The five-day Vancouver International Boat Show wrapped up on January 22 and many of its largest exhibitors shared feedback on the event’s outcome.
According to event producer, Canadian Boat Shows, Western Canada’s largest boat show recorded increased attendance numbers at both the indoor show at BC Place and the Floating Show at Granville Island. The producer reports that 30,435 people visited the two venues, compared to 30,340 from the previous year.
“The show has been a success for many segments across the industry,” says Eric Nicholl, Show Manager of the Vancouver International Boat Show. “With a diverse vendor showcase, strategic mix of features and an educational seminar program that continues to grow and evolve, we have had a successful five-day event. The industry is continuing to see more families being introduced to the ‘boating lifestyle’ which will help drive future growth; there is distinct optimism that the upcoming boating season will be a strong one for BC.”
“As of Saturday morning, retail sales were up 28.8 percent with serious engagement, meaning hot leads from qualified buyers, up 20 per cent from last year’s show,” says Bob Pappajohn of M&P Yachts – who was also awarded the Boating Business Employer of Choice Award this year. “This year is our 60th anniversary, and we’ve been with the Boat Show for 55 years. We had excited boat owners onsite with strong and constant sales throughout the event – we also undertook additional marketing initiatives onsite to promote our 60th anniversary!”
“It has been a great couple of days on the show floor,” says Brendan Keys, of GA Checkpoint Yamaha. “We are very impressed with the number of qualified buyers and a good cross section of new boaters too. We saw a 15 percent increase in sales from the 2016 show, so it looks like the 2017 season is off to great start.”
“The Vancouver Boat Show went exceptionally well,” says Mike Hudson, of Port Boat House. “There were lots of quality buyers in the crowd and we realized increased sales over last year. Discussions with other industry partners indicated the same. I expect that 2017 is setting up to be another great year for our industry.”
“Friday and Saturday BC Place was full of qualified buyers and the overall attitude of buyers was pristine,” notes Steve Cyr from Yamaha Canada. “Yamaha dealers are seeing success at the 2017 Vancouver International Boat Show.”
“It is our fifth year in a row that sales are up year over year,” says Don Young, of Freedom Marine. “We are starting to see a shift in the market to different styles of boats and lots of innovative new products available – attendees are recognizing this and buying into it.”
“Being an exhibitor at the boat show was very smooth – and this year was one of the better shows we’ve ever head,” says Salim Ladha from Steveston Marine. “On Saturday, the crowds were excellent and attendance was through the roof! We offered some tremendous deals this year and consumers took note and went for it. Ultimately we focused on our core customers and serviced their needs.”
“The Vancouver Boat Show seems to be getting bigger and bigger every year,” observes Jason Burks, of Sundance Yachts. “We brought bigger boats this year and other exhibitors did too. The foot traffic was definitely on par with last year down at Granville Island, and buyers were here to buy boats. We’re going to continue to bring more big boats every year to help to continue to grow the show!”
The show attracted a wider audience this year, partly as a result of new and exciting features, including helmsman Captain Harold Lee Rosbach from Bravo’s hit television show Below Deck, Kelowna’s Formula 1 driver, Mike McLellan and the NMEA 2000 ConnectFest.
The Dockside Grill cooking stage also helped, shining a spotlight on cooking in small spaces, while The Lower Deck bar brought guests together in the show’s central socializing hub.
The Vancouver International Boat Show is owned by Boating BC and produced by Canadian Boat Shows. Dates for the 56th Vancouver International Boat Show are scheduled for January 17 to 21, 2018 at BC Place and Granville Island.