The New York Times called us the “Most exclusive auto show in the world” and we’re particular proud of this label. Top Marques Monaco (20-23 April, 2017) was founded 13 years ago by an experienced team with a background in international exhibitions. The concept behind Top Marques was to create an exhibition which went beyond the static events of Paris, Frankfurt, Geneva and Detroit where visitors could actually test drive the vehicles that caught their eye. And Monaco, which hosts probably the most famous Grand Prix in the world, was the obvious venue for the live auto show with test drives taking place on the F1 circuit. At last year’s show there were approximately 1,300 test-drives over the four days. The visitors and manufacturers love this USP of the show.
It’s the beginning of the “season” in Monaco – the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters is on at the same time, and Monaco is fit to bursting with men in short-sleeves shirts and women in beautiful summer dresses. The feeling of expectation and of the summer is contagious – and then there are all these incredible supercars driving around the streets of Monaco, cruising around the Casino Square with people literally stopping dead in their tracks to watch the supercars cruise past. Some of these cars are the test-drive cars from Top Marques Monaco, but a large number are owned by supercar fanatics who come from all over the world to be “seen” and “heard” in Monaco during the show. In the show itself, there is a great atmosphere with families crowding around their favourite cars in the Ravel Supercar Hall, or trying out the latest innovations in Luxury Lane.
RUB SHOULDERS WITH
Many of the show’s visitors are guests of the sponsors such as the Edmond de Rothschild group, a private bank, which has been our title partner for the last five years. Other sponsors this year are Burgess superyachts, Dotta real estate and Silversea, leaders in luxury cruising. I would anticipate that 60 per cent of visitors are local to Monaco and the French Riviera – families and couples coming to see the latest supercars and innovations and live the dream for a couple of hours or so. However, a significant number of visitors actually do come to buy. And of course there are always a few famous faces in the crowds: Bono, Princess Charlene, Bjorn Borg, Paula Radcliffe, French football stars and always a number of F1 drivers.
We organise a cocktail party for exhibitors and sponsors in partnership with the Monaco Tourist Bureau, which has been held for the last few years in the magnificent Salle Belle Epoque in the Hotel Hermitage. It really is an incredible venue and the party is usually a highlight of the show. This year we are also going to have an after party at a new venue called L’Ete on the Port of Monaco. In addition to this event, we organise a very exclusive event on a superyacht berthed in the Port of Monaco for up to 150 UHNW guests of our sponsors the Edmond de Rothschild group and Burgess.
Most of the hotels in Monaco are exceptional. The hotels of the Société des Bains de Mer such as the Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo and the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo are without doubt two of the most luxurious hotels in the world – as is the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel. The Fairmont, which overlooks the Mediterranean and is perhaps the nearest to the venue, is also incredible. The hardest thing about reserving a room in Monaco during Top Marques is not writing the cheque but finding one still available. It is an extremely busy period in Monaco and the place is literally buzzing.
We have a Supercar Restaurant, which serves a three-course buffet lunch to our VIP guests and sponsors. The catering is provided by a highly regarded traiteur based on the French Riviera. The “Pop-up” restaurant serves on average about 1,000 lunches each year over the four days – and more than 4,500 glasses of bubbles. There is also a Champagne Bar and a Top Marques Bar, where visitors can grab a Salade Niçoise or Tarte au Pommes with a glass of Rose, for example.
Anything goes but most people like to dress smartly – this is Monaco!
Must-see exhibitors in the Ravel Supercar Hall this year include the electric supercar Dendrobium by Vanda Electrics, the world launch of the Berus by Keating Supercars and the C10, a never before seen supercar by Italian designer Calafiore. But to be honest, the list of things you must see is endless and you shouldn’t skip over any of the cars. We also hope to be able to show you the first-ever car that transforms into a helicopter, which is ready for legal road use. However, this is yet to be 100 per cent confirmed. Also worthy of a visit is the De Biasi stand where you’ll be able to buy five 24-carat gold macarons for €4,500, and sculptures by Paul Day, whose memorial dedicated to those who served in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars was unveiled by Queen Elizabeth II in central London earlier this month.