Why an online community and social media is important

Melissa Yeomans joined the METSTRADE Young Professionals club and have been a fan ever since. In this article she explains why having a community is so important for an exhibition like Metstrade.

“In December 2016 my family celebrated 10 years of owning DeckHardware, a marine wholesale company in Australia. I have always been surrounded by sailors as both my grandfathers were yacht owners as I grew up. The Sydney sailing scene in the 90's was a fantastic time to be a part of youth sailing, many of us remain friends working in various aspects of the industry.

For us, METSTRADE has been invaluable. We have Suppliers from around the World and when we first purchased the company I travelled to boat shows in Germany, England and the USA as well as attending METS to grow the business. With METS we can speak to the majority of our suppliers in the one location in three days. I would honestly hate to think about the travel time it would take to get around to all the different countries, to speak in person with suppliers to find out all the latest news.”

Melissa: When I first joined the Industry, METS was something I thought about once a year, now it is a constant thought throughout the year despite living in Australia. Being almost our summer, it is a difficult time to get away especially with the distance we have to travel. It can take nearly 30 hours to reach Amsterdam, 24 of which is on-board a plane. Then you have Jetlag, so I tend to go every two years.

Right now,the world is closer than ever before with faster internet and an ever changing social media landscape. The way we work is completely different to just a decade ago. METSTRADE's online community is a prime example of this, no longer is it something we think about once a year. Now we can talk within our industry about the points, which matter on a regular basis. The opportunity to network and be part of a conversation Worldwide gives our industry so many opportunities.

The biggest thing for many of us is keeping up with the changes and harnessing the new knowledge and opportunities available to us. METSTRADE's Online Community is just one of the ways we can all support each other on this journey. Sharing the latest developments and perhaps even helping each other learn what is new out there in other countries.

For instance Social Media is completely changing the way we follow and support the sport of Sailing. As an Industry, how do we become a part of this journey and support it for the growth of the sport and industry? They go hand in hand after all.

During the London Olympics,many of us in Australia were waking after midnight to follow all the racing action on Twitter. Conversations were going back and forth as we cheered on our favourite sailors in 140 characters. Now even local events are being streamed live through Facebook and other media.

This gives us the opportunity to promote not just the sport but our industry. How do we as an industry learn how to do this? Keeping up to date with the different online formats can be a maze of trial and error.

Our sport and industry needs role models and giving young sailors the chance to watch interviews with sailors they look up to is fantastic. So next time you see some live action, make sure you share it so others can have the chance to watch. Maybe they will get some ideas of what they may be able to do.

Perhaps through the METSTRADE Online Community, we can help others within the Industry keep up with the new world we are now in. As we move away from Faxes, printed price lists and printed catalogues, the online world will continue to increase its impact on the way we do business.

  • Thank you very much for this article I really do hope we can help others in the industry to keep up with the new world. That is why we're doing this with Metstrade. What do you think ?

  • Completely agree with you Melissa, thanks for sharing your insights and beliefs with us! METSTRADE.com offers the global leisure marine industry a platform to connect and share ideas, news and insights throughout the year, like we’re used to do during the show 3 days a year.

  • Thanks! It certainly is an interesting time and amazing how much it has changed so fast.

  • Nice to read your thoughts from Australia Mel, thanks for taking the time to share your opinions.

    As one of the team that contributes content to METSTRADE.com all year round (on environmental sustainability matters), I already see that we are encouraging more interaction with exchange of ideas and experiences. As you say, ' sharing the latest developments and perhaps even helping each other learn what is new out there in other countries.'

    There is a real incentive for us to keep the content flowing and to encourage others to join the discussions.