The final day of the Singapore Yacht Show 2014 saw a highly successful event closing on happy exhibitors celebrating more high-quality visitors and more leads than ever before, with many reported sales.
Around 14,000 public and trade visitors from all over Asia attended the event, which featured a total of 96 watercraft, from jet skis and tenders to luxury motorboats and elegant super yachts, covering a total area some 50% bigger than last year's show.
Managing Director of organisers Singapore Yacht Events, Andy Treadwell, said, 'These numbers clearly demonstrate that people in this region are increasingly enthusiastic about boating. The feedback we have had from our exhibitors and sponsors shows that everybody now sees the Singapore Yacht Show as Asia's number one event for the global yachting industry.'
Brokers, builders, marine industry brands and lifestyle exhibitors alike all reported having a truly excellent show with impressive numbers of highly qualified visitors expressing serious interest.
Charlie Birkett, CEO of first-time exhibitors Y.Co, which jointly represented the 67m S/Y Vertigo, said that he was very pleased with the interest they had received over the event. 'This show is fantastic and we are very happy to be here. We’ve seen a lot of people who have shown interest in s/y Vertigo, the star of the show, which we are presenting here for charter. We take this region really seriously.'
Mike Simpson, CEO of Simpson Marine, Asia's largest and longest-established yacht broker and dealer, agreed: 'The sun has been shining on a fantastic show that is packed with boats. It’s very interesting to see how the show has developed over the last few years since it was started. We see this as the key show for the region.'
Many of the biggest and best-known yacht builders in the world were in attendance. Michael Breman, Sales Director of Lürssen Yachts, builder of m/y Azzam, at 180m the world's biggest yacht, commented: 'Singapore is the hub for a larger region so it is a good backdrop to have an event like this where you can show your brand to the affluent. For Lürssen, the Singapore Yacht Show is the cornerstone in the building of [our] brand awareness in Asia'.
Other world-leading shipyards echoed Breman's views. Burak Akgül, Managing Director of Perini Navi Group, was also enthusiastic about the potential for the big yards in Asia: 'This first occasion that we’re at the Singapore Yacht Show is a great opportunity. We’ve had some interesting appointments made, with some very recognisable names, [for] introducing the Picchiotti and Perini Navi products.'
While the superyachts draw much of the attention, being highly visible and inspirational, and therefore a seriously important part of the 'educational' aspect of developing the industry in Asia, it is in the smaller production boat sector that the builders can expect to see most rapid growth and uptake. Leading players in this arena were also highly impressed with SYS 2014. 'I have been to many boat shows all around the world, and this particular show has grown tremendously in size and there is huge potential here. We have been very happy with the clients that we have been talking to', commented Alister Brunksill, Princess South East Asia.
The show organisers also ran the Asia Pacific Yachting Conference (APYC), a yachting industry forum, as part of the event, as well as a ‘Captains Lounge’, where business to business networking was the order of the day. Chief Executive of Superyacht Australia MaryAnne Edwards, which sponsored both of the aforementioned, was impressed: 'Over four years, the Singapore Yacht Show will have quadrupled and I think that now, it is really becoming the superyacht show in Asia.'
Alexander Tesch, MD of MTU Asia, which co-sponsored the APYC and Captains Lounge with Superyacht Australia and Sevenstar Yacht Transport, added: 'For MTU, the Singapore Yacht Show is a very good showcase for what we can offer here in this region. The event has grown every year and we believe it is the strongest show here in Asia. We are very happy to be part of it and we hope to see it continue to expand over the coming years.'
Complementary lifestyle and industry services exhibitors also commended the quality of visitors at the show. Andreas Arnold, head of key account management at Luxaviation Group, one of the show's main sponsors this year, said: 'We have had great feedback, especially in charter, but also in aircraft management solutions from the whole of South East Asia.' His CEO, Barth Foucart, Luxaviation, added: 'The reason we partner with the Singapore Yacht Show is that the public looking for this type of boats, is the same market we are targeting for private jet flights'.
While yachting and boating was naturally the main focus for the show, it would be impossible to ignore the enormous enthusiasm for supercars and fashion in Singapore and the wider region. Making special appearances over the weekend, local car owner clubs for Ferrari and Lamborghini put on crowd-drawing convoys of over 30 and 20 vehicles respectively. And the complementary luxury lifestyle elements continued with fashion shows from Camilla by Wattletree, JOG Swimwear and White Moon. To ensure VIPs arrived and departed in style befitting the show, BMW provided a courtesy car service, taking guests practically from doorstep to passarelle.
Karl Hamann, Singapore CEO of insurance provider QBE said he had thoroughly enjoyed his first year of partnering the Singapore Yacht Show: 'The show has completely surpassed expectations and is a true testament to the growth potential in the industry.' SYS organisers have already been inundated with enquiries from potential exhibitors and sponsors hoping to get involved in next year’s show. 'It's going to be bigger, and - most importantly - better,' said MD Andy Treadwell.