RAI Amsterdam acquires US boatbuilder exhibition IBEX

rai-logo-220x171Press Release: RAI Amsterdam has taken a 50% share in IBEX, the International Boatbuilders Exhibition and Conference. This renowned trade show for professionals in the yachting sector is the American version of the RAI’s own event METSTRADE (Marine Equipment Trade Show), which is held every year in Amsterdam. The deal was officially announced on 4 October 2016 at the opening of IBEX 2016 in Tampa, USA. RAI Amsterdam acquires the shares of the issuer of Professional Boatbuilder magazine. The other 50% of the shares will remain in the hands of the American branch organisation NMMA, the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

“This is a major acquisition for RAI Amsterdam,” comments Ids Boersma, Executive vice president of RAI Exhibitions. “With the HISWA Amsterdam Boat Show since 1933 and the METSTRADE Show (formerly METS) since 1988, the RAI has rich heritage in this sector. The international watersport domain is a crucial and strategic one for the RAI. IBEX is the number one B2B watersport event in North America, while METSTRADE holds the same position in Europe, Asia and Australia. This new takeover will further enhance the RAI’s role as a global player in a sector in which Holland leads the way. It is with good reason that the Dutch government has made the maritime industry one of the key tenants of its so-called Top Sector policy.”

METSTRADE is one of the seven international B2B exhibition brands in the RAI portfolio. Since it was first held in 1988, the trade show has grown into one of the most successful of the exhibition concepts owned by RAI Amsterdam. In addition to the main show, niches such as the SuperYacht Pavilion (SYP), Marina & Yard Pavilion (MYP) and Construction Material Pavilion (CMP) have evolved into major platforms in their own right. One of the exceptional aspects of METSTRADE is that all 1,400 exhibitors use the same type of uniform stand concept. METSTRADE is held every November in the RAI Amsterdam complex. In September 2016 the METSTRADE Online Community was launched to help the maritime sector stay in even closer contact throughout the year.