Frigibar President Shuly Oletzky has returned from Amsterdam after traveling to and exhibiting at METSTRADE 2015, the world’s largest marine equipment trade show. The show, which took place November 17-19 featured over 1,300 exhibitors from over 40 countries showcasing their products throughout nearly two-dozen pavilions. According to Boating Industry, overall attendance at METSTRADE 2015 was up 5.7 percent from 2014, which is a new record for the event.
This show was the first METSTRADE event for Oletzky and a truly unique experience. When asked how this show was different from the 100 or so she’s attended in the past, Oletzky said, “One of the biggest differences of this show outside of being in Amsterdam, which was amazing, is that this was a business-to-business show and not aimed at end-users like at the other shows we participate in.” At METS she got access to meet partners and companies from around the world that she may not have been able to otherwise.
“Businesses in this industry truly understand the product — they want a way to contact you in the future, learn how to partner together, and begin a conversation on how a relationship can be mutually beneficial.” There are businesses at every show, but the atmosphere of this show was unlike that of consumer-focused shows. “I think the focus of the attendees is much different because there is a big emphasis on networking and improving and growing their business.”
One of the highlights was meeting the founders of a company in Greece that frequently works with Frigibar freezers while doing maintenance and repairs. “Having the opportunity to understand how a completely different market perceives our products and how they perform in a different part of the world was extremely valuable information,” said Oletzky. Although many stopped by, the entrepreneurs and executives in attendance moved quickly as most of them had an agenda and specific strategies when maneuvering around the show.
Asked for her favorite part of the experience at the show, Oletzky said, “the access I had to meet representatives from the US Department of Commerce located in Europe. I had a few opportunities to spend some time with them and learn about the European market. The education I received from them was really valuable.”
When attending an event for the first time, it can be hard to know what to expect, but Oletzky felt right at home. “I didn’t know what to expect because it was my first year, and I was extremely surprised with how much support I received while at the show. As soon as I found my booth on set-up day my freight forwarder was there to confirm the delivery of our showpiece. Shortly following, my contact from Enterprise Florida stopped by and assisted me in getting acclimated. Within the next 20 minutes the North America sales representative from the RAI was also at the booth to check in on things. It was very comforting and helpful to have all of this support,” says Oletzky.
Frigibar and Shuly Oletzky will now take a short break from attending shows before gearing up for the Miami International Boat Show in early February (February 11-15).