An international trade fair that gains credibility
"International" that's the word you'd find in every French mouth The Düsseldorf Boot attracts a European (even world) public. The geographical location of Düsseldorf, much more central than Paris, undoubtedly favours the arrival of individuals and professionals from all over Europe. For the shipyards, it is a guarantee of credibility to be present at the German show, and especially to present a boat. Some French exhibitors also prefer Düsseldorf to Paris to bring a boat. This was the case for Structures, which presented its new Pogo 36, elected European sailboat of the year 2017.
In the aisles of the show, we heard German, but also English, Polish, even Russian... That's what pushed Fountaine Pajot to present his new motor catamaran, the MY44, for the first time in the world "It is a truly international show and the public corresponds to our customers. In addition, given the size of the boat, we are in Hall 6, reserved for superyachts and it is a very beautiful location for a world first. Apart from this aspect, the boat would not have been ready for a presentation in Paris" explains Yves de Kerangat, Flagship Director at Fountaine Pajot.
But beyond reaching individuals, this show is also an opportunity to maintain links with professionals (dealers, resellers). For shipyards producing boats, the Boot is a bit like the METS (trade fair for equipment manufacturers held in Amsterdam and reserved for professionals).
This was explained by Frédéric Buléon, a salesman for ProMarine, a semi-rigid brand, who was able to meet Corsican dealers in Germany! It is also here that Tiwal was able to build up its reseller network several years ago.
For Florian Coroller, Rhéa Marine's export manager, the Boot is also an opportunity to "to have ideas for innovation and trends, both in the stands and in the boat fittings." It's been between 15 and 20 years that the rochelais shipyard is present in Germany, just like Led Concept or Walder on the equipment side.
The Wrighton shipyard, which produces the famous Bi-Loup, was also making its big comeback in Germany since the takeover of the company "The opportunity for us to (re)make ourselves known to a European clientele."
In terms of the light sailing area, only two exhibitors felt that the number of visitors had been falling for two years.
A much more technical and qualified clientele
In Düsseldorf, visitors come to buy! Except on weekends, when there are many onlookers who come to dream a little while visiting boats, during the week, contracts are signed! This is the case of ProMarine, which had sold 5 boats during the first 5 days of the German show, or of XO Boats, which presented two world firsts and which had already sold 2 units each after only half of the show. The same goes for Sea Ray, or even the biggest units, like Absolute.
At Croix du Sud Marine (equipment), we noticed a greater technicality of the customers, who know their boat better than the French "In Paris, we avoided presenting certain products that were too technical, whereas here they are perfectly suitable."
A living room where you can sell
The reproach everyone makes in Paris? Visitors cannot give themselves gifts at the fair and cannot leave with their purchases at the end of the visit. In Düsseldorf, the problem does not arise because no matter which hall, everyone can sell. A big plus for OEMs! "On some products, we were robbed, we didn't have enough stock!" explains Croix du Sud Marine. Like all German fairs, the Boot is a fair where people sell.
Clothing manufacturers benefit from a showroom by major brands in hall 11, as well as for large equipment manufacturers' platforms (Compass, AW...). And you just have to go into Hall 12, just behind the partition (and therefore not have to cross the entire hall) to access the sales stands.
So that Paris can return to its place of great nautical celebration?
It's a secret of polichinelle, the Nautic de Paris has dropped a lot as well in terms of exhibitors, animations as visitors. And many exhibitors suggested that from now on, they would prefer the Boot, even if it meant not attending the Paris show. Let's hope that the new organizer of this year's Paris boat show will be able to revitalize this sector and restore the appeal of this beautiful annual celebration that has so marked the pleasure and spirits of boaters... It's up to you, gentlemen, the organizers!