Despite a change in date this year, producers of the Vancouver International Boat Show, report that attendance at this year's event was nearly equivalent to last year's show. The five-day show was held in late January at BC Place in Vancouver, BC with an in-water venue at nearby Granville Island. In year's past, the event has been held in February.
Canadian Boat Shows, producer of the show, says the event attracted 31,338 people, down four percent from 2013's attendance of 32,644. "Even though attendance figures were down slightly, the show delivered motivated buyers that exceeded dealers' expectations,' says Show Manager Eric Nicholl.
Coming out of the event, exhibitors shared a wealth of positive comments.
"This year has been our best year ever at the Vancouver Boat Show,' says Dave Turner from Port Boat House. "We were selling steadily throughout the show and have seen crowds of enthusiastic buyers come through this year. We were also excited to see new customers from Alberta and the interior of BC come down for the show.'
One of the show's largest exhibitors also had a positive experience this year. "The weather was on our side this year. We have noticed that attendees arrived very motivated and excited to get out on the water this summer,' says Bob Pappajohn, President and CEO, M&P Mercury. "We finished the show on a strong note with significant increase in sales from last year.'
The show floor saw a big increase in qualified buyers, according to Aaron Fell, owner of Breakwater Marine. "We had a lot of success with the quality of traffic at the show and were thrilled with the sales generated. We definitely surpassed our sales goals this year.'
Brendan Keys from GA Checkpoint was also pleased with the quality of consumers that attended. "We really noticed a difference in the quality customers that came through this year. Overall our sales were excellent, and we believe it's a good sign for things to come for the upcoming boating season.'
Salim Ladha from Steveston Marine found the overall attendance wasn't a considerable factor to their end sales. "We did find the attendance to be steady and our overall sales were good, on par with the success we had back in 2012.'
Greg Hughes from Blackfish Marine says his yachts sales business made out well at the show's in-water venue. "The weather made for a great atmosphere down at Granville Island where we were successful in generating a lot of solid leads and fantastic sales.”
Canadian Boat Shows says shows new attractions such as the S.S. Minnow that accompanied Gilligan's Island star, Dawn Wells, and the submersibles, were big draws for the public and media. The expanded show seminar series also served as added incentive for attendees, offering visitors more than 100 entertaining and instructional opportunities.
Dates for the 53rd Vancouver International Boat Show will be confirmed once show staff has had an opportunity to review desired and available future date patterns with exhibitors, Boating BC, and BC Place.
The Vancouver International Boat Show is owned by Boating BC and produced by Canadian Boat Shows.