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Exclusive: Monaco Yacht Show Director Gaëlle Tallarida reveals more about show plans

Events
Written by
Laura Nicholls

The pressure is on for show organisers to share more about their pending plans for this year’s live yachting events. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve, and in some parts of the world, ease up, new regulations come with new potential. Following last week’s news of SYBAss and LYBRA announcing their decision to not partake in the 2020 Monaco Yacht Show, the MYS team reacted yesterday with a statement confirming the event will go ahead, with a non-profit plan. Keen to find out more, Laura Nicholls spoke with the show’s director, Gaëlle Tallarida, who shared some useful insights into the organisation of this year’s show.Monaco Yacht Show 2019 Day 2Photo: Charl van Rooy / SuperYacht TimesMany in the industry would like to know the status of the show, not just to influence their decision to attend or participate, but for health and safety reasons. Why has there been limited information about this year's show?

We are continuing to have many meetings with the Principality of Monaco, as we do every year to work on various aspects of the show, but especially now, as the reality of last week is so different this week. As the pandemic continues to change and evolve, it is, of course, difficult to announce anything too far in advance. We are organising the event on a time frame that is no different from previous years. In our past communications we didn't announce the list of attending yachts until mid-July and the show layout in August, so our organisation this year will be very similar in this regard.

However, as we all know, circumstances are different this year and we have redefined the deadline for confirming whether the show will run or not, which is now 20 July. It is totally understandable that everyone would like more details, but nobody knows what will happen with this pandemic, so we are coping with the uncertainty whilst still working on all aspects of the show. Our commitment to the industry is to deliver a show as we do every year - but the scale will be different, for sure. Monaco Yacht Show 2019Photo: Charl van Rooy / SuperYacht TimesYesterday, the Monaco Yacht Show announced that the show will be a non-profit event. How will this work? 

This decision was already taken some weeks ago and we were going to make the announcement in June, but we received a lot of requests following the news of SYBAss and LYBRA’s withdrawal. We are working with the Principality of Monaco to deliver a platform for the industry without making any profit and have adapted the financial measures for participation. I have made calculations on the assumed size of the show and after evaluating the costs - which remain high as we still require large tents and space for social distancing - we have reduced the price for attending exhibitors.

We communicated to all exhibitors as of yesterday that we have revised the financial aspect of the show for them and shared more precise information about the show. The feedback I have received so far is varied, as each situation is unique to the exhibiting company. Some say it is good news and helps their decision, others still want to wait until June and a few say it is already too late to attend as their product has been delayed. Overall, I have found that the price of exhibiting isn’t the only factor affecting a company’s decision to attend. Much is dependent on each company’s marketing strategy, what products they want to show and what clients they can bring to Monaco. Exhibitors have a lot of freedom and choose which space they want, and we always respond to the individual needs of the exhibitor’s. Our aim is to build a platform for the exhibitors to take the opportunity to improve their business. Monaco Yacht Show 2019Photo: Charl van Rooy / SuperYacht TimesAre the show organisers willing to make a loss?

We don’t know if we will make a loss but we are taking the risk. If we have fewer exhibitors than we think, then we will have a loss. Usually, we have more than 500 exhibitors and at the moment, most still want to show but the majority will decide in three weeks when the pandemic regulations change - which are also critical aspects for the show’s organisation. The non-profit initiative is a commitment for the Principality of Monaco, Informa and the Monaco Yacht Show, which is why we took some time to work together and go over the details. Superyachts during the Monaco Yacht Show 2019Photo: Charl van Rooy / SuperYacht TimesWhat feedback are you getting from other visitors regarding their attendance? Will the costs for visitors also be reduced?

It is impossible to get all the answers regarding who will attend, and we respect the decision of anyone who decides not to come. Visitor fees may not be affected, as we want to keep the quality of the show high and be able to have some control over numbers. There are already some high-net-worth individuals coming back to the area, which is good news, plus we have very few COVID-19 cases in Monaco and citizens have been respecting the rules. The 2020 MYS will certainly be a unique show in a unique period.Monaco Yacht Show 2019 Day 2Photo: Charl van Rooy / SuperYacht TimesWith a lot of the social aspect of the show taken away as a result of social distancing, do you think this will have a detrimental effect on the show?

These events are possible but are something we have to analyse with the authorities and in coherence with the regulations that are in place - which is dependent on the evolution of the pandemic. This year, the ambience may not be so orientated around parties and champagne. It may be more of a business-focused and somewhat low-profile show. Let's remind ourselves that people do not come to the show just to socialise, they come to speak with professionals, see new innovations and products. Monaco Yacht Show 2019 Day 2Photo: Charl van Rooy / SuperYacht TimesCan you tell me more about Informa’s AllSecure document?

We're currently working on adapting Informa's AllSecure health and safety standard to the specific setting of the MYS, which will also include complying with all local health and sanitation measures of the Principality of Monaco. We have to work with both entities - the results of which will be announced in a few weeks time. The Monaco Yacht Show doesn’t work in reaction to what other events are doing - but I am sure all live events are experiencing the same issues we have. The team and I have the aim to have no regrets and say that we have remained committed to working on delivering the best platform for the industry.

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