Both dealers and vendors attending the annual Western Marine and Transat Marine dealer buying show, which opened Saturday at the Richmond Olympic Oval in Vancouver, voiced unanimous support for the event’s new host venue.
The annual event attracted dealers from across Canada and vendors from as far away as New Zealand. “We really like the new Olympic Oval for a number of reasons. We wanted to have everything together in one room, which gives the show more impact and makes it much easier for dealers to find what they’re looking for” says Alan Stovell, Western Marine VP/Managing Partner. “It also provides the vendors with more display options because they aren’t restricted to working within the confines of smaller rooms or irregular booth spaces.”
This year’s show – Western’s 12th – featured new products from more than 200 different manufacturers that filled a continuous, uninterrupted display area in excess of 50,000 square feet. Dealers in attendance enjoyed added value with access to a coincident dealer show by fishing tackle distributor Redl Sports. “We became aware that the venue was available for rental and it was more space than we really needed, so we contacted our colleagues at Redl,” says Stovell. “We share many of the same customers and they normally do a show around the same time of year that we do, normally a week before or a week after. Some of the dealers who are common customers were coming down from out of town twice in a month to attend both events, and it just made sense to take the opportunity to share a venue and provide each of our customers with added value. Beyond that, we wanted to be closer to the airport, closer to the ferry, and closer to the city. The Olympic Oval provides that, so we have it booked for the next two years.”
Stovell notes that between Western Marine / Transat Marine and Redl Sports, the number of individuals registered to attend was in the order of 1,000 names, representing approximately 400 different companies. “On the first day we received some orders from some Redl clients who were not existing customers of ours,” he says. “They came and found some things that were interesting to them. And I expect some of our existing customers might find some new products that Redl handles. We have a positive relationship, so this arrangement brings benefits for each of us, and more importantly, for our respective customers.”