The director of the boat show Boot Düsseldorf Petros Michelidakis promises an impressive show. The boot 2023 is about to sparkle with innovation and fresh new products, as 1,500 exhibitors are expected in 16 halls
After a two-year break due to the pandemic, Boot Düsseldorf is about to return, from January 21 to 29. Show director Petros Michelidakis promises an impressive affair that will try to rise to the level of the record year 2019. Despite the withdrawal of the Hanse Group, all the big players will be present at the show. As the organizers describe it, Düsseldorf is about to explode. Almost 1,500 exhibitors will present their goods in 16 pavilions on an area of 220,000 square meters – or the size of 31 soccer fields. We talked to Petros Michelidakis about all the new things awaiting at the next boot Düsseldorf. ‘This next show will be fantastic. After a two-year hiatus, we feel like a band that hasn’t performed in a while. I can’t wait to show the world what we have prepared, said Mr. Michelidakis, was visibly optimistic at the beginning of our conversation.’
What has changed in the past three years since the last Boot?
Everything and nothing, I’d say. The boat market has changed, because lifestyles have changed. Working outside the office led to an increase in sales, as people began working online on their boats, making better use of their time. Today, it is quite normal to sit at anchor in, say, a marina in Croatia, and do business with the whole world, enjoying beautiful seascapes. The result of this digitization is reflected in the design of vessels, as they have become larger, with more comfortable interiors, adapting to new expectations.
Two great new features await at the next boot: halls 13 and 14 will present goods and services related to the connection between nautical and regular tourism, and the so-called ‘blue dock for innovation’.
The study we conducted in 2019 led to the conclusion that tourism, including nautical tourism, is worth 240 billion euros. Boat owner no longer want to be just anchored in marinas, they want to explore the destination, get to know the local gastronomy, try new things. Marinas must adapt to this new demand, they must stop being parking lots for yachts and offer advice, service and concierge services. Our blue dock will tackle sustainability and new technologies. Electric vessels have already started appearing on the market, synthetic and hydrogen fuels are soon to follow. These are all important issues that the nautical industry must deal with as soon as possible.
The last boot, in 2019, was your 50th anniversary. What is the secret of boot’s success?
Our special combination of passion, courage and vision. We started out as a relatively small boat show and gradually grown, by listening to the interests of our exhibitors and visitors. This year, the trend is Ribs, so we have decided to give them an entire hall, hall 9. I must stress how well Boot Düsseldorf is connected, traffic-wise. The airport is close, with very good connections to the whole world, so it is imaginable to fly in the morning, get some business done and then return home. We are no longer just a trade show, but a lifestyle.
Photo Boot Düsseldorf