Reflecting on a Revamped (and Relaxed) Monaco Yacht Show
After months of debate, questions and even some concerns, the dust has settled on the 2021 edition of the Monaco Yacht Show. As Superyachts.com publishes its last batch of exclusive industry interviews, we reflect on the highly anticipated ‘revamped format’ which ultimately gave way to what some exhibitors have called their ‘most successful show yet’.
There is no denying that the lead up to the show was clouded with questions for exhibitors and attendees alike. After a year-long hiatus and global travel restrictions changing like a faulty traffic light, a question mark loomed over whether the world’s most prestigious superyachting event could be executed without a hitch. Needless to say though, the Monaco Yacht Show organisers rose to the challenge set out in February this year to pull off a ‘revamped’ format aimed at addressing the superyacht industry’s most pressing marketing challenges, and the show proved a resounding success.
The most noticeable change to this year's show, apart from the addition of face masks and sanitiser stations, was the concerted effort on behalf of the organisers to address industry marketing issues compounded by the pandemic, as well as capitalise on the 'bounceback' of 2021. General Director of the Monaco Yacht Show Gaëlle Tallarida comments: “We worked alongside stakeholders from across the industry in order to put on a show that meets the latter’s expectations and, more specifically, those of their clientele. The 2021 MYS appears to have benefited from the excitement spurred by this reunion, as well as from the favourable state of the market, with an increase in yacht sales over the last 18 months: clients have turned to yachting to escape the gloomy context that the pandemic has brought about and the frustration of having their freedom restricted. Therefore, 2021 has been a win-win for everyone involved in yachting.”
Never resting on their laurels, the show organisers have already hinted at a continuation of the theme for next year’s show, with Gaëlle adding, “Thanks to the steering committee founded this year, we intend to pursue our collaboration in order to further improve the MYS for the 2022 edition.”
Although the organisers cautiously predicted a maximum of 90 superyachts and 300 exhibitors in attendance, some 101 vessels were exhibited at Port Hercules, as well as 440 exhibitors. The showing was particularly strong in the form of new launches and debuts, amounting to around half of the turnout, and the show kicked off with an estimated total worth of €3.6 billion on display.
Amongst the new features of this year’s show was the ‘invitation only’ access to the first day, whereby UHNWIs were given exclusive access to the dockside area to better enhance their experience and more directly connect potential buyers, owners and charterers with relevant vendors. Throughout the duration of the show though, a decreased turnout due to travel restrictions and health regulations, resulted in a more relaxed environment for many involved. Theo Hooning, Secretary General of SYBAss, comments:
“The 2021 edition of the Monaco Yacht Show was the first opportunity to see the results of a change in approach to the show, by placing the focus firmly on the customers of the industry rather than the business activities within it. The result was a more relaxed atmosphere, and with no overcrowding of the quays the experience for those customers was much more in line with the superyacht experience itself. It is important that we capitalise on this opportunity and continue on our chosen path, improving where necessary. In this way, the Monaco Yacht Show will maintain its important and high-profile role both by showcasing the unique products shaped by the industry and also by promoting the superyacht lifestyle.”
The show reported builder and broker feedback was a general consensus of full schedules all around, but with the added luxury of being able to enjoy more valuable face time with clients.
Other new additions to the format included the show’s dedicated sailing yacht area, showcasing some 12 sailing yachts. CEO of Baltic Yachts Henry Hawkins told Superyachts.com he and the team felt ‘optimistic’ that the sailing yacht area would begin to open up the yard to a new clientele, and would only continue to grow in years to come.
Meanwhile, the show’s new Yacht Design & Innovation Hub benefited from a steady stream of visitors all eager to hear valuable insight from the likes of Espen Oeno, Luiz de Basto and Sam Sorgiovanni.
The 2021 revamp is just the latest step in the evolution of the Monaco Yacht Show and quest to provide a better offering to the industry, as well as cultivate discussions around how the superyacht industry can better cater to the ‘next wave’ of superyacht owner or charterer. We look forward to seeing how this new shift evolves in the years to come.
"The result was a more relaxed atmosphere, and with no overcrowding of the quays the experience for those customers was much more in line with the superyacht experience itself."