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CONFERENCES & EVENTS Going, going, strong The Marina & Yard Pavilion (MYP) at Metstrade last November delivered a steady stream of marina-specific visitors and was described by many exhibitors as the best to date. Success in the MYP was a reflection of the high standards achieved throughout the Metstrade event, which again experienced record attendance. There was a considerable increase in the number of visitors from the USA (13% rise on 2017), Italy (8%), Denmark (5%), UAE (9%) and Russia (15%). A 5% increase in visitors from the Netherlands was especially welcome as they mainly represented large companies. The number of country pavilions also grew to 19 (as Denmark flew its flag in the exhibition halls) and, for the first time, Metstrade welcomed a large group of trade counsellors, representing embassies from 37 different countries. There was significant focus on innovation and networking. Hervé Gastinel, Group CEO of Groupe Beneteau set the scene at the breakfast briefing on day one by highlighting that innovation is the key to industry growth. His emphasis on the critical importance of innovation in product development, customer service and manufacturing transformation was a pertinent prelude to the annual DAME Award ceremonies, which highlighted many new and forward-thinking products. Presentations in the Theatre for Innovation, including a successful Pitch the Press session, also reinforced the strength of Metstrade as a launch pad for new concepts. Popularity for Metstrade has always owed much to its role as an annual meeting place, and faceto-face networking opportunities are enhanced every year. “We generate the right environment for meetings, both in the halls, at partner events and throughout the city, with networking drinks/dinners, knowledge exchange nights, awards evenings and parties. As a result, Metstrade becomes an indispensable source of creativity for the year ahead,” says RAI Amsterdam maritime director Irene Dros. Particular emphasis continues to be placed on attracting the younger generation and many new faces were spotted in the busy Young Professionals Club (YPC) lounge and at exceptionally well attended YPC events. Over two thirds of the exhibition space for this year’s show was sold by mid-December 2018. Metstrade 2019 will be held 19 th - 21 st November. MYP EXHIBITOR FEEDBACK DURA COMPOSITES, UK “We’ve always found Metstrade to be a great show…and this year’s show had a real buzz about it. We had a constant stream of visitors wanting to engage with composite products we had on show for the first time. The quality of enquiries has definitely surpassed our expectations.” Dean Fuller, business development manager, marine and leisure sector SEAFLEX, SWEDEN “Seaflex has been attending ‘METS’ since the early ‘90s. It is one of the most important relationship building events for us in the year. Even though it has never been easier to meet ‘virtually’, we all know how important face-to-face meetings are. Metstrade is a great opportunity for us to meet a lot of contacts at once. It is both practical and better for the environment!” Charles Gery, global sales manager DEN HARTOG INDUSTRIES, USA “The MYP has been very beneficial for Den Hartog Industries…and we have been able to network with colleagues from other countries because we are easy to find in the pavilion. We also benefit from the fact that 2018 was our eighth year to exhibit at Metstrade and our customers and colleagues view this as a tremendous commitment to our international presence in the market.” Mark Coy, marine sales manager CAPRIA MACHINERY, ARGENTINA “Metstrade is the best B2B show for our business. Qualified professionals and skilled visitors from all around the world visit in search of ‘something new’ or ‘something different’ that will suit even the most ambitious project. We were busy during the three days telling many visitors about the eco-friendly and semi-automated boat stacker machinery we design and manufacture.” Monica Capria, marketing and business development HAZELETT MARINE, USA “The exposure that Hazelett Marine gains is unparalleled to any other show. The MYP specifically is a concentrated pavilion of every relevant contact that Hazelett Marine would want to speak with. The show is a perfect opportunity once a year to solidify relationships, schedule meetings and gain leads.” Pauline Hanset, marketing director ROLEC, UK “We use Metstrade as a hub to meet with our European customers, agents and partners, and last year felt more active than the two previous years. More of our clients also visited from much further afield, which again added to our measurable results from the show. We left feeling satisfied and pleased with the overall attendance and we also received very good feedback from our new product launch [see Products & Services].” Holly Brown, director www.marinaworld.com - January/February 2019 49