Innovation is at the heart of the annual Marine Equipment Trade Show (METS) held in Amsterdam, with thousands of visitors noting the innovative qualities of the show as the number one reason to return to the event each year.
This years show expects over 1,320 exhibitors in attendance, of which 220 are new companies from a global origin. With METS experiencing these substantially larger numbers of exhibitors and visitors than ever before in 2014, organisers have introduced the Innovation LAB concept, an onsite activity platform that offers increased attention to the exhibitors innovations, products and technologies.
Talking about the introduction of the Innovation Lab, METS Manager, Irene Dros, comments, “There are so many family run or smaller companies who don’t have the budget for all the big, huge marketing, or they don’t have the skills or expertise and strong branding of a new product. By introducing the Innovation LAB, it allows the innovation to grow, and gives it a face at the show. It brings people closer to all the innovative things that are in the market and at METS.”
Located in the Elicium building in the Amsterdam RAI, the Innovation LAB is built on six pillars. Firstly, the products nominated for the DAME award will be displayed in the entrance of the Holland Complex (halls 9-10-11). Each category will have an iPad presentation of the products offering visitors more background information. The DAME award category winners will be on display in the Elicium, again supported by virtual presentations and an explanation of the DAME jury decisions.
The third pillar of the Innovation LAB will be an Innovation Stage in the Elicium featuring a large AV screen and an open audience seating area, where visitors can drop in for new product presentation videos and interviews. All DAME winners will present their products and the stage will also see inspirational keynote speakers examining new technologies and insights on the future of the industry. The Innovation Stage will also host workshops, debates and presentations, all of which are free to attend.
The fourth pillar is the Innovation Newsroom, powered by IBI magazine. This media centre will be home to live interviews conducted by IBI, recorded and cut live by RAI film crews and shown on the large AV screen in the Innovation Stage. IBI’s roving reporters will also collect content about the show and its exhibitors, which will feature in the METS Daily News Bulletin distributed around the show each day.
Pillar five revolves around the Material Xperience area of the Construction Material Pavilion (CMP). Suppliers and experts from the global network Materia will display raw materials that they believe can add considerable value to the maritime sector. Last but not least, the final pillar of the Innovation LAB is the Innovation Café, where innovative sustainable catering will be served.
Irene Dros comments on the LAB, saying, “It’s just to inspire people with new, innovative ways of thinking. Futuristic thoughts about where the industry will go to. We have the display of raw materials which I really love, it’s really cool. We introduced it last year, and this year will be a total new display of 125 raw materials which are mostly uncommon in the boat and yacht building industry - it’s just to inspire everybody to use materials which we never would have even thought exists. You can touch it and feel it, and the experts on those raw materials are there to explain what you can do with all of those materials. It’s all about innovation.”