As part of AIMEX’s global promotion activities of Australia’s diverse marine industry businesses its recent participation in the METSTrade 2016 event in Amsterdam was a key element in this programme. Over 25 companies shared in the presence at METS this year providing a showcase of what Australia offers and opening the door to expanding business in Europe in 2017 onwards.
In terms of displaying Australia’s marine industry capability, the presence at METS complements that which AIMEX and Superyacht Australia have at the Monaco Yacht Show. An indication of how international Australia’s ambitions are is shown by the fact that their traditional Outback Party at METS was this year sponsored by the UK’s Department for International Trade to highlight opportunities for Australian companies looking to gain a foothold in the UK.
Also in the strong Australian group exhibiting at METS there were four first timers namely Megapulse Green Energy, Skudo, and CE&A.
“Australia might be a long way away from other markets but that makes our very capable marine industry manufacturers and service providers all the more enthused to show their wares and skills no matter how far they have to travel be it Asia Pacific, Europe, the Americas or the Middle East,” said MaryAnne Edwards, Chief Executive of AIMEX and Superyacht Australia.
The full extent of the capability of the Australian marine industry was available to any visitors to the national pavilion at METS through the 2017 Export Directory. This gives a comprehensive guide to all the innovations, products and services currently available from Australian businesses. “Having the 2017 Export Directory at METS was excellent and will help us get ready for a busy year ahead, in Europe,” Edwards surmised.
As Duncan Curnow, a Director of Line 7 Australia marketing the Line 7 marine clothing brand commented: “This was my first time at METS. What a fantastic show, a must for anyone wanting to export marine products. Great to have B2B (trade) rather than Joe Public, so all quality people. We met everyone from retailers from around the world as well as distributors, agents and boat builders – all relevant to our expansion plans. Quality people and a quality show, well worthwhile.
He added: “Australia had a strong presence at METS, with a real impact being ‘unified’ under one banner. I was blown away by the size of METS and the volume of people, truly an incredible show and glad we attended.”
By comparison regular METS attendee Sean Griffin, of the specialist marine consumer equipment company GME, said: “This was GME’s 16th METS. I wouldn’t describe it as our most successful which I put this down to the general economic malaise. However, we did manage to meet with 90% of our European distributors and many of their customers so I would still certainly consider it a success.”
“I am convinced,” he continued, “that the visitors to the Australian pavilion regard our capabilities very highly. Within the Pavilion there was a broad cross section of exhibits that underscored the innovation and quality of the AIMEX membership’s product offerings.”
METS two timer Jenny Aitkin, CEO of Life Cell Marine Safety promoting innovative marine survival products, explained how she valued her company’s involvement with METS. “Our intention of coming to METS was to expand distribution channels in Europe; better understand the suitability of our product in this market, develop contacts to facilitate the logistics of operating in Europe and meet with existing distributors and interested parties.”
She added: “I believe that we met all of these goals and have established significant interest in key target markets with a high likelihood of achieving solid agreements post show. The quality of visitors was high with all being aimed at B2B transactions rather than B2C. This was our second show and the interest at this show was more significant and credible that the past show.
Another METS regular, Grahame Anderson of HyDrive Engineering underlined the value of METS, saying: “HyDrive has been exhibiting at METS since the early 1990’s, not long after the show was first introduced as an annual event based in Amsterdam. Because of the format, location and success of the show, HyDrive has never missed a year since then. “
“The formation of AIMEX and joining with other Australian marine manufacturers has given a larger presence at METS to showcase good quality Australian products and design and make the rest of the world more aware of our capabilities,” he commented. “This year’s show was no exception and whilst the show started more quietly for HyDrive, the last day was very busy indeed and we found ourselves with many new leads for companies who are seeking to distribute our products in their country.
“In addition to finding new business,” he concluded, “we had existing distributors visit our stand from countries such as UK, USA, India, Greece, Russia and New Zealand to name a few. Not only did we pick up new orders from existing customers, but we have potential distributors for some new and important markets. In a nutshell – METS 2016 was an excellent show and we will be back again next year.”
The full list of Australian businesses taking part at the METS 2016 were: AMI Marine, Australian International Marine Export Group and Superyacht Australia, Analu, Aqualuma LED Lighting, Barz Optics, Bellingham Marine, CE&A, Coursemaster Autopilots, , Greencorp Marine, GME, Gold Coast City Marina & Shipyard, HyDrive Engineering, Life Cell Marine Safety, Line 7, Magnum Top Gear, Megapulse Green Energy, Muir, Palm Products, Polyflex Group, PowerDive, Rainman Desalination, Rivergate Marina and Shipyard, Riviera, Ronstan International, Skudo, SOS Marine, Superior Jetties, TMQ International, and VEEM.