Heesen’s brand new talk show YachtTalk has kicked off, with the first episode discussing the how the coronavirus pandemic will impact the superyacht industry.
Launched to fill the face-to-face void left behind by the cancellation of yacht shows, YachtTalk brings guests and audiences together to discuss industry issues.
The first episode got underway with a panel of guests including Fraser chief financial officer Alessandra Nenci, Mark van Drieberge of brand experience builder Hypsos, Erik Floor, author of the annual SYBAss Economic Report, and Heesen chief executive officer Arthur Brouwer.
Hosted by presenter Charlotte Kan, the first episode spanned a range of subjects including the impact of the coronavirus on the brokerage and new build markets and if yacht shows can bounce back from the damage of the pandemic.
First though, the panel discussed the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS), which is set to go ahead later this month. Both Fraser and Heesen confirmed they will not be attending the show.
Fraser chief financial officer Alessandra Nenci
Brouwer explained, “I think many of the industry partners in Europe have decided not to go because most of our clients are limited in travel in Europe to the States.”
The need for European travellers to quarantine on return would also “impact our efficiency”, he said.
While Fraser Yachts will not be attending the show, the brokerage house’s US team will be present.
“This is the strength of being widespread in the world,” said chief financial officer Alessandra Nenci, who added that FLIBS would be “the first real exercise to reformat or rethink a yacht show.”
Heesen chief executive officer Arthur Brouwer
The question of future yacht shows and the form they will take was a topic revisited by the panel later in the episode.
Nenci critiqued the current format of yacht shows which, she said, “bring little or no return to the company”.
Mark van Drieberge of brand experience Hypsos, which built 31 exhibitor stands at last year’s Monaco Yacht Show, agreed that yacht shows need to evolve to survive.
“Looking at the boat shows, I think [they] will never come back like the way [they were] - it needs change,” he said.
Erik Floor, author of the annual SYBAss Economic Report
He added that boat shows “have become too expensive” with clients shelling out for flights, accommodation and exhibition spaces.
Brouwer echoed a desire for more bespoke, smaller and cheaper yacht shows.
“I would love to see a yacht show where we can give attention to superyachts working with the professional broker entourage to make sure that you can tailor your clients with the wishes they have,” he said.
Mark van Drieberge of brand experience builder Hypsos
Elsewhere in episode one, the panel discussed the health of the superyacht and brokerage markets. Floor, who pens the annual SYBAss Economic Report, revealed that the ultra-wealthy market is growing faster than the superyacht market. Meanwhile Nenci revealed that the August brokerage figures were “reaching the same level” of 2019. As a result, Brouwer said Heesen was “a little more than cautiously optimistic”.
“We see a significant uptick on people reaching out to us on discussions on yachts,” he said. “There will be challenges with a possible second wave, but I think it’s better than we expected a couple of months ago.”
Looking ahead at the second episode of YachtTalk, guests Frank Laupman, founder of Omega Architects, car designer Niels van Roji and creative director of Marcel Wanders studio Gabriele Chiave will discuss Dutch design and its place in the superyacht industry.