by Jeni Bone
Off the back of another successful METS show, All Marine Spares has forged new relationships and cemented established ones to take it in to 2014.
METS larger than ever in 2013.
'It’s worth the effort to travel so far for trade shows like METS, which ran 15 to 17 November,' says director, Leigh Francis. 'We have lined up a few meetings with European brands and always see something new there.'
This year, following on from IBEX held in Kentucky USA in September, Francis had second thoughts about attending METS which is in Amsterdam just eight weeks later.
'It’s an expense and it requires staff off work, lots of preparation and stamina, but we are glad we did both. There are a lot of people who don’t attend IBEX, especially the European brands, so it’s a valuable exercise.'
METS is the ideal venue for renewing contacts and 'putting a face to a name down a telephone, or these days, an email', says Francis. 'It can make the difference to a deal or the continued working relationship.'
This year, Francis found that some important suppliers had been bought out by their opposition, which meant he had the opportunity to create ties with the new companies, or find alternatives in some cases.
'It’s a changing world,' he observes. 'It used to be the case that you would build relationships, back a product and distribute it. Today, as companies change hands and competition fuels innovation, you can’t rely solely on that loyalty. You have to be in front of people, spread yourself around, and remind them of what you can do in your region.
'Australia may be small in terms of their marketshare, but it’s an important market for marine brands. We have some leverage in terms of our steady business.'
METS too is the ideal ground for discovering new products. Aside from the annual DAME Awards which recognise excellence in marine technology and equipment, there is a myriad of new products on show each year.
'METS is fantastic for new and different products. This year’s show was so huge, we didn’t even get through every aisle.'
It is often said that the METS exhibition in Amsterdam sets the tone for the year ahead for the leading maritime equipment suppliers. Its timing in mid-November and the fact that METS is the largest single gathering of its kind in the world gives the clearest possible indication of the state of the industry.
This year’s METS announced a record attendance of 20,500 professionals for the three-day event.
'A rise in attendance of over five percent compared to 2012 is very good news for everyone connected to METS and the global maritime supply industry,' said METS Domain Manager Irene Dros. 'We also had a couple more exhibitors than last year and more country pavilions than ever. The various conferences and meetings also attracted huge numbers, adding to the positive vibe and genuine sense of good business being conducted. We are very proud it has a been record-breaking event and grateful to our exhibitors and visitors for reinforcing the reputation of METS as an unmissable exhibition.'
METS 2014 will be held 18-19-20 November 2014 in Amsterdam RAI Convention Centre.
More at www.allmar.com.au