BY APB Staff on 10 Jul 2019

The leading luxury yachting event, Monaco Yacht Show (Sep 25-28), will adopt strategies to target emerging superyacht clientele

The principality’s 29th Monaco Yacht Show (MYS) this year is to host its renowned private parties, cocktails and gala dinners, alongside the business meetings and press conferences that are expected to accompany more than 125 superyachts that average approximately 50 metres (164 feet) in length. Among these, about 40 vessels are new launches making worldwide debuts. In its 29th edition, this is quite an increase from the very first MYS event in 1991, when there were just 32 yachts moored in Port Hercules averaging 31 metres in length.

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(Photo: Monaco Yacht Show)

MYS is seen by many as a barometer for the state of the large yacht segment. When business is booming, there is a tremendous buzz among the yacht brokers and builders displaying and mingling at the dock. But in a sector still adapting to the aspirations of younger buyers and charterers, continued prosperity is not guaranteed and there is no room for complacency. So, as a proactive industry player MYS has embraced change to adopt strategies that deliberately target the emerging superyacht clientele. “We work to offer the most prestigious superyachting event to the new generation of customers,” confirms Gaëlle Tallarida, General Manager of MYS. “We offer visitors an entertaining and instructive plunge into the world of superyachts, while serving the interest of the industry … to encourage encounters between [potential] clients and the best players in the market.”

As the site is filled to capacity, occupying much of Port Hercules, there is little opportunity for physical growth in Monaco. Instead, show organisers are focusing on delivering the best platform for business and the most efficient solutions for exhibitors to liaise with clients. One area of improvement, is optimising the layout into thematic zones to provide more fluid circulation around the quays and tents, allowing visitors to concentrate on sectors of interest. The show has recently been prioritising its specific visitor profile. Positive feedback from exhibitors and partners following MYS 2018 suggests this strategy is having an impact. A drop in attendance by two per cent from 2017, reflects the drive towards a lower attendee density around the port, resulting in a more rewarding experience for prospective clients. Brokers and builders spoke of a higher proportion of visitors who were seriously intending to buy or charter, and suggested that shows targeting HNWIs should offer an experience in keeping with their lifestyles.

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(Photo: Monaco Yacht Show)

To this end The Sapphire Experience, a bespoke MYS programme, aims to enhance the experience of premium clients and help them take their first steps in the sometimes-bewildering world of luxury yachting. The programme includes a concierge service that coordinates private visits aboard displayed yachts, as well as a calendar of VIP events over four days. On the eve of the show, Sapphire Experience guests join a select list of industry influencers and luxury partners invited to attend the opening gala party, which includes the prestigious MYS Superyacht Awards Ceremony.

The annual Monaco Yacht Summit immediately prior to the show has become a key event for clients and their advisors looking to enter or better understand the world of yachting. The series of informative panel discussions with experts across the superyacht industry also presents attendees with the chance to meet specialists who can answer their questions regarding different aspects of yacht charters, purchasing, operations and ownership.

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(Photo: Monaco Yacht Show)

Alongside luxury yachting, the Car Deck exhibition of prestigious and one-off automobiles, some of which are available for test drives by prospective clients, has been a big hit with VIP visitors, regardless of age, for the last four years. And it’s adjacent to the Tenders and Toys area. Providing access to secluded bays, transits between the mother ship and dry land, or simply an exhilarating high-speed ride, tenders give a younger clientele their first taste of the superyacht experience. And the stable of water toys – from inflatables to electric surfboards and mini submarines – is always high on the list of priorities for sportsminded charter clients.

The Upper Deck Lounge, the official MYS lounge, bar and restaurant, has become a noted stop for clients seeking a relaxing and discreet opportunity to combine business with champagne and fine dining away from the crowded docks. Over two floors, its VIP Lounge is for exclusive use of Sapphire Experience guests, Monaco Yacht Summit attendees and yacht owners.

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(Photo: Monaco Yacht Show)

This year’s show introduces new opening hours: 11am to 7.30pm. By starting and closing later than in previous editions, the goal is to offer a timetable that corresponds better to the visiting times preferred by private clients. The new schedule will also allow more time earlier in the morning for business meetings, press conferences and media yacht visits.

Less about footfall and more about providing a quality service to the growing number of international visitors intending to purchase or charter a yacht, these initiatives are geared to help MYS maintain its global status as the superyacht show par excellence.