Milan Yachting Week: numbers and visitors to the all-Italian digital boat show

Fjord 38 Xpress

Dear readers of this magazine, users of our website, users of our newsletters we have you to thank. Thanks to you our digital boat show, the
Milan Yachting Week
, is super visited with 212,000 products viewed in just the first month after opening.

How many visitors in the first month?

More than 50,000 visitors have explored the 50 booths with more than 250 products already on display as of today, Oct. 19, 2020. And every day it is enriched with a new exhibitor and dozens of new products from the nautical world. In addition, promo news about Milan Yachting Week brands and products posted on the sites of Giornale della Vela and Barche a Motore were read 162,000 times in the first month alone.

At the end of one year, Milan Yachting Week – The digital boat show is on its way to having at least 700,000 visitors, becoming a leading platform for the nautical market. We want to tell you, for once, what is behind the creation of a new publishing product, such as Milan Yachting Week. An analysis that gives insight into how the boating market is evolving, not only in the age of pandemic (which will end) but especially in the era of the raging digital world we live with by the hour of our day, via our smartphone, tablet, PC. A world, the digital world, that will continue, more and more, to change our behavior and enjoyment of information. With undoubted advantagesfor knowledge, even of boating, which is the passion of all of us.

The success story of Milan Yachting Week

In the pre-covid world, this is how it worked for decades: people who needed to buy a product would get information in specialized newspapers (print and digital) and on sites, then go to a specialized salon or store (physical or digital) to see the product and finally buy it. The cracks in this system had already emerged before the pandemic, which made it transiently difficult and hazardous to our health for each of us to be mobile.

In the automotive world, the salon crisis had been happening for some time. Do you remember in Italy the Turin Auto Show? Dead for years. What about the Bologna Motorshow? Extinct. Yet these auto shows have experienced in the pre-digital era, periods of tremendous success.

The auto system, which has similarities with the boating system, reconverted before the coronavirus, replacing the centrality of trade shows with a permanent display of each company’s products, collected in cozy showrooms, open at all times.
To inform customers, each brand has strengthened communication through advertisements in specialized (print/digital) and generalist (TV/internet) media, while also creating its own autonomous communication system that reaches customers directly, through social media and with increasingly effective own websites. This had all been understood, long ago, by the fashion and luxury world, which had anticipated all other sectors in ways similar to those later adopted by the automotive world.

What about the boating world?

Overwhelmed by the changes imposed by the coronavirus that wiped out boat shows (excluding the deserving Genoa Boat Show, which nevertheless saw visitors halved this year), he found himself displaced. In a rush, some shipyards and dealers orphaned by boat shows have organized a few-day “open houses,” small temporary one-brand boat shows. With sometimes brilliant results other times of announced fiascos.

Accessories manufacturers even more, have found themselves orphaned of their showcase, the boat shows. And they do not know how to showcase and promote their products. And we who are a cog in this boating world, with our function as “media” which is also to connect manufacturers/products with the public, what have we done?

We came up with a new product, the digital boat show. We didn’t do anything exceptional, we just took our cue from what was happening, starting in April in the midst of the lockdown, in practically all manufacturing sectors, not just fashion and auto, where hundreds of specialized digital trade shows popped up. So we had to set it up, too. For us, for our readers, for practitioners. And we did. This digital boat show of ours, the first in the world in boating, we called it Milan Yachting Week. We used this name because it was already there. In May we were supposed to hold a sea festival for the first year in Milan’s sea, the Darsena, which, of course, could not take place. The only major difference from digital boat shows in other industries is that Milan Yachting Week – The digital boat show does not last one week, one month, three months as in other industries from which we “copied” the idea. It lasts a full year, from September 15, 2020 to September 2021.

The boat show, open year-round

The reason is simple, why isolate it in a limited period? Our digital salon, which is a child of the Giornale della Vela but also of our other nautical brands Motor Boats and Top Yacht Design (an innocuous assemblage of nearly 2,000,000 people a year), is a show room of Italian and world nautical production. And, as the richer and more advanced world of the automobile teaches, the show room must always be open. Year-round. Especially if it is in the digital world that makes its success continuous accessibility, every hour of the day. We, too, in our own small way, make a contribution to Italy’s digital development. The results are proving us right, thanks to you.

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