Things were different the last time DS18 took over the Netherlands. Something about Amsterdam felt confined. The houses were tighter; the streets were fuller; and water was everywhere. Between the boats and bikes spread throughout the city there was barely any room for Rob and I (Jonathan, Online Manager) to breathe: but, I think we were both able to find some space at the RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre for METSTRADE, the world’s largest trade show for marine equipment, materials and systems.
Rob and I went to The METSTRADE Show in support of one of our distributors: E & P Marine, the leading representative of leisure boating products in Latin America and the Caribbean. Our main goal, however, was spreading the word about DS18 and figuring out where we’re positioned in the leisure marine industry. We’ve become experts in Car Audio since our start in 2013, and it’s important to all of us that we expand and deliver professional audio to all vehicles. So, I was willing to step up and do whatever it took to sell the brand.
From the second the doors at the USA Pavilion opened to spectators on Tuesday, my work really began. Some people make the mistake of believing that a reserved person is this nervous wreck who doesn’t have the courage to talk to people: but, that’s far from the truth. In my experience, social interaction is just draining. So working through the crowd at METSTRADE felt a lot like shoving my nose to the grindstone.
That’s not a judgment on any of the folks we met though. I must admit this was the best show I’ve been to in a while, for a couple of reasons.
I could feel the excitement coming from spectators when they saw a new face. In America you run into companies who pledge allegiance to a certain brand and only go to the events to make sure they show their faces: but here, it felt like we always had a chance to sell a person on Why They Would Like It LOUD!
There was an emphasis on the quality of our products and where they came from. Which is understandable since it’s important that marine products can handle the worst of the elements. This led to deeper conversations between all the spectators because they knew what they were looking for.
And that’s what set this show apart the most: the people. The atmosphere of the leisure marine shows made it so much easier to interact with everyone attending. There was a patience that we’re not really used to at the automotive shows, more understanding, and way more listening because what they put in their boats matter to them.
Next year, I hope we have our own booth. On the plane ride home, as we flew over the Royal Palace, I was brainstorming ideas on what we could do next year to set ourselves apart. No matter what we do though, I can’t wait to come back and see how many people will show up to our booth next year.