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The show must go on

Major players from the worlds of superyacht building and brokerage return to the Monaco Yacht Show…

Following a difficult 2020, which saw major industry bodies remove their support for Monaco Yacht Show (MYS) ahead of the show’s eventual cancellation, the MYS organisers have provided an update on MYS with three months to go. Most notably, however, 2020’s detractors, who highlighted fundamental issues with the show’s format, as well as concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic and the ability of the event to attract buyers, appear to be back on board following a consultative period.

Last week’s announcement from the organisers of MYS provides more of a confirmation than an update, reinforcing the messaging around the show’s tweaked format.

The new Dockside Area, a part of the exhibition dedicated to companies directly linked with the construction or management of superyachts and tenders, will be exclusively open to end customers (in possession of a "Discover", "Advise" and "Sapphire Experience" badges) on Wednesday 22 September, before being opened up to all visitors starting Thursday. A new badge system has been designed to make networking more efficient. Other updates include sanitary measures to keep the show COVID safe, services for VIPS and a variety of new exhibitions. However, crucially, businesses from both LYBRA and SYBAss are now back on board.

On 15 May 2020, SuepryachtNews broke the story that SYBAss and LYBRA had withdrawn from Monaco Yacht Show 2020. SYBAss accounts for 20 of the world’s premier superyacht manufacturers and LYBRA accounts for eight of the world’s leading superyacht brokerage houses.

A letter sent to Informa, and seen by SuperyachtNews, explained that both associations, who acted cooperatively throughout the process, had doubts over the safety of the show, the ability and/or willingness for clients to attend and whether the show was appropriate within the context of the global pandemic. The letter further outlined general discontent with how the show has been run in recent years.

It expressed growing concern that, for several years, the partnership between the organisers of the event and the exhibitors had soured and become imbalanced. While costs had increased, return on investment had become harder to measure, it stated. Nevertheless, the letter clearly indicated that both SYBAss and LYBAA wish to continue supporting the show in the future.

The most recent announcement from MYS’ organisers included a number of supporting quotes from members of both SYBAss and LYBRA.

“Burgess is a long-standing exhibitor at the Monaco Yacht Show and we’ve followed its evolution over the three decades. We are supportive of the organisers’ new approach to upgrade the visitor experience for our demanding customers and feel confident that the 2021 MYS will meet our expectations. Burgess is happy to be back in Monaco for 2021,” comments Jonathan Beckett, CEO of Burgess Yachts. “We’ll bring a high-quality selection of our listed yachts and we look forward to welcoming clients at our historical exhibition area on Quai L’Hirondelle.”

“As a major superyacht and megayacht builder, Feadship was involved in the discussions with the Organisers of Monaco Yacht Show to deliver an event that will enhance the journey of the visiting superyacht customers,” Farouk Nefzi, Marketing Director of Feadship. “This September show promises to be a top-notch superyacht lifestyle event and the confirmation of our participation has created lots of enthusiasm at Feadship, for our clients and our team.”

However, speaking exclusively with an individual who was part of the Steering Committee and the process for evolving the MYS model, SuperyachtNews has learnt that the businesses who levelled the initial criticisms are not entirely satisfied with the extent of the show's developments.

“It's correct that things are moving in the right direction. I will not say that we have everything arranged that we wanted, especially to reduce the business-to-business activities. However, this represents a good first move. I still don’t think it's sufficient, but we have to give the organisers and the market time to adjust. It is a shared responsibility to make the new model a success,” comments the individual who wishes to remain anonymous.

MYS 2021 will be an interesting event for everyone in attendance. Not only will it be the first MYS since the pandemic hit, with new protocols in place to keep everyone safe, it will also be the first time that MYS has drastically altered its makeup to cater to the demands of the new build, refit and brokerage sectors. This could be the first step in a new and interesting direction for the world’s premier superyacht show, or it could simply end up reinforcing the message that further changes are required.

Join the discussion

What would be the most significant change that MYS could implement to better suit the market?

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