Three days, 17 hours of networking time, 25 programme sessions, 96 speakers, 15 headline partners and 812 delegates. While the numbers for The Superyacht Forum 2018 read impressively, they only tell half the story. As with any project that is supported by data, the figures are only a strong as the context that supports them and, in the case of TSF, context is king.
The business of superyachts is a fascinating one. Because of the relatively low unitary volume of sales, value from a boat show or piece of marketing material can be gained from a single planned or chance meeting/conversation. For example, a single new client for a shipyard could make the increasingly dizzying expense of a boat show worthwhile. However, all those who have attended a boat show will know that finding time with the right people can be difficult.
It is true that all the market’s major stakeholders attend shows, but who has ever had time at Monaco Yacht Show to take a breath, let alone find time to meet new people and discuss new ideas at length? Boat shows may well be the shop window for the industry, the platform where corporate strategies reach fruition, but The Superyacht Forum is the platform for strategy and agenda creation.
Of the 812 delegates that attended The Superyacht Forum in 2018, 64 per cent were VIPs. They were shipyard management, captains, owner’s representatives, family offices, brokers, designers, managers, naval architects, project managers and senior crew officers – in short, they were decision makers. Imagine what can be achieved when 520 of the market’s key decision makers are challenged by 203 of most successful product suppliers, subcontractors and service providers – and vice versa.
Over the course of the 25 sessions at 2018’s event, we explored ‘The Perfect Customer Journey and challenged the industry to consider how superyacht owners and charter guests use superyachts and what the market can do to ensure that their experience, at all periods of their customer journey, is of a sufficiently high quality. This year, over the course of 23 sessions, we are challenging all sectors of the market to answer the question, what are you doing to ensure the sustainability of the superyacht market as a viable proposition for its ultra-high-net-worth clients?
Sustainability is, almost without question, the most pervading issue of modern times and this remains true of the superyacht industry. However, when considering issues of market sustainability, it is easy to reduce the challenge to environmentalism. There can be no denying that the market must strive to reach a point where its environmental impact has been significantly reduced, and much of TSF 2019 will focus on the environment, and yet the challenges we face go beyond.
What is being done to ensure that the next generation of the workforce is up to scratch, what technologies on board can improve the superyacht experience, how will owners and charter guests use superyachts in the future, what ownership models will suit the next generation of buyers, what can we learn from other industries, how must infrastructure develop in order to sufficiently cater to the growing fleet? Why engage 812 of the superyacht market’s most influential individuals and not ask the big questions? This year’s theme will challenge everyone in attendance to explore how they are ‘Building for the Next Generation’.
Arguably, however, the most important element of The Superyacht Forum is the 17 hours of dedicated networking that is designed into the programme. Yes, it is great to enjoy some drinks with friends, colleagues and new acquaintances. But, more importantly, there is no other event on the planet that provides enough networking time for more than 800 of the industry’s greatest minds to connect, challenge, agree, disagree and share ideas.
We can create an engaging programme in a great location, that’s what we do. But, is up to all those who attend to ensure that we are “Building for the Next Generation”.
Remaining tickets to The Superyacht Forum 2019 are available here. Join us from 18-20 November in Amsterdam and enjoy three days of engaging workshops, thought-provoking keynotes, and interact with leading minds from our market to learn about the subjects that you and your clients need to know.
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