Interview with SO! Dalian founder, Delphine Lignieres

At least three years in the making, SO! Dalian is China’s only boating event in Northern China, with the first edition successfully held from the 3rd - 6th July. SuperYacht Times’ Merijn de Waard attended the show and had the pleasure of talking to show founder and organiser, Delphine Lignieres.

A relatively new market to the boating world, Lignieres discussed the importance of having a variety of events at the show, including the Beach Polo World Cup. “Today in China, you have to create a stimulation around the sea and boating. You have to still create the environment. People are not ready to just go to a boat show for one reason, because they don’t know enough about boats.” The intention is to introduce larger boats to the market and, as Lignieres states, “to continue to develop the industry the way it has been developed in other countries as well.

The city of Dalian in the northern part of China is an ideal location to host such an event, with many predominantly wealthy areas in this part of the country. Other Chinese boat shows have been established in the South, and Lignieres states that it’s interesting to see people in their own region.

SO! events are mainly dedicated to the world of boating and sailing, however, Lignieres has revealed that they are also planning on developing side events. “We have developed a classic car event, as well as a ski event. The connection among all of these things, actually, is that they are aimed at the same people. People going to the Mediterranean in the summer, they’re also going somewhere else in the winter. So the idea is try to develop a database here in China to be able to almost seduce people into the boating way of life.

In the future, ambitious Lignieres aims to expand the SO! yacht show elsewhere. “We’re planning to do something in Hong Kong and we’re planning to go back through another event, but not for superyachts, in Hainan as well. But for superyachts I would advise to be in Hong Kong, with SO! Hong Kong!

About SO!Dalian
The first international Yachting and Lifestyle Rendezvous in the north of China, SO! DALIAN, took place in Dalian from the 3rd - 6th July at the East Port Marina, one of north China’s best yachting facilities.

Located East of Beijing on Bohai Bay, Dalian is already the destination of choice for China’s northern elite, and the event hopes to bring another level of sophistication to the area.

By Merijn de Waard

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