Both organizers and exhibitors are pleased with the outcome of this year's BC Boat and Sportsmen's Show. Held at the Tradex in Abbotsford, BC in early March, organizers report a total of 32,427 consumers came through turnstiles during the three-day event – up 1,200 people compared to last year.
"We had a record number of visitors,' says Show Manager, Les Trendall. "Exhibitor sales were way up because consumers feel the economy is turning. Product was leaving the building.'
Saint John, NB-based Master Promotions Ltd. produced the event, which included the participation of 214 exhibitors this year. Trendall says he tries to keep the show fresh for consumers by "bringing in some different faces' to serve as guest speakers at the event.
"It turned out very well,' describes Wayne Becker, Owner of Cascade Supply and Marine in Chilliwack, BC. "We had 15 boats at the show from our Harbercraft and Lowe brands. Compared to last year, our sales were up by probably 60 percent. I think consumer confidence is up and money is easier to get. We sold a bit of everything.'
Paul Edwards, Sales Manager of Leo Edwards and Sons in Chilliwack, BC believes a stronger economy and a drop in his dealership's freight rates contributed to higher sales this year. "Sales were 35 percent higher for us,' says Edwards. "We're very happy. The bigger stuff is selling – twenty footers. And people were upgrading their power quite a bit too on the outboards.'
Leo Edwards and Sons brought Legend boats to its booth space this year. "It's not a fibreglass show,' observes Edwards. "It took me five years to figure that out.'
"The show was up for us from last year,' says Sarah Sagar, Customer Service Manager for M and B Marine in Langley, BC. "There were more people looking to buy as opposed to tire kicking. We sold a greater amount of bigger boats. Last year the show was down for everybody because nobody really went out on the water here. We only had six weeks of good weather on the coast of BC last year. With everybody staying home for a year, I guess there's more pent up demand. We sold more of the full-windshield Lunds than we did last year.'
Next year's BC Boat and Sportsmen's Show will return to the Tradex from March 1 to 3 inclusive.