METS 2014 Breaks New Ground
The Marine Equipment Trade Show (METS) ran between 17 - 20 November at Amsterdam RAI with a record-breaking 21,806 visitors attending, a 2.9% increase on last year’s figures. Yachting professionals from all over the world came to view groundbreaking products from 1345 exhibitors, set up in 3 specialised pavilions and over 18 country pavilions.
Innovation was the key message of the show, with a new dedicated innovation platform called LAB, where industry leaders joined the stage to discuss creativity, design and adaptation in an ever-changing market. Keynote speaker Carla Demaria of Monte Carlo Yachts made an inspiring presentation urging flexibility, knowledge-sharing and a philosophy of adaptive evolution, crediting their study of Porsche manufacturing as an inspirational benchmark.
The annual DAME Awards (Design Award METS Competition) were a star of the show as always, with 45 outstanding new products making it into the final judging awards. This year, the Jefa Steering ApS Steering Traveller took out the coveted Overall Winner Award, a product that removes the need for bulky steering quadrants and improves rudder feedback at the helm for twin rudder, twin wheel sailing yachts. Special attention has been paid to save installation space and weight, as well as to eliminate backlash, therefore improving yacht handling.
This year’s show also saw the launch of a new set of awards, The Boatbuilders Business Achievement Awards, which seek to acknowledge sections of the boatbuilding industry which frequently miss out on the recognition they deserve. The awards, which will be announced at METS 2015, will include six categories: retail marketing initiatives, international dealer development, innovative onboard design solutions, procurement manager of the year, innovation in a production process, and a lifetime achievement award to an individual within a boat building company who has made an outstanding contribution to his or her business.
Networking and professional development was in the spotlight this year, with the METS Young Professionals group ensuring that the leaders of tomorrow have all the support and tools necessary for career advancement.
Also of great interest was the Lightweight Challenge by Materia- a global network of suppliers and experts, whose diverse portfolio of clients include Ferrari, Apple, Wally, Unilever and Samsung. With the goal of inspiring naval architects, designers and shipyards to use innovative new materials in boat and yacht construction., Material Experience brought the ‘Lightweight Challenge’ to METS to show how certain lightweight materials could be of great benefit in the yachting sector.
Mets is an extremely exciting event for the yachting industry, as new products are unveiled and discussed, the same products that may revolutionise the yachting industry in the years to come.