This message should be delivered at 11:30hrs CET on Monday 16th November 2020, exactly one year after I last stood on stage and delivered a welcome keynote address at The Superyacht Forum in Amsterdam. How things have changed…
Thanks to the Pandemic, we now have virtual awards ceremonies. And on that note, congratulations to all of the winners at the World Superyacht Awards last Friday. We also have a myriad of TV shows and talk shows of varying levels in quality, combined with the plethora of group Zoom meetings, virtual conferences and other digital experiences, dominating our screens and eating up our bandwidth. I suppose we’re all experimenting to see what grabs the attention span of our customers and clients.
Last month, I was able to fly to Italy and met with a client who was very direct in her line of questioning. She asked what we’d been doing and what are we doing, in light of the Pandemic, to keep our audience engaged and connected with our virtual channels. I answered, very politely, that behind the scenes we have been very busy with a vast array of projects. And more importantly, explained that we have been observing the market to see what worked and what we could improve upon. It’s because, I explained, we don’t just want to follow the herd and appear to copy other formats.
It triggered my thought process, and I decided that it would be good to share with the market, on the day I typically address our Superyacht Forum delegates, a State of the Market message to explain what we have been doing and what we’re going to be doing in the future – supplemented with a few comments on where I think the market is heading.
What have we been doing?
Essentially, since the impact of COVID-19, we have been focusing our attention on publishing hundreds of salient news and topical opinion pieces on SuperyachtNews.com and producing two powerful issues of The Superyacht Report, the Captains edition and the Buyer edition, both of which can be read in digital format by clicking on the relevant link. In addition to our media activities, our team has been incredibly busy with a whole raft of Intelligence Consultancy projects for a core list of major investors, industry players and shipyards.
Obviously, the biggest impact from the pandemic, was the imposed postponement of our various events and Forums. Since 1st July, we have been creating a series of One to One conversations, with many of the industry’s business leaders, innovators and investors. These “Digital Dialogues” have continued over the past few months and will continue into the first half of 2021, with a target of 200 conversations to be broadcast. These sessions will inform and guide the debates and topics for our virtual and physical programme for the new format of The Superyacht Forum Live.
Due to the recent EU-wide lockdown, our physical programme has obviously been delayed, but as soon as we can get on the road, we promise to deliver something really interesting and highly engaging. If you haven’t registered for updates please follow this link.
What are we going to do next?
As we start today, reminiscing about our times in Amsterdam and missing our physical social network, I thought it would be good to give you a heads-up re. imminent plans and future plans. In addition to our own virtual meetings and discussion groups that will emerge over the next few weeks, I will be on virtual stages in three different locations. This week, at the Balearic Virtual Yacht Show, on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; then next week, at The YARE Virtual Networking event, with our Superyacht Captains Forum Live; and then in December, I will be part of the METSTRADE Connect workshop programme.
All these cameo appearances will position our portfolio as market leaders in the supply of relevant insight and intelligence and are designed to share topics, ideas, opinions and information to be further broadcast via SuperyachtNews.com and via The Superyacht Forum Live. Once we can get out of the UK and start touring Europe, we will deliver our live filming strategy from all of the major superyacht hubs and bring our industry back together with relevant conversations and innovative formats. I think you’re going to like it and I’m sure many of you will play a starring role.
In addition to building a new archive and library of virtual sessions and these dynamic on-demand debates, our team are focusing on 2021 and our information and intelligence strategy. In addition to our six editions of our market-leading magazine, The Superyacht Report, we are investing in our digital platforms to ensure that our audience can rely on SuperyachtNews.com as a central source of business-critical advice, valuable insights and intelligent information. Our core objective is to educate, inform and guide the decision makers, influencers and advisors in the superyacht arena, so that the end users, be they owners or charterers, get the best value and experience out of this floating real estate. This triangle of products - The Superyacht Report, SuperyachtNews.com and The Superyacht Forum Live will work in absolute harmony over the coming year, to ensure that anyone who matters in the superyacht arena, recognises that our intelligence, insight and information, is the most valuable in the market.
Where is the market heading?
So that leads me on to the final question: where are we heading? Over the next two weeks, at both the Balearic Yacht Show and the YARE Networking event, I will deliver two keynote sessions, both entitled ‘The State of the Market’. During these presentations, I intend to share my candid opinions and ideas for the future; don’t worry if you miss them, as you will be able to see them on demand on SuperyachtNews.com.
It is clear that the Pandemic has been a wakeup call, a reset button and a time for reflection for the superyacht market, in equal measure. However, what is most interesting is the attention the virus has drawn from the world’s ultra-wealthy, towards yachting assets and the exclusive and private lifestyle they deliver. There are some cautionary notes and a few caveats, but I am hugely optimistic that if our industry works together with initiatives like SuperyachtLife and the Water Revolution Foundation, our potential buyers will see our industry in a new light. If you also bring into the equation, future innovations in the world of yacht shows, and the improved transparency of the buyer journey, via The Superyacht Buyer Report, the 75,000 potential owners and charterers may realise what yachting and ownership can deliver, especially if you approach it with open eyes and good governance.
While we have all endured and encountered unprecedented times in our market’s history, I am optimistic that our future is bright. But as I discussed with the guys from Vripack in our One to One conversation, we have to make it a little more exciting, relevant and interesting for those new clients, so it makes sense to them.
Watch this space. There are some interesting things on our horizon and I am looking forward to the New Year already.
All the best and stay safe
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