MYBA Charter Show, Genoa, Italy (2-5 May 2016)
16 May 2016 – By Laurie Foulon
Interview with Laurie Foulon,
Charter Division Manager of Ocean Alliance
Ocean Alliance attends next to 5 international boat shows every year. How does our presence translate to delivering our clients back in Australia the best possible insight and value from such events?
Read below Laurie’s boat show 101:
How many yacht charter shows does Ocean Alliance attend each year?
Ocean Alliance has a busy yachting calendar, with boat shows spread around the world about sales and charter as well as industry lobby committee events and superyacht conferences.
In terms of charter focus, we attend these three major international boat shows:
1. The MYBA Charter Show, Genoa, Italy (May). B2B only.
2. The Monaco Yacht Show, Monaco (September).B2B and B2C.
3. The Antigua Charter Yacht Meeting, Caribbean (December). B2B only.
How significant is the MYBA Charter Show in Genoa compared to the others?
The MYBA (Worldwide Yacht Brokers Association) Charter Show in Genoa is the main event in the Western Mediterranean. It brings together many yachts after their winter shipyard period, as Italy is one of the main hubs for refit and maintenance purposes. This show is attended by many European as well as American-based charter brokers.
The 59 yachts exhibited this year ranged from 23m to 74m, motor yachts being highly represented with just four sailing superyachts and one sailing catamaran.
The West Mediterranean remains a popular cruising ground despite a broadening interest in emerging charter destinations. May marks the official start of the Northern Hemisphere season, with yachts fresh from maintenance works and their Crew prepared for a busy summer season.
For Ocean Alliance, the four-day event is a non-stop schedule of inspections, meetings, seminars and elaborate lunches, dinners and soirees on board. Read more below about why these are all important to attend.
The charter show is a gathering of 50-60+ superyachts on display – what is the focus during the event?
During a charter show, our aim is to reconnect face-to-face with charter brokers and nurture existing and build new relationships. We are proud of our reputation as a trusted yachting partner in Australia. These personal relationships have proven fruitful and led to successful charter bookings. We personally inspect the yachts and by spending time on board, we learn more about the crew, the ambiance on board and special features of the yacht. Captains are very much the front of house, and play such an important role in setting the ambiance on each yacht.
Our clients benefit from an international reach and local Australian knowledge. Ocean Alliance proudly represent Australia as a cruising ground for superyacht Owners, Captains and Charterers. We believe demand comes from the creation of interest, and our marketing has proven significantly efficient through the promotion of sample itineraries, quick facts and weather cycles for the Australian and South Pacific region. The growing strength of our successful Superyacht Charter Fleet has established Ocean Alliance as the leader in charter management in Australia.
What does a typical day at the show consist of for you?
Typically, time is managed as follows:
- MYBA seminars covering industry updates, destination features and other relevant highlights
- Yacht inspections
- Informal meetings with fellow colleagues and press
- Private Lunch and Dinner invitations on board select yachts
- At night, the glamour factor is raised a notch. Typically ‘yacht hops’ are a way of seeing the yachts by night, dressed up in a theme, and the opportunity to showcase the crew’s creativity for special evenings on board.
What is the relevance of the Chef Competition during the show?
Charter guests are accustomed to superior cuisine and exceptional presentation so, it comes as no surprise that a talented yacht chef is an important ingredient for a successful yacht charter. The traditional Chef Competition is a spirited ‘cook-off’ that is fiercely challenging and is focused on a theme defined by MYBA. Yachts are categorised by size range (up to 39m, 40-49m, 50m and over), and this year’s theme was… an Italian flair. A panel of qualified judges, composed of Charter Brokers, Press and renowned Chefs, is appointed to define the best yacht in each category.
As many of our clients would agree, food is such a significant part of a successful charter vacation. For Charter Brokers, it is an opportunity to discover the latest cuisine trends and evaluate their personal flair, background and influences of the full-time Chefs on board each yacht. Some of them are highly dedicated to vegan or organic cuisine, others are more traditional, while some focus on very modern and avant garde styles.
For the yachts and the Chefs, the competition provides an opportunity to showcase their skills. A victory boosts the yachts status and the morale of the entire Crew. A parallel award for Yacht Service and Tablescaping is granted to Chief Steward/ess.
Will you be attending the seminars and what do they cover?
At this year’s Genoa show, a full program of seminars and information sessions for charter industry professionals covered the revisions to the existing 2014 MYBA Charter Agreement and their impact on the contract commonly used throughout the industry for yacht charter holidays. Seminars also offer destination presentations to introduce new regions and their attractions. Superyacht Norway and Begum Yachting Cuba presented overviews of their cruising areas. These destination seminars are a great complement to actual familiarisation trips, where brokers experience the destination for themselves. Such ‘fam trips’ result in empowering charter brokers to “sell” the destination to their clients, based on first-hand experiences. In 2017, Ocean Alliance will present “Australia as a cruising destination” for all MYBA show attendees and crew.
How does your attendance at shows such as Genoa benefit your clients?
We gain a thorough understanding of the yachts we inspect, and gather industry updates. For our clients, this is reassurance that we have experienced first-hand what each yacht has to offer. We are able to share with them every facet of the yacht, such as the Captain’s favourite anchorages or the amenities onboard. It is very important to be physically present to these shows and has already proven beneficial. We reinforce our reputation as Charter Managers and enhance our position as the largest agency in Australia offering international reach with local knowledge.
Ocean Alliance has access to over 1,400 superyachts for charter through their approved subscription to the B2B MYBA Yachtfolio platform. We know a vast number of the yachts and we can provide an insightful overview to our clients based on their brief. We handle every aspect of the charter, putting our clients’ minds at ease to just arrive and instantly unwind.
To contact Laurie and organise your yacht charter today, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +61 (0)424 599 889.
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