This year's Monaco Yacht Show 2020 is going ahead even though its biggest exhibitors won't be there.

Stubborn organisers say they are going ahead with the Monaco Yacht Show 2020 despite the biggest brands not attending.

Monaco Yacht Show 2020
Monaco [Image by Marie Schneider from Pixabay]

Today my news feeds are blowing up with the announcement that the Monaco Yacht Show 2020 will still be going ahead.

Why is this newsworthy? To understand that, we need to go back a week to 18th May.

On 18th May, Boat International reported that 21 of  the world’s biggest superyacht builders and 8 of the biggest brokers had formed a group calling itself SYBAss (Super Yacht Builders Association) (Yes the Ass bit is unfortunate) and LYBRA (the Large Yacht Brokers Association). This means that the likes of Lürssen, Heesen and Feadship wouldn’t be attending. Not good.

The group made headlines because they’d issued a statement that they would not be participating in this year’s Monaco Yacht show. This was, they said, due to safety concerns relating to Covid, and also cost concerns. They feared that the return on their (substantial) investment required to be at the show, would be insufficient due to global travel restrictions as a result of the Covid pandemic.

Alright, that’s fair enough but if you thought that it all sounds very corporate-y and not all that interesting, you’d be right.

The juicy comments come later on in the statement. 

Monaco Yacht Show 2020
Heesen 55m yacht 'Vida'. [Image:]

A celebration of wealth

They begin by calling the show ‘a celebration of wealth’ that is inappropriate given the suffering around the global pandemic. But it doesn’t stop there. 

The statement uses the opportunity to take a big fat stab at the show organisers – a company called Informa -who they accuse of being ‘an organizer that has consistently refused to listen to the voices of its most important players – the exhibitors’.

So with that in mind, we have today’s announcement from Informa that the show is going ahead, even though the biggest names in the industry won’t be there. 

Informa says that the show will now instead go ahead as a nonprofit event ‘dedicated to supporting the speedy recovery of the industry post COVID-19.’ Whatever that means.

The statement says the event will be ‘carefully staged’ via a sat of ‘enhanced safety measures’ for a ‘safe and controlled environment’. And in case you were thinking it, I’ll say it: Wtf does that even mean?

We're having our show and we don't care what you think

The statement strangely ignores the fact that the show’s biggest exhibitors will not be attending. Also ignored: The problems that most of us around the world are dealing with (protip: it doesn’t include worrying about superyachts). Instead, the statement emphasises that the superyacht industry needs to be supported to recover asap. So basically, ‘Waa waa we are celebrating our superyachts whether you like it or not’.

Now don’t get me wrong. If you want to attend a superyacht show, more power to you. In fact I’d probably be a bit jealous. And if you wanted to organise a superyacht show, I mean I’d have my opinions but I’d let you get right along.

But pressing ahead with your show even after the real drawcard exhibitors have pulled out is illogical. And then justifying it using vapid excuses about helping the industry recover when the industry itself disagrees with you, makes it 10x worse. It makes you look stubborn and childish.

Al Lusail. [Image:]


The Monaco Yacht Show 2020 without its biggest exhibitors, is likely to be a strange affair that I look forward to reading more about. Whether it will draw the same kinds of crowds as before, particularly considering the Covid pandemic, remains to be seen. And of course, whether the exhibitors who DO decide to intend, actually make any kind of return, also remains to be seen.

In the meantime, I’ll be sitting over here figuring out how to get enough money to buy my own superyacht.

Picture of Richard


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