According to Continuum Productions, producer of the London and Hamilton, Ontario, ‘Boat, Fishing and Outdoor’ shows, both events experienced double-digit attendance increases compared to last year.
The London Boat, Fishing and Outdoor Show took place in late February at the Metroland Media Agriplex at the Western Fair District, while the Hamilton Boat, Fishing and Outdoor Show was held in early March at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum.
Dwayne Mckillop, President of Continuum Productions, reports London’s final attendance at 21,156 – up 18 percent from last year, and Hamilton’s at 19,197, up 13 percent from last year.
“The boat shows have been great this year,” says Dwayne McKillop. “Both shows expanded floor space, and we sunk a ton of effort and financial resources into a full-blown social media campaign.”
The London show grew by 15,000 square feet this year, while Hamilton doubled that growth, adding 30,000 square feet. “We had more exhibitors at each event, and more dealers at the London show than ever before,” says McKillop. “We had to use the arena seating for our seminar stages, because we just didn’t have floor space.”
McKillop also attributes success partly to inviting Ashley Rae, a professional angler and social media guru (shelovestofish.com), to serve as the show ambassador for both events. “We made a concerted effort to attract more women to our shows,” adds McKillop. “Having both decision makers at the event assisted the dealers in selling more boats.”
McKillop says the attendance mix at last year’s show averaged approximately 71 percent men to 29 percent women. However, following Continuum’s efforts this year, that ratio became more balanced, averaging 60 percent men to 40 percent women between both shows. The show producer is able to roughly determine this information through advance online ticket sales, which offer insight into attendee demographics.
Next year, the London Boat, Fishing and Outdoor Show will take place from February 23 to 25, while the Hamilton Boat, Fishing and Outdoor Show is set for March 2 to 4.