Cannes Yachting Festival, Reed responds to accusations by Annette Roux

Entrance to the Cannes Yachting Festival

On the eve of the opening of the Cannes Yachting Festival 2017, tensions are palpable about the organisation of the Cannes Yachting Festival. Annette Roux, president of the show, gets involved in the organization, which answers in the columns of BoatIndustry.com

Open letter from Annette Roux

On Sunday 10 September 2017, two days before the opening of the Cannes Yachting Festival, Annette Roux, president of the Cannes boat show, but also former president of the Fédération des Industries Nautiques and the Bénéteau group, published an open letter (see the full text at the end of the article) denouncing the attitude of the organiser, Reed Exposition. While the dispute between Reed Exposure and FIN Annette Roux, who is currently before the courts on the organisation of the Cannes Yachting Festival, draws a parallel with the situation encountered by FIN 40 years ago with the former organiser of the Paris Boat Show. She is especially angry against her non-invitation to the gala evening to be held with exhibitors to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Cannes event. She criticizes Reed Exposition's"inelegance" and its"indifference towards the men and women who made this show". Although she no longer has an operational position at FIN, this statement is not made to appease the relationship between FIN and Reed Expo.

Annette Roux

Reed Expo's response

Contacted by BoatIndustry.com, Michel Filzi, president of Reed Exposition, said he regretted the situation, while confirming that he had not invited Annette Roux:"I thought the war of the past communiqués and I note with immense regret that it is not so. Apart from an attempt at destabilization, I do not fully understand the purpose of such a letter on the eve of the event. Madame Roux mixes the history of the Paris show with that of Cannes. Moreover, there is no statutory presidency, contrary to its communiqué. This year, the honorary presidency was given to Jacqueline Bourey, the founder, with the objective of bridging the gap with the 40th anniversary of the Cannes Yachting Festival. On our side, we focus on the opening of the show, completely separating the organization of the event and the legal dispute with the FIN.

Michel Filzi

Basics for the future?

We would prefer to retain, in the interest of boating professionals and leaving aside conflicts, the second part of this sentence from Annette Roux's open letter, describing the past to predict the future:"This period was violent: exhibitors were under influence, indisposed by legal actions, press releases from one and the other, but this crisis will lay the foundations for the future The violence of the words is unfortunately already there, remains to lay the foundations...

Full text of Annette Roux's open letter

L´histoire is definitely repeating itself!

Forty years ago we could read in the nautical industries magazine:"... the many problems relating to the Federation's relations with the technical organiser of the show (in Paris)... leave the impression to the profession that it controls the event less and less, whereas paradoxically it is the legitimate owner, which some still ignore. We know the origin of this unease: the denunciation of the contract binding the Federation to its contractor... The Federation, in expressing its intention to withdraw from this contract, has been under threat of a scorched earth policy... ». [1]

We were in 1976 / 77.

2017 is an anniversary year!

The professional federation that is FIN was born to defend the interests of its members and promote boating, first in boat shows.

Because boat shows are in our business"a necessary evil" for reasons that we all know. To not be there is to no longer exist. However, their cost must remain affordable for all.

To achieve its objectives, the profession, at least for Paris and Cannes, called on organizers and service providers from the outset.

But then, why this anger in 1977 of the President of the FIN, Michel Nivelt, leading him after agreement of his Council to denounce the contract of the technical organizer - the SPODEX - that she herself had chosen? Because he had noticed that SPODEX, directed by Jean Dayné, was getting rich at the expense of the profession[2]

This period was violent: the exhibitors were under influence, indisposed by legal actions, press releases from one another, but this crisis will lay the foundations for the future.

Jean Dayné will transfer to OIP, founded by Jean-Pierre Jouët, his client files, his expertise and his main collaborator Jacqueline Bourey.

Jean-Pierre Jouët loves above all the profession. A builder himself, then founder and first President of FIN, he shares the same ambition and values as the Federation.

Perfectionist and fearing that OIP could not carry out our two shows, Paris and Cannes, he will gracefully cede the organization of the latter to Jacqueline Bourey, who will create his own company, SEPA.

The Fédération des Industries Nautiques will then have two great professionals to develop its shows. But as time passes, they will have to"pass the hand.

OIP will then become Reed-OIP, and SEPA, Reed-SEPA. The personal bond of trust that FIN and the organisers of its exhibitions have forged will continue until 2016, the date of its break-up and the correlative birth of the current crisis.

The company Reed, which is organising this year's Cannes Motor Show, has chosen to invite exhibitors to a prestigious evening to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Motor Show.

On the grounds that it is in conflict with the Federation of the Nautical Industries, it distances it from the organization of this event and forgets quite simply to invite me, whereas I remain statutorily the only President of this Show.

Beyond the inelegance, I see there the expression of an indifference towards the men and women who made this show.

To commemorate is to remember without false pretence, in truth and humbly.

In its current version, the Show is the result of a fruitful exchange between the Mayor of Cannes, Bernard Cornut-Gentille, and the directors of FIN, Michel Nivelt, its President, Claude Deburaux, its Vice-President in charge of the Cannes Show and Stéphane Flachon, President of the Chambre Syndicale Méditerranéenne.

FIN's project was to create a trade fair complementary to the one in Paris. While the city provides its support and takes charge of the technical organization of the show, the Federation administers, chairs and animates the show, its admission committee and its organizing committee. It is she who proposes to the city to take SPODEX as a marketer.

It is thanks to them, their successors and their collaborators that we owe the success of this show. In addition to Jacqueline Bourey, whose professionalism we have always underlined, for the city we must salute the action of Georges Charles Ladeveze and Anne-Marie Dupuy, Mayors of Cannes, Georges Dufour their deputy, Jean Pierre Odéro, and more recently that of Bernard Brochand and David Lisnard, whom I had the pleasure of welcoming again last year.

For the Federation, I would like to recall the action of Claude Deburaux, pursued by Jacques Girardin, Vice-President of FIN and Municipal Councillor of Cannes and Delegate for Boating. I am also thinking of Michel Richard, who inaugurated him six times as Chairman of FIN, as well as Tibor Sillinger and Nic Johansen, who led its Organizing Committee, particularly at the time when I myself was Chairman of FIN.

To deny today, as Reed does, the decisive action of all these professional leaders and managers is not only an untruth, the mark of a profound ignorance of what our industry is, but also an insult to the past, the present and the future.