The new venue for the Marine Equipment Trade Show (METS) 2005 was a big success. The 1,050 exhibitors of the world’s largest trade exhibition of marine equipment and accessories felt very much at home in the larger halls of Amsterdam RAI. The trade show attracted 16,382 visitors, an increase of eight per cent over 2004. The EPS Silent Thruster from Van der Velden Marine Systems won the Design Award METS (DAME Award). The next METS takes place at Amsterdam RAI from 14-16 November 2006.

This year’s biggest and brightest METS, the 18th show in the series, was a milestone event as it moved across to the bigger Europa Complex of Amsterdam RAI and increased its floor space by 5,000 square metres. This made room for an additional 110 exhibitors, more stand space for regular exhibitors, better business facilities and more varied catering options including a food court, Italian restaurant and Sushi bar. Irene Dros, Product Manager of Amsterdam RAI, commented: “We are very pleased with the results of this first show in the Europa complex. It truly was the biggest, brightest METS ever. Feedback from exhibitors and visitors indicates that the all-new look of the trade show met with exceptional enthusiasm and we will work hard this coming year to keep the show up to standard.”

Bill Goggins, Marketing Manager of long time exhibitor Harken Yacht Equipment confirmed: “We are present at nearly every boat show in the world and this is by far the best show catering specifically for the trade. People attend this show from each of our global markets, making it the most efficient way for us to reach out to our distributors, boatbuilders and project managers. The new layout is brilliant. METS again delivered on its promises and yet again redefined its influential position in the market.”

The expanded show was sold out as early as May this year bringing a 15 per cent increase in exhibitor numbers from 914 to 1,050. In comparison with 2004, the number of visitors grew by eight per cent, from 15,147 to 16,382. Of the visitors, 56 per cent came from outside the Netherlands, an approximate increase of two per cent on the previous year. Visitors came from no fewer than 88 countries, with particularly strong representation from surrounding European countries (UK, Germany, France, Spain, Belgium, Italy), Scandinavia, Turkey and the USA. Upcoming markets such as Russia and the countries from the Middle East showed the most growth.

EPS Silent Thruster wins DAME Award

Kim Hollamby, chairman of the jury of the DAME Award, announced the winner of the prestigious DAME prize during the traditional METS Breakfast Briefing on Tuesday. He highlighted the strengths of the product, commenting: “The EPS Silent Thruster of Van der Velden Marine Systems, currently aimed at the superyacht sector, redefines the bow thruster, eliminating the usual arrangement of a central hub and gearbox by employing alternative technologies and designing and testing a new configuration. Exchangeable blades are connected to a ring that floats on ceramic bearings. The blades are propelled by an electromotor in the outer casing and the whole unit is lubricated and cooled by the water surrounding it. Claimed benefits include the elimination of cavitation between the blade tip and tube, as well as reduction of installation space and weight. We, members of the jury, were fascinated by this reinvention of the wheel and we are looking forward to its broader application as smaller and retractable versions are developed.”

Ron Koekenbier, Location Manager of Van der Velden Marine Systems of the Netherlands was delighted with the prize: “We are very proud of winning the DAME Award. It has brought us a lot of extra attention and we have seen interest from an even broader market segment than we had anticipated. More people visited our stand than would otherwise have been the case and we expect a lot of positive spin-offs from winning the Award.”

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