Locked-down Europe was starved of on-water boat shows last year. The Cannes Yachting Festival had a good run last week, with strong attendance and multiple new yacht launches, but the big superyacht event, the Monaco Superyacht Show, will take place next week in Monte Carlo from September 22-25. The show will have 350 exhibitors, with 82 superyachts and 32 yacht premieres.
“We’re very happy to be returning, especially to see all of our friends and clients face-to-face again,” Marco Valle, CEO of Azimut-Benetti, told Robb Report. Benetti is exhibiting the 351-foot Luminosity, while sister brand Azimut will be displaying its brand-new 124.67-foot Grande Trideck. “The Monaco Yacht Show is one of the key superyacht events, coming on the heels of a very satisfactory sales season—one of the best of the last 10 years.”
Informa Group, which owns the Monaco Yacht Show, took time out to reassess the format and function of the event, which was canceled last year because of Covid. Top yacht builders and brokers had complained that the show had become too business-oriented and should do more to attract new or prospective owners.
“The cancellation of the show last year meant we had time to sit around the table and listen to the industry,” Johan Pizzardini, the show’s head of communications, told Robb Report. “Our clients are the exhibitors—yacht builders, brokers, designers, and so on—but we also have to target the owners and charterers. Otherwise, we’re no longer serving the interests of the industry.”
The dialogue resulted in strategic solutions to make sure this year is more geared to superyacht customers. Only special visitors invited by exhibitors will be able to access the exhibition on the first day of the show. Using two new first-class VIP entrances, these visitors are divided into two categories with identifying badges: a “Discover” badge for yacht customers, and an “Advisor” badge for their representatives and assistants. A third “Connect” badge is for industry professionals.
The system is designed to reduce waiting times, make it easier for private visitors to go aboard the yachts, and encourage the interaction of yacht customers and their staff with shipyards, brokers, designers or equipment manufacturers in a more personalized environment.
Another novelty is the Yacht Design and Innovation Hub, a new space for the presentation of yacht concepts where visitors can interact with designers and even sketch the first lines of their future yacht. The sailing yachts will also have their own dedicated exhibition area this year on Quai l’Hirondelle. The Car Deck showcases vintage and customized cars as well as a selection of bespoke motorcycles.
To ensure a Covid-safe bubble, masks are required at all times and the organizers raised ticket prices, while lowering both visitor and exhibitor numbers to make it easier to maintain social distancing. There will be about 40 fewer boats on display than in the past, but the number of yachts making their international debut is only slightly down on previous editions. The organizers also announced a new “health” pass that all visitors and exhibitors will have to display each day of the show.
“Our objective is to ensure a secure environment without compromising quality,” says Pizzardini. “Visitors will be able see all the latest launches in complete safety during a highly organized prestige event in a single location.”
“As a team, we’re looking forward to interacting in person again with customers, captains, crew and brokers,” Arthur Brouwer, CEO of Heesen, told Robb Report. The Dutch shipyard is exhibiting its new 180-foot Moskito. “The Monaco Yacht Show is a great networking opportunity and a fantastic celebration of international superyachting.”
Robb Report will provide ongoing coverage before and during the show.