In the lead up to METSTRADE Connect on 10 December, SuperyachtNews speaks with the METSTRADE team about what visitors and exhibitors can expect from the event, The Superyacht Group’s continued partnership and the future of superyacht trade events.

“First of all, we found ourselves in a situation where we had to cancel the physical show. Fortunately, however, we made the decision early in August and, given the current conditions, we are extremely pleased with the choices we made,” starts Niels Klarenbeek, Director METSTRADE at RAI Amsterdam. “Given the early cancellation, we have managed to transpose elements of the physical event into a virtual METSTRADE, that begins on 10 December. From our perspective, we are not claiming that this is a virtual show. We have looked closely at the physical concept of METSTRADE and have closely defined which of the elements would work in a virtual environment and which won't.”

METSTRADE Connect, as it will be known in its virtual form, has been separated into two distinct but complementary components. Firstly, METSTRADE Connect is an entirely new virtual platform that will connect the leisure marine industry. The virtual event enables participants to meet new people, based on profile and preferences. Secondly, the online event will be underpinned by a content programme that offers a global perspective on the leisure marine industry, offering key insights into developments and opportunities in different markets.

“We have obtained a set of tooling that enables the industry to connect. All the visitors and exhibitors will have the ability to pre-register and log in to the system, at which point a series of profile questions will feed into an algorithm-controlled AI that will suggest connections through a match-making system based on your profile,” continues Klarenbeek. “You have the ability to invite people, make virtual handshakes and organise meetings and calls with the necessary businesses and individuals. Through METSTRADE Connect we have found a tool that fulfils the need of the industry to make new contacts and re-establish existing ones.”

The content element of the METSTRADE Connect programme will feature a series of panel discussions, pitches and live discussions. Having commissioned a full professional television studio for the event, the programme will be broadcast from Amsterdam with a mixture of live and pre-recorded sessions. Both the DAME Awards and the Boat Builder Awards will also be taking place.

The TechTalks at METSTRADE Connect will follow METSTRADE’s three central tracks, the METSTRADE Track, Superyacht Track and Construction Material Track. The Superyacht Group, having been instrumental in the establishment of the content element of The Superyacht Pavilion, through access to The Superyacht Forum, is once again partnering METSTRADE as the official superyacht media partner and Martin Redmayne, chairman of The Superyacht Group, will be moderating the Superyacht Track session and exploring The Bridge, The Engine Room and The Shipyard, with a particular focus on sustainability for the latter.

“Martin and his team have always been able to bring the content element for superyachts, via The Superyacht Forum,” explains Klarenbeek. “Our two businesses share the same vision and we appreciate that as our partnership continues in 2021, the events of the future will be hybrids, combining the best of the physical and digital worlds and creating excellent content programmes and providing greater flexibility for visitors. With the synergies between our two companies, we will be able to capitalise on that.”

The Superyacht Group is proud to be the official superyacht media partner of METSTRADE Connect and looks forward to welcoming visitors and exhibitors to take part in the Superyacht Pavilion discussions. 

METSTRADE Connect is a partner of The Superyacht Forum Live, which began in Q4 2020, and will run throughout 2021 through a series of on-site and virtual events, delivering the aforementioned quality and candour of The Superyacht Forum, year-round and across the industry’s key territories. To register your interest, click here.

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