September flew by in a storm of yacht shows, bringing together many industry leaders and flagship products and services – the links in the nautical anchor chain – that fuel businesses across the superyacht sector.
I managed to meet face-to-face with people at Cannes and Monaco, and heard feedback from Southampton and Genoa shows.
Is anyone else equally motivated and exhausted, and planning on buying new shoes this month?
✅ 5 key takeaways from September yacht shows:
- STICK TO YOUR VALUES: My day job as a marketing consultant and copywriter means I have to be chameleon-like and skilled at adopting different tones/brand voices for clients at yacht shows (it’s not impossible, but you need the right fit). Just because a company has multiple global offices does not equate to treating its staff, media guests, and freelancers well. Don’t promise anything if you can’t deliver it. If you stuff up, be accountable and fix it immediately.
- SMALL BUSINESSES & FREELANCERS ARE VALID ECONOMY GENERATORS: It was invigorating speaking with many people who shared their challenges and transformations running a small business or being self-employed. This year, I had clients who were managing 100+ guests for a cocktail party, presenting roundtables about yachting innovation, and diving into shining a light on common issues in the yachting industry. Small businesses are alive and kicking. Freelancers are little gems of inspiration and a reality check for the rollercoaster of getting, maintaining, and keeping clients.
- SUGGESTIONS: Three suggestions I’d like to see:
- A dedicated spa, wellness, and health exhibition zone: Targeted at manufacturers and suppliers for high-end spa and wellness. You could pull in gym suppliers, spa designers, luxury toiletries, and so on. Also, a good opportunity for awareness of crew-specific companies and initiatives focused on mental health, fitness, and well-being onboard.
- More cohesion with destination providers: I feel the layout for tourism and destination providers is disjointed – one exhibitor was located beside a paint supplier and marine stabiliser company. It makes sense to theme luxury travel providers, tourism boards, and private aviation in one zone.
- Marine education and conservation for the next-gen: I feel this is a missed opportunity and think we need to kickstart this. There is no family-friendly element at all to share knowledge and inspire the next generations – educational marine conservation workshops for kids, boating terminology for budding sailors, and highlighting philanthropic causes in place globally. This could be a wonderful opportunity to grow awareness with young people, especially with Monaco being part of the Pelagos Sanctuary for Mediterranean Marine Mammals, and the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco being on the doorstep of one of the world’s busiest yacht shows. What are we doing to ensure future generations are engaged socially and environmentally aware of our planet and oceans?
- BALANCING NETWORKING WITH SOCIALISING: The schedule at boat shows can be exhausting from early morning conferences to late night parties. I’ll be honest and admit I’m partial to a glass or two of rosé, however, this year, I noticed events were heavily angled toward alcohol consumption, and for industry acquaintances who are teetotallers, recovering alcoholics, or with health considerations there was a distinct lack of non-boozy events. As well, some events had eyebrow-raising entertainment and we must stay mindful that our guest lists can include international clientele who may be culturally sensitive to nudity.
- GRATITUDE FOR FEEDBACK: Most of all, I appreciate the genuine feedback that people shared with me about my LinkedIn posts. I’ve always been willing to push the edge of topics and it’s great to hear that the unbridled content I post gets people talking and sharing.
During September, people asked me to publish more marketing videos for social media. I haven’t really bothered to create videos featuring myself as I focus so much on clients, but you have to give the people what they want!
I especially didn’t want these videos to be overdone and too polished as that is not my style at all. I want to eliminate marketing jargon and give quick tips in less than 2 minutes as that’s more relatable for the clients I work with. One take and it’s done.
The biggest challenge has been the video caption apps not understanding my Kiwi accent 😂
💡 If you missed my mini-series of videos that share marketing and communication tips that will make your life easier regarding public relations, boat show marketing, and other social media advice you can find them on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/antibesyachting
Read the Monaco Yacht Show 2023 review here on Luxury News Online: https://luxurynewsonline.com/monaco-yacht-show-2023-an-insiders-guide/