2020 would be suspended until October amid coronavirus concerns. “We have over the last few days sought the opinion of our major exhibitors and partners as to whether they thought we should postpone the event to later in the year. The overwhelming response has been that we should indeed do so, and our own assessment of our responsibility for the health and safety of all of those both working at and attending the show only serves to affirm this decision,” commented Andy Treadwell, CEO & Founder of Singapore Yacht Show. On 2nd March, Dubai International Boat Show followed suit by delaying until 24-28 November.
In total, there are now no less than 11 superyacht events taking place between September and November. However, while the calendar is now more cramped than it has ever been, it was already too cramped. Even without the suspensions and delays caused by the outbreak of coronavirus, nine events across three months is still one hell of a lot of events. There is no way that even the most organised and well-funded enterprise can justify attending all nine – or indeed 11, as it now may be. See below for list of events.
1. Cannes Boat Show – 8-13 September
2. Genova Boat Show – 17-22 September
3. Monaco Yacht Show – 23-26 September
4. Superyacht Tech Conference (Barcelona) – 7-8 October
5. Pinmar Festival (Palma) – 15-16 October
6. Singapore Yacht Show – October (exact date TBD)
7. Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show – 28(October)-1 November
8. YARE Networking (Viareggio) – 4-6 November
9. MESTRADE (Amsterdam) – 17-19 November
10. The Superyacht Forum (Amsterdam) – 16-18 November
11. Dubai Boat Show – 24-28 November
What is perhaps most concerning is not the sheer number of events, but the lack of diversity amongst said events. Indeed, the only real difference between the various boat shows is their location and the capacity of their marinas. Indeed, even without the addition of the two new boat shows to the season’s calendar, exhibitors and guests were already having to cherry pick which events to attend. It is well known for example that Ferretti Group, the renowned Italian shipyard group, does not attend Genova Boat Show.
When one considers the travel budgets required to send employees to the various shows, including flights, transport, accommodation and expenses, on top of the time they are taking away from the office and visiting paying clients directly, attending every show becomes almost impossible to justify for small-to-medium sized enterprises. When one considers further, the expense of exhibiting at every show and, at the very top end of the spectrum, the cost to take a number of superyachts to the various shows as well as exhibiting, the numbers begin to look astronomical. Furthermore, one has to increasingly consider the environmental impact of the superyacht market’s travelling circus. Is the industry’s increasingly cluttered show season at odds with our environmental agenda?
That is not to say, however, that there isn’t space for unique events. The Pinmar Festival held 15-16 October in Palma de Mallorca, for example, is a refreshingly new and interesting take on a superyacht networking event, with the additional benefit of being in the aid of charity, having already raised €1,115,758 for charitable causes in its previous guise as the Pinmar Golf tournament. Equally, The Superyacht Forum remains relevant because, quite simply, there is no other superyacht-specific networking and educational event to rival it globally. What these two events have in common, however, is that they are unique in their own ways and create a break from the monotony and costliness of the various boats shows.
With the superyacht market’s autumn calendar now looking more cramped than ever before, we want to better understand how your business intends to manage its time and finances. Upon completing the below survey, the data will be analysed by The Superyacht Agency in order to produce a report that will be available to the superyacht market.
The congested autumn events calendar
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Superyacht Group is reviewing its own events strategy for Q2 2020.
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