A significant new set of awards has been announced during the opening ceremony of METS 2014 in the Amsterdam RAI complex. Nick Hopkinson, publishing director of IBI and Superyacht Business magazines, revealed that IBI News and METS have joined forces to create the Boat Builders Business Achievement Awards, designed to offer boat builders the platform they deserve during the world’s largest annual gathering of marine equipment suppliers.

“This new joint initiative from IBI and the RAI is designed to recognise outstanding accomplishments within the boat building industry,” explains Hopkinson. “The emphasis will be very much on business achievement and the people and teams involved in building and marketing boats. This will set the IBI/METS Boat Builders Business Achievement Awards apart from the many existing awards in the boating world which focus more on the end product.

Another unique feature of the awards is that nominations will be sought from across the entire industry. IBI’s daily newsletter and the newsletter of its sister title Superyacht Business are distributed to over 20,000 subscribers and the METSTRADE website reaches many thousands of suppliers and boat builders across the world. The Boat Builders Business Achievement Awards organisers will be asking this global audience for supported submissions in the first quarter of next year.

These suggestions will then be subject to a rigorous and fair judging process, which will include polling the industry to rank the nominations. An international jury chaired by the Secretary General of ICOMIA (the International Council of Marine Industry Associations) and comprised of recently retired individuals who have run major companies in the marine sector together with journalists from around the world will then decide on the outright winners. These will be announced at a gala dinner and award ceremony at the National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam on the Wednesday of METS 2015.

“Our goal is to further increase the engagement of boat builders with the METS experience and the marine equipment supply community,” explains Irene Dros, Maritime Domain Manager, at RAI. “We have expressly chosen to highlight areas within boatbuilding that do not always get the attention they deserve and yet have a vital importance to suppliers. In the first year the awards will include six categories which will cover recognition for retail marketing initiatives, international dealer development, innovative onboard design solutions, procurement manager of the year, innovation in a production process, and a lifetime achievement award to an individual within a boat building company who has made an outstanding contribution to his or her business.”

IBI and METS have worked together since 1988 and this new innovation brings a new dimension to the trade show in Amsterdam, which has welcomed a record number of 1,358 exhibitors this year. A range of sponsorship opportunities are available related to the Boat Builders Business Achievement Awards presentation gala in Amsterdam, which is set to galvanise suppliers and recognise boat builders in a uniquely transparent way.