Show organizers report that the BC Boat & Sportsmen's Show set a new attendance record this year attracting 30,864 visitors, up by one percent from last year's show. The show was held at the Tradex in Abbotsford, BC in early March.
“We had record crowds this year,” says Les Trendall, Show Manager. “Saturday was perfect because it was a little chilly outside, just cold enough to keep people from doing something outside. It was a buying crowd this year.”
The show is operated by Saint John, NB-based Master Promotions Ltd., which acquired the BC Boat & Sportsmen's Show and BC Log Home Timber Frame & Country Living Show in 2009.
Several boat-dealing exhibitors were pleased with the amount of consumer traffic at the event as well as their sales results.
Bridgeview Marine, Vancouver, BC, brought the Weldcraft brand to the show and reports sales. “We brought an 18-foot and a 25-foot model to the show this year,” says Don McNeice, Owner of Bridgeport. “Our sales were up by 20 percent compared to last year.”
M&B Marine, a Langley, BC, dealer of Lund and Mercury outboards, also experienced success this year. “This year we got two deposits on boats at the show,” says Mike Morris-Reade, Co-owner of M&B Marine. “One was a $20,000 boat package and the other was an $8,000 boat package. Since the show, leads have resulted in four more smaller boat sales and one larger sale.”
Cascade Supply and Marine in Chilliwack, BC noticed a change in buying patterns at this year's show. “There was a very large shift into the smaller car-top and lighter towable hulls,” says Steve Cross, General Manager of Cascade Supply and Marine. “There was a lot of interior lake fisherman and young families at this show and that was driving the sales of smaller units. It seems that with the uncertainty of some river fisheries and the expense of buying a unit that will do the river or ocean comfortably, many are focusing on the trophy trout lakes of the interior. We saw a healthy interest in the larger units, but a very determined buyer that wanted to cover all their bases. The number of deals we wrote up at the show this year were up in quantity but down in overall dollar amount than in previous years. It takes a lot of 12-foot boats to make up for one 20-foot boat. However, the show was well worth our effort and we will always display in Abbotsford. It attracts our core buying market and then some, and we've always been pleased with this show.”
Next year's BC Boat & Sportsmen's Show is scheduled for March 3 to 5.