– The virtual edition has surpassed the figures of the 2019 show
– The team led by Nacho Gómez-Zarzuela emphasises its commitment to the comprehensive online format.
The Valencia Boat Show (VBS), which this year has become the first 100% virtual boat show, Virtual VBS has broken its own record of exhibitors that it set in the 2019 edition: 123 nautical companies from different parts of the world – Spain, Portugal, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Italy, United Kingdom, USA, France, Turkey and Austria amongst others – have already reserved their stand 20 days before the start of the show. Last year the event, held in La Marina de València, drew 94 exhibitors.
The show will feature new boats and developments from the leading national and international boatyards, as well as engines, accessories, electronics, and marine services, which will be combined with talks, meetings, conferences, films and exhibitions related to the culture of the sea.
With Nacho Gómez-Zarzuela taking the helm as managing director in 2019, the Valencia Boat Show set itself the challenge of bringing the sea closer to the public by expanding the focus beyond the buying and selling that defines tradeshows in the sector. The boat show incorporated, in fact, a broad selection of literary, cinematographic, musical and gastronomic events, as well as informative elements of interest to companies such as R&D days applied to the marine industry proposed by Ivace, Bankia Fintech by Innsomnia, or the leading ICT in technological development Grupo Alfatec, co-organisers of the show.
The 2019 edition was attended by 22,300 visitors in its five days and the objective of turning the VBS into “the showcase of the activities that we develop in La Marina de València” was largely achieved, as mentioned by the director of the Consorcio València 2007, Vicent Llorens.
A real experience virtual event
However, the outbreak of the Covid 19 pandemic forced the VBS to change course and, instead of expanding the established model, the decision was made to set it up it entirely online when the alert state was still in place.
“From the beginning we were clear that we wanted to go all the way and for some areas of the show to be in-person and others virtual,” says Gómez-Zarzuela. “We looked at how to convey to VBS visitors the closest possible physical sensation of ‘walking’ through La Marina de València freely, so we have recreated it in detail and have provided the site with cutting-edge technologies in Virtual Reality,” he emphasises. “It is not merely a marketplace but a real experience that can be accessed from your living room anywhere in the world” he concludes.
As well as the Virtual Reality and 360º technology, visitors to the show will have the option of being attended to live by sales agents. If you so wish, you can request a live videoconference and even have a salesperson take you aboard the boat, guide you on a virtual tour and attend to your requests in detail and in real time. The platform will be available in Spanish and English.
Likewise, the rest of the activities – conferences, workshops, talks by experts and artistic exhibitions related to the sea – can be followed online.
Thirteen sales areas + tourism, culture and maritime events
Virtual VBS will split exhibitors and collaborating companies into 13 different areas: motor boats; sailing boats; catamarans, engines and electronics, equipment and accessories; marinas and dry docks; sailing schools, charter companies and accessories; nautical activities, diving, institutions and associations; Superyacht Dock – exclusive superyacht area; Media dock – which will bring together specialised media, and Innova Dock, the innovation and applications area.
In addition, the event will feature an entire area dedicated to nautical tourism in the Valencian Community, with more than 30 exhibitors inside, an event and conference area inside the Veles e Vents building, and three areas with painting and photography exhibitions.
Despite having widely surpassed the number of exhibitors, another advantage that the virtual model brings is that whoever is interested can still have their own stand to join the Valencia boat show. A unique opportunity since, as Gómez-Zarzuela points out, “in the current circumstances, this year we have been practically alone in the market”.
Virtual VBS will be held from the 28th of October to the 1st of November and allows its exhibitors to keep their stand active for a whole year.
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