Exhibitors Report Sales at Halifax International Boat Show

Exhibitors coming out of this year's Halifax International Boat Show report good sales and attendance. The event, held in late February, returned to Exhibition Park in Halifax Nova Scotia.

The annual event, which featured over 120 exhibitors this year, is owned by the Atlantic Marine Trades Association (AMTA) and produced by Master Promotions Ltd. Organizers report the four-day show attracted 12,488 visitors, down by approximately 400 people compared to 2013's event. Exhibitor participation was up by 10 percent compared to last year.

"This year we were up against Olympic hockey,' says Pat Nelder, Executive Director of the AMTA. "Thursday was the women's gold medal match. Friday was the men's semi finals. Saturday was the men's morning bronze game and Sunday morning was the gold medal game.'

Nelder believes the games may have had a small affect on show attendance. She says it certainly had an affect on the show's Internet connection, which was slow because so many exhibitors were streaming the games.

Despite that, the majority of exhibitor feedback was positive, with several reporting satisfying sales results.

"We are thrilled to have sold our Beneteau 34 at the show and are working on numerous quotes with other qualified buyers,' said John Roy of Ocean Yacht Sales Ltd., a long-time exhibitor at the show. "With 100 local brokerage boats in our stable, our pre-owned activity was awesome. The offers are rolling in and new listings are brisk.'

"As a first time exhibitor of Avalon Pontoon Boats we were extremely impressed with the quality of the show,' said Brian Hubley of Hubley Auto, Marine and RV. "The sales and prospects surpassed our expectations, show staff were great to deal with, and we are looking forward to next year.'

Angus Buchanan of North Sails Atlantic Ltd. believes good weather during the show may have helped attendance. "With a wide range of products on display and the spring-like weather on the weekend, people were very upbeat and looking forward to getting back on the water as soon as possible. On Monday morning I spoke to a few of the dealers who conveyed that the show will produce some good sales numbers and that they were very pleased.'

"The show was a tremendous start to the 2014 boating season for us and we thank all of our existing customers along with the new customers that we met at the show,' said Wayne Hoskin of Schooner Cove Marine.

David Trott of Seamasters Services Ltd. was also happy with the outcome of the show. "It was a busy and successful weekend for our company and a great kick off to the 2014 boating season,' he related.

Nelder says the show is essential for Atlantic Canada's recreational marine industry. "The timing of the Halifax International Boat Show is important,' she says. "Dealers depend on the show to display their product to their client base and people in the area look forward to seeing what's new. We're excited over success of this year's show and Master Promotions did a good job of accommodating exhibitors. Now we just need to get rid of this ice and get out on the water.'

The Halifax show also featured numerous informative seminars, which Nelder says were well attended. Topics including boat buying, offshore racing, power boat cruising, and navigating with smart phones and tablets.

Information on the 2015 edition of the Halifax International Boat Show will posted on www.halifaxboatshow.com in the future.