Held in early April, this year's Spring Cottage Life Show reportedly attracted just over 33,000 people to the International Centre in Toronto and featured more than 500 exhibitors.
"Our overall attendance was up significantly this year – 19 percent,' says Greg McLeod, Show Manager. "The show was really positive. Attendance was strong on all three days. For the first time at the show, on the Friday, we implemented a senior's discount. We also did a discounted admission after 5:00 p.m. This absolutely contributed to the increase.'
The show, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, took place later in the year than in the past, typically taking place March. "Because of Easter falling early this year we moved the show into April,' explains McLeod.
According to McLeod, the post-show attendee survey conducted after this year's show indicates that 45 percent of attendees purchased or planned to purchase docks or accessories (up from 43 percent in 2012); 31 percent of attendees purchased or planned to purchase sporting goods or water toys (up from 29 percent in 2012); and 17 percent of attendees purchased or planned to purchase a motor boats based on their visit to the show (17 percent in 2012).
Legend Boats, a first-time exhibitor at the spring show, brought three pontoons and three V-hull aluminum boats to its 1,500 square-foot booth space. "We've done the fall show but never the spring,' says Brad MacArthur, Manager of Sales and Operations. "It was a good show with a lot of traffic. It's not a typical boat show. We closed seven boats at the show and we're expecting quite a bit of follow up.'
Event highlights included Scottish design duo, Justin and Colin, who talked about interior design on the show's main stage. The HGTV personalities and Toronto Star columnists bought a log cottage in Muskoka.
Also, Canada Builds in Lindsay, Ontario, displayed a new 1,300 square-foot, fully finished and decorated model cottage at one of the show's entrances.
Show organizers, who also publish Cottage Life magazine, will be holding another cottage show later in the year. The 10th annual Fall Cottage Life Show is set to take place from November 1 to 3 at the International Centre. "A lot of our exhibitors come into this show to clear end-of-the-season inventory,' says McLeod. "The fall show has been fantastic event for some of our boat dealer exhibitors. It has also led to follow up sales at the Toronto International Boat Show in January.'