Letter from Palma de Mallorca, Spain | Oscar Siches CMP, GMBA Spain

Against many odds, the Palma International Boat Show has been a success.

Palma International Boat Show

The date changes (to follow Balearics Covid protocols), the bad weather (very cloudy with less than 10 hours of patchy sun across the four days) did not stop both locals and foreigners from attending. There were some 200 boats on display, ranging in size from 4m to 50m, with 220 stands to welcome the visitors. It was a real pleasure to be in close contact as human beings again, and to yet again feel part of our lucky community of ocean enthusiasts.

Palma International Boat Show

The show had 30 000 visitors in 2019, and in this unusual edition of the event when air travel is still complicated, border health rules are stringent, and shipyards struggle to deliver boats to distributors and clients, we counted close to 16 000 visitors. The event was well organized, with flawless guest and exhibitor’s behavior. I mention this because taken by the emotion of being in that very special ambience of a boat show, one would tend to take it easy, form groups of people at close distances, leave some of the Covid protocols a bit behind. We latins get easily carried away when we get emotional, but not this time.

Everybody was conscious and patient on the occasions when it was needed, for example when checking mobile phone tickets took a bit more time or while waiting to be helped at a stand. Groups were small and kept their distances. Everybody wore masks.  Bars and restaurants did not see customers clustering at the bar, as orders were issued by a QR code at the table, and it worked. By scanning visitors entering and those leaving the show, the organizers were able to manage the maximum permitted visitors of 1500 people at any time.  It worked. Top brass from other EU shows (like Cannes) came to see what to expect in their future events. We were breaking that barrier that has limited us physically, and morally, for 15 months. Genova did well in October 2020, but we all visitors g=fell to low figures of the first months of 2021 until vaccination started to account for better results. A parallel virtual show was run featuring interesting presentations and live interviews from the physical show. This was a comeback feat more than a pure boat show. We had learnt our lessons. It was a community achievement.  Chatting with a few of the exhibitors, they agreed that this time it was more important to support the show and be back with a physical presence than the possible business generation.  Everybody understood it that way.  Everybody delivered.

Palma is back.

Palma International Boat Show

Palma International Boat Show


Oscar Siches CMP , GMBA Spain
Email: oscar.siches@gmba.blue or info@gmba.blue
Mobile:+34 667 494 858
Website: www.gmba.blue

N.B. Global Marine Business Advisors and its associated website www.gmba.blue are not registered legal entities. GMBA is a network of independent marine industry advisors.