Just back from IBEX trade show, Leigh Francis from All Marine Spares is already packing for this year’s METS in Amsterdam, anticipating numerous productive meetings with brands and exhibitors, as well as hopeful of picking up some new products.
'It’s worth the effort to travel so far for trade shows like IBEX and METS,' he asserts, adding that the Louisville Kentucky venue for IBEX is tricky to get to, especially for overseas delegates.
'It’s not a main hub, so connecting flights from Dallas for example, are costly and add time to the trip. But it is worth it to see our distributors and remind them that we’re here. It is useful for loyalty and finding out the news. We saw everybody we wanted to see and found some interesting products – sophisticated diagnostic equipment for repairers and some specialist tools. Plenty to think about.'
Despite what Leigh observed as 'far fewer visitors', he said exhibitor numbers were about the same, if not up by about half a dozen. 'There is always a lot to see and innovations launched at the show. We make a point of going because of the industry networking and chance we might see something unique that would suit our market at home.'
Also key to his US visit is a trip to the factories of any one of the myriad of brands All Marine Spares supplies to the trade.
'This year we went to Louisiana to see the factory of Powertech Propellers, where they finish the products. It was very interesting for getting a better idea of the manufacturing process.'
Next on the agenda is METS, 15-17 November. 'We have lined up a few meetings with European brands and always see something new there. There are a lot of people who don’t attend IBEX, so it’s a valuable exercise.'
More at www.allmar.com.au