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Reflections on the success of the Palma Superyacht Show

The first European yacht show since 2020 did not disappoint…

Hosted from 3-6 June, 2021, the highly-anticipated Palma Superyacht Show was met with great positivity and enthusiasm by all in attendance. As the first European yacht show since October 2020, many regular exhibitors and visitors were unsure about what to expect. However, the event was made particularly special due to it being the first opportunity for the industry to meet and network face-to-face in a long time, against a backdrop of exciting yachts and Balearic sunshine. 

The show was notably a more professional event this year, with highly motivated visitors and a four-day format seeming to concentrate business activities. As Alessia Manfredi, operations manager at SOS Yachting explains, “What really impressed me, and other exhibitors I spoke with, was the quality of the visitors of this year.

“Maybe due to the many travel restrictions that were still in place at the beginning of June, maybe due to having to deal with PCR tests, I had the impression that only the really interested visitors ‘dared to travel’ and decided to come. Never before have we had such productive and interesting meetings during a show – I am really happy we decided to be there.”

Of course, deals done and charter agreements signed are the main inducement of networking in the flesh and the one true testament to any yacht show’s ‘match-making magic’. And this year’s show also delivered in that department.

“I have been attending the Palma Superyacht Show since the beginning and, honestly, I think this year was by far the best,” reflects Stephanie Skinner, CEO of SNS Yacht Charter. “Although a reduced amount of yachts were on display, the selection was nice and we had very good quality clients visiting. Four direct signed charter contracts out of the show speaks for itself and I look forward to returning next year!” 

Barbara Müller, senior charter broker at Ocean Independence, adds; “The Ocean Independence team anticipated that the show would have a slightly different feel this year, but it certainly did not disappoint. With good organisation, a warm atmosphere and high-quality yachts exhibiting, it was wonderful to reconnect with a number of existing clients who were keen to attend and get on board. The show also presented many opportunities for B2B networking in a more relaxed atmosphere, which was a welcome bonus.”

A third of the show’s exhibitors were located in the annual Refit and Repair area. Seasoned exhibitors, as well as some new faces, were also able to reap the rewards of a more targeted footfall of yachting professionals.

The 2021 Palma Superyacht Show seems to have marked a turning point for the Mediterranean superyacht season. For many exhibitors and visitors alike, the show boasted all the elements that are to be expected from a major nautical event, and was a reassuring step in the right direction towards getting the industry back to normal.

Photography by Sofia Winghamre

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