Exhibitors Reporting Strong Sales Despite Lower Attendance at Edmonton Show

Exhibitors coming out of the Edmonton Boat and Sportsmen's Show are reporting satisfying sales results despite a dip in attendance this year. The event, featuring over $20 million worth of product on display, was held at the Expo Centre, Northlands in Edmonton, Alberta in mid March.

Canadian National Sportsmen's Shows (CNSS), event producer, placed overall attendance at 46,203, down 7.5 percent from last year (50,012). However, CNSS says this year's show still attracted about 3,000 more visitors than it did in 2012 (43,064).

"Overall, we had a great response to the show this year,' says Laurie Paetz enthusiastically, the event's Show Manager. "Northern Alberta really looks at this show as an indication of spring business. Due to Alberta's healthy economy, the show continues to produce great sales for dealers that participate. Marine dealers did very well for the most part, as did our power and recreation exhibitors. Fishing operators did extremely well and even our hunting hall. We had tremendous weather this year, which created a really good positive vibe on the show floor.'

This year, Riverside Marine from Saint Albert, Alberta, brought 38 boats to the show from a variety of different boat brands. "Sales for our jet boat brand, Custom Weld, were slow this year,' says Chad Perrott General Manager and Owner. "However, Yamaha G3 and sport boat sales were awesome. Yamaha personal watercraft did well for us too. The higher-end FZS model did particularly well, as did some of our entry-level units. Our Tige models drew lots of interest and several were sold. We also recently became a Stingray dealer, and I know we can do even better with the line at future shows. We have a lot of leads coming out of the event. Overall sales are very much higher than last year – easily double.'

Freespirit Marine from Edmonton, Alberta, brought Crestliner, Campion, Duras inflatables and Tohatsu outboards to its booth. "Runabout sales are up and aluminum sales are always strong at the show,' says Kelly Arbour, Sales for FreeSpirit Marine. Arbour says consumer interest was focused on entry-level and mid-range product primarily. He says the dealership's sales were on par with results at last year's event. Arbour added that he'd like to see the show become a five-day event to provide exhibitors additional exposure.

CNSS says next year's Edmonton Boat and Sportsmen's Show will return to Expo Centre, Northlands from March 12 to 15 inclusive, while its Calgary Boat and Sportsmen's Show is set to run from February 5 to 8 at the BMO Centre in Calgary's Stampede Park.