Nautic 2017, the first hot review of the Paris boat show

Nautic 2017

As the boats leave the gate of Versailles and the organisation delivers its 1st figures, BoatIndustry draws a portrait of the 2017 edition of the Nautic, through the testimonies of professionals met in the aisles.

Nautic Festival happy with its 1st edition

The objective was announced at the opening press conference of the Nautic 2017, to exceed 200,000 visitors. The organizer, Nautic Festival, even hopes to increase this figure to 250,000 within 3 years. The 2017 edition fulfils this part of the contract with"a good progression in ticketing" and"more than 200,000 visitors", according to the press release at the end of the show. Even if this beautiful frequentation was not really felt in the aisles, in particular the first Sunday, the day after the opening day with spaces, as the hall of the equipment, very little visited.

But beyond the attendance, the Nautic 2017 was the first edition of the Nautic Festival era, the entity created in 2016 by the Fédération des Industries Nautiques to take back in hand the organization of its show. Many new features have been announced and implemented. However, the visitor will have witnessed a change in continuity... Evolutions, but no revolution, each one kept its usual places. We interviewed professionals and visitors during our meetings in the aisles to gather their feelings. The returns are mixed.

Well accompanied but always expensive

When asked about the preparation of the exhibition, exhibitors generally welcome a good quality of support in the preparation of stands. "Having a single, identified contact within the Spat, without multiplying people and invoices, was practical," explains Luc Joëssel of the North Sails sailmaker. On the other hand, prices are still as high indicates a site owner. "We were told that with the former organizer the prices were too high, but they remain the same. My stand cost me exactly the same price this year!"

Small shipyards and motor boats in need of recognition

If the FIN insisted on the importance of motor boats and in particular outboards in the French pleasure fleet, the many small builders of the latter feel left out, as explained by the director of a semi-rigid boatyard. "Everyone enters through Hall 1 in the absence of good signage and to access the motor boats Hall 4 from the rest of the show, you have to cross outside escalators. In addition, the semi-rigid are scattered and after seeing Hall 2, visitors no longer look for us Hall 4."

In the same way, many small construction sites deplore the excessive importance taken by heavy goods vehicles in the sector, to the detriment of variety. "It's good to say that the boating industry is healthy because the leaders are doing well, but it's not necessarily good for everyone. Nevertheless, we must remain positive. There is a will to move forward and if there are not many of us in the 8-12m yachts, it's also a question of the market," says a site manager.

What objective in exhibiting in Paris?

According to FIN, approximately 25% of new boat sales in France take place each year at the Nautic. For many exhibitors, the main objective of the show is therefore sales. "However, with the proliferation of small regional fairs, people no longer go up to Paris. We have to go around France, which is a problem for small sites like us," explains Patrick Besnié of the Ateliers de la Gazelle des Sables. Some go so far as to consider Paris as a regional trade fair...

Other sites are coming to work on their image. For that, some would like to be able to innovate more, by gathering for example sail and engine on the same spaces.

The comparison between the Nautic and the Düsseldorf show in Germany in January is recurrent and many exhibitors admit without hiding it, that this German show is much more profitable for them. As we can see, exhibitors' expectations are numerous and the evolutions undertaken by the organisers will have to continue to hope to revitalise the attachment of French professionals to the Nautic.