Interview / "Cannes Yachting Festival is a quality show, not a luxury show."

Sylvie Ernoult, General Commissioner of the Cannes Yachting Festival

On the eve of the Cannes Yachting Festival, Sylvie Ernoult, general commissioner of the Cannes boat show, reminds BoatIndustry.com of the event's strategy, its prospects and its efforts towards exhibitors.

What are the main innovations developed by the Cannes Yachting Festival for exhibitors?

Sylvie Ernoult : More than innovations, we confirm the qualitative evolution of the show. Our goal is to always offer a better service to exhibitors, with in particular a better quality of finish of the spaces. This year, the spaces of the south pier have been modified to better meet the expectations of professionals. We continue to open ourselves to a qualitative clientele that goes beyond boat enthusiasts, thanks to the"luxury gallery" and more lifestyle content. We need to consolidate this visitor base. Nevertheless, we are not a luxury salon, there are not only superyachts. The living room isn't just for billionaires. The Cannes Yachting Festival is not the Monaco boat show! We are careful to keep room for small boats. Our objective is to be qualitative, on boats from 2m80 to 65m.

What changes have you noticed in the profile of exhibitors and boats presented at the Cannes Yachting Festival 2017?

Sylvie Ernoult : The first observation is an increase in the number of exhibitors, which is obviously satisfactory. There are a little fewer boats this year. We are increasing from 630 to 600 boats on display, mainly for reasons of increased safety requirements and growing average boat size. We are working to find new spaces in the Canto harbour to accommodate more boats in the future.

There is no major change in the proportion of foreign exhibitors, which remains at around 60%. The good health of the Italian yachting industry is confirmed with a strong transalpine contingent. We continue to keep room for small newcomers, who bring creativity and variety.

Have you faced a more important security problem in the current context? What impact does it have on the budget?

Sylvie Ernoult : Safety is always given priority. We have already been working for one year on the 2017 exhibition. This year we are benefiting from direct coordination with the prefecture, while continuing to work with the city of Cannes and the port authorities. Security isn't just vigipirate. There are also the fire risks and the evacuation of the port, on which we are working with the port of Cannes and the crews. It is difficult to give a budget between direct and indirect costs, but it is constantly increasing each year, because it is a number one priority.

What are your expectations in terms of visitors?

Sylvie Ernoult : As every year, we have made a major global investment in a media plan whose impact we estimate at around ?1.4 million. We are increasingly targeting lifestyle media. We have no indicators to predict attendance reliably, but the best indicator of the success of the show is the return of our exhibiting customers, and therefore visitors buyers.

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