French Riviera

Yachting festival Cannes 2020


The Yachting Festival, the first autumn show on the international calendar and the leading in-water event in Europe, will take place from 8 to 13 September 2020, in Cannes, at the Vieux Port and Port Canto.

“After many weeks of uncertainty in light of the context, intensive discussions with our clients, the City of Cannes, our partners and suppliers; and a great deal of work with local authorities, we are pleased to have reached the final stretch before the opening of the Festival,” explains Sylvie Ernoult, show manager.

“This year’s watchword is ADAPTATION,” she continues. “We have adapted the festival format and its offer to best cater to our exhibitors’ needs in terms of space and budget constraints, and the new health standards. Faced with the challenges, thanks to their great flexibility and constant adaptation to the problems that have arisen, the departments at the City of Cannes, the Nice Côte d’Azur CCI and our suppliers (stands, pontoons, general installation, shuttles, etc.) have supported us, thereby enabling us to plan and prepare the Festival in record time. Organising the event is rarely smooth sailing, but these past months have brought us close to 12 on the Beaufort scale!

Thanks to our loyal exhibitors, who have really stepped up, and the commitment of all the stakeholders involved in the event, we are confident in holding the Festival.

The Yachting Festival will welcome a little over 340 motor boats and 80 sailing boats, excluding brokerage, totalling some 420 boats. The exhibitors registered to date, who include almost all the major players in the French and international nautical industry, will be divided between both ports in Cannes based on the model successfully implemented last year, with the motor boats at the Vieux Port and the sailing boats in the Sailing Area at Port Canto. Finally, after clients’ commitment to the Festival, following the French Defence and National Security Committee that took place at the Elysée, we have understood that major events can be held again from 1 September. This is the final piece of good news we were waiting to hear”.

In the very unique context of the Covid-19 pandemic, the boats and stands have been installed in accordance with a General Health and Safety Plan (PGSS) drawn up by the Festival and presented to the Prefecture, the City of Cannes and suppliers. This plan is based on the health measures recommended by UNIMEV (the professional federation of the events industry) and presented to the government, and the reference document that Reed Exhibitions Group has produced for all its trade shows internationally.

The PGSS, which in the next few days will be certified by a recognised independent body, aims to ensure compliance with current health standards to protect the health of those present within the trade show area. A point of contact has been appointed to check that the health protocol is
implemented correctly before and during the event. This protocol includes flow management, Festival entrances, hand sanitiser distribution, the wearing of masks, constant cleaning of common areas and more. It will, of course, be adjusted as and when necessary in line with measures the French government may decide on with regards trade fairs.

The event maps may change partially until the opening. Depending on the physical social distancing rules in force in late August/early September, some aisles may be expanded into additional areas provided by the City of Cannes. Several different scenarios are in place for adapting the configuration of the event.

“Given the shutdown of many production sites and the ban on water-based pursuits, the nautical industry both in France and internationally has suffered a great deal, and continues to suffer. This is why we have put all our efforts and expertise into ensuring that the 2020 edition takes place, thereby giving yachting industry figures the opportunity to come together, exhibit their products and new developments and be reunited with their clients face to face. We are aware that every exhibitor is in a unique situation and our aim is to provide each one with tailored support. We are working to make sure their presence at Cannes is a key factor in resuming their activities,” adds Sylvie Ernoult. She concludes, “to use an expression well known to sailors, the Yachting Festival has reduced sail somewhat for its 2020 edition but I can assure our future visitors, true devotees of the sea, that they will indeed have the delight of discovering stunning boats and a host of brands, and that their visit will take place in compliance with the health standards in force in September. We can’t wait to welcome them on 8 September. We hope to make a wind of optimism blow over the 2020-2021 nautical season”.