A week before the Cannes Yachting Festival, the general commissioner of the back-to-school nautical event, Sylvie Ernoult, answers BoatIndustry's questions about its organisation and developments.
What are the main trends in the profile of exhibitors for the Cannes Yachting Festival 2018?
To start with, there are always more exhibitors. We went from 528 companies last year to 542 this year. And what is important is that we keep the one-third share of new exhibitors. It is important for us to always leave room for new people. This makes it possible to keep up with developments in the nautical industry, in areas such as foils with Princess, Enata or Seair, or Rainboat with electric motors. We leave space for small structures while keeping the large exhibitors. All the big names in the world of boating between 5 and 50 meters are there. Sailing also remains very present and catamarans continue to grow.
What communication actions have you carried out? Which visitor profile do you target?
There is no radical change. We continued international communication, with more and more actions towards lifestyle media to broaden the scope of the people affected. We are opening up to important generalist media, which consolidates the show's place in the world yachting landscape.
What are the developments in the exhibition spaces?
The toys, which attract a lot of visitors, have all been moved to Port Canto, in order to prepare for the upcoming developments in 2019 which will be unveiled at the opening of the 2018 edition. We are developing access to Port Canto and continue to expand the luxury gallery, reserved for luxury products outside the nautical sector, at the request of customers.
What is the exhibition's pricing policy for exhibitors?
As has been the case for several years, the rate per square metre is maintained, keeping pace with inflation. It is a choice, and I am happy about it, despite a greater demand that would allow us to increase prices. This is a reasonable and consistent policy in relation to our positioning with regard to other boat shows.
Are there any changes in the organization of sea trials?
We are trying to normalize things with the objective of making operations safer and more fluid. There will now be fixed crossing opening hours at which boats will have to report. This will prevent them from waiting and clinging to a situation that could be risky. In addition, equipment has been reinforced and operators trained to avoid breakdowns such as the one encountered last year (Editor's note: which led to the closure to traffic for more than half a day.)