The considerable dust – of the building works amid the Monaco Yacht Show – has settled, and despite the logistical problems created by said works, there appears to be an industry consensus that this was a positive year.
There is a tendency for us all to attach as much importance to the atmosphere at a yacht show as we do empirical data, when ‘analysing’ the state of the superyacht market. However, because of Monaco Yacht Show’s irrefutable primacy as the show for the 30m-plus market, there is some justification for basing one’s outlook, at least partially, on our MYS instincts.
This is something Alberto Amico agrees with. He feels the mood was very positive, “both for new build, from friends I have at the big yards, and also for buyers of pre-owned yachts more generally. The mood is positive and that is very important for the market.”
Fabio Ermetto, chief commercial officer of Benetti, agreed:
“My opinion is extremely positive. The Monaco Yacht Show is the most prestigious boat show in the world, and it has been a perfect showcase to present three new yachts over 40 metres. In particular, this year we have observed an increase of potential customers equally distributed from all areas of the world.”
Visitor numbers for 2015 have reached approximately 34,500, according to the organisers – up on 2014’s figure of 33,000 visitors, although the cynics would say that quantity does not represent quality.
However, this year’s 25th anniversary edition was undoubtedly punctuated by a level of bonhomie not seen since the order book caught up with the crisis in 2011 and market sentiment plummeted.
The show’s communications and media manager, Johan Pizzardini spoke exclusively to SuperyachtNews.com just days after the show and agreed that the atmosphere was encouraging.
“We had more visitors, there were more events on board yachts, we had a record-breaking 121 superyachts, and over 530 exhibiting companies, mainly due to the extension of the port.”
On the subject of the show’s enforced reorganisation however, there has been some disquiet from those relocated away from the old Darse Nord tent. While this was unavoidable, it did create a logistical challenge for visitors, and the new Quai Antoine 1ER A tent did suffer from fluctuating levels of traffic.
“We had a big challenge, considering the fact 90 per cent of the exhibition space had changed”, Pizzardini said on the matter, acknowledging there had been mixed reviews.
Some said they met lots of interesting people, while some said there weren’t enough interesting people in the tent. Depending on whether you are a supplier or shipyard, the profile of ‘quality’ visitor will be different… we did our best to provide solutions under the circumstances. But it is, at the same time a B2B and a B2C, and that is why we had the divided feedback on that tent.
“It is very early to be making [broad] statements…but we have had some very good feedback from exhibitors and I cross my fingers that these handshakes will be converted into purchases and contracts.
This point is true, and the consensus on the dock was one of positivity. “What a show!”, said Liam Dobbin, MD of wilsonhalligan, also in conversation with SuperyachtNews.com. “The best thing about Monaco has always been that it gives us a chance to get out there and meet the clients and candidates that we speak to every day on the phone, face-to-face. Nothing beats that personal connection, and we’ve come back busier than ever, with many new relationships created and old ones cemented.”
When asked about whether the logistical teething problems, which also include the show’s burgeoning size, will continue to be addressed looking ahead to next year, Pizzardini said plans were already afoot. The organisers are continuing to welcome dialogue with exhibitors so that the event can evolve. “It’s like 25 years of marriage – it’s important to listen!”