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Gaëlle Tallarida: “We have become contact facilitators”

22 September 2018 - 16h23

Gaëlle Tallarida, Managing Director of the Monaco Yacht Show, makes the point that the requirements of visitors and exhibitors alike never cease evolving, and that the role of the MYS and its organizers adapts itself to these needs, while special attention is also being paid to security.

How is this new edition of the Monaco Yacht Show shaping up? What are the main innovations?

This is the 28th edition of the Monaco Yacht Show, but in actual fact, every edition is unique. We never stop evolving, and we are increasingly focusing on the end-client, and becoming a networking hub. Every year, some of the best-known shipyards in the world exhibit 120 exceptional superyachts, and launch 40 new models. The average length of these yachts is 49 metres. Over four days, owners, future purchasers and charterers and decision-makers from the pleasure boat and luxury sectors in general come to the Yacht Show. We arrange a shop window for 580 leading companies in the field: builders, suppliers, designers, luxury manufacturers and some of the best known brokerage houses, as well as private helicopters and planes and prestige automobiles. I would like to make it clear that we’re not looking to grow; our objective is to optimize the quality of our exhibitors. At the same time, we promote the event abroad, in particular during events of the same kind, with the message: “If you have to choose a date to come to Monaco, choose the period when the Yacht Show is on”. A lot of VIPs say they know Monaco or the Yacht Show without being really interested in yachting, but sometimes they end up chartering, or even buying.

As you know, there is another show at Fort Lauderdale, but it’s very different. I sincerely believe that we offer an exceptional meeting place. With regard to this year’s innovations, there are a number of them, some of which are aimed at improving our welcome for VIPs even more, while others will offer something extra to these same clients (exclusive cars at the Car Deck or Pavillon de l’Art, for example), not forgetting the satellite events such as the Monaco Yacht Summit or the Inaugural Gala Party.

 

© MC Clic

Has the progress with the works at Port Hercule made it easier to install your facilities? Is the offshore extension creating new constraints?

The works and the reorganization of the body of water inevitably have consequences for the organization of the Monaco Yacht Show, but we are working in very close collaboration with the Public Works Department so that we can reduce them as far as possible. Most of the time, the work schedule is organized in such a way as not to disturb the facilities. The works make it possible for the quality of the docks to be improved for visits by participants. They also provide for new electricity and water terminals that not all yachts had previously, and so the available services have been improved. As for the offshore extension, it currently has no impact on the show – it’s a reality for the Principality. In fact, we’re not worried about what happens outside Port Hercule.

 

Security lies at the heart of the concerns for any event. How do you manage it?

Security is a very important concern, obviously. The system for checking visitors on land at the entrance to the Yacht Show, which has been in the place for several years, was strengthened two years ago, as had the floating system, so that we can more effectively filter and identify the tenders arriving at the port and their passengers. The level of security will be increased again this year. We have 16 control points on land manned by agents with metal detection equipment. Naturally, we work in close collaboration with the government and the police. As regards Port Hercule, there is a barrier at the entrance. During the day, access is monitored by the Marine Police and the Department of Maritime Affairs, and there is no access at night (between midnight and 7:00 a.m.). In addition, all the boats must have a badge; otherwise they cannot enter the port. Also, drones are forbidden above the port, with the exception of those that belong to the company approved by the government.

 

Other security aspects that owners and yacht managers are sensitive about are these cyber-security of the boats and the benefits and risks of computer systems. Are you feeling the effects of this, for example with new exhibitors?

To tell the truth, people need to be aware that 85% of our exhibitors return from one year to the next, and that we select the remaining 15% very carefully. We follow market trends in all areas, and try to secure the best ones, and those that have been able to provide references from the sector, at the Monaco Yacht Show. Naturally, this allows us to guarantee the quality and viability of the exhibitor companies more effectively. To answer your question more precisely, I should say that telecommunications solutions on board superyachts have been developing over the past few years. The constraints of being connected on the open sea make it necessary to have ultra-specialized technology that takes the security of the on-board information systems into account. As far as protection systems are concerned, they are also being developed, but we haven’t yet seen any repercussions from this with regard to the arrival of new exhibitors. For now, we have one company, HGH Infrared System which is exhibiting its 360° infrared night-time and daytime technology solution for maritime surveillance (the infrared sensor automatically detects and monitors all kinds of threat that radar cannot pick up, such as wooden boats, drones and swimmers).

 

What about renewable energy, in particular solar power?

For now, this is not a current topic, because solar energy is either not used at all or only use a little on board superyachts, but I hope it will become important tomorrow.

 

How is the specialist trade show world developing globally? Is it a development that is modifying your strategy?

Our participants want a quicker return on their investment than before. Another development is that event organizers have to guarantee the most direct contact between a seller and the purchaser; this is the networking hub, as I told you before, and we are moving more and more towards one-on-one contacts. Every kind of exhibitor needs to be put in contact with its target. An equipment manufacturer needs to meet the purchase decision-maker. The broker needs to meet a yacht client. Is this a development of the Monaco Yacht Show’s strategy? Yes. We started this work five years ago so as to optimize the links between exhibitors and yachting end-clients at the Monaco Yacht Show. Ultimately, the whole industry depends on these final customers, who permit the market to live. The purchase of a yacht, its construction or even its location provide work for an entire work chain (designers, equipment manufacturers, crew managers, etc.). The Monaco Yacht Show makes it possible to attract new clients. We also have nearly 500 accredited journalists and television stations from around the world. This represents a considerable benefit for both exhibitors and the Principality. We have become contact facilitators. We should also note that on average, every visitor stays at the Monaco Yacht Show for three days, and spends the same number of nights in hotels in Monaco or nearby. Our objective is to stay one step ahead, and always do better next year.

 

Noël Mettey 

Photo ©Valeria Maselli

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