Footfall down at London Boat Show but sales up
The diamond anniversary London Boat Show 2014 attracted a total of 88,593 visitors across the nine days – 4,734 down on the 2013 event’s footfall – but
30 exhibitors have already signed up for the 2015 event
The show, which ended yesterday, attracted more than 400 exhibitors to the ExCeL exhibition centre and docklands to display their products, with nine world debuts and 19 European and UK launches, culminating in a total of 76 launches at the show in total.
A spokesman for the British Marine Federation said the London Boat Show ‘presented the best of the marine industry and good quality business was conducted at a time when the £2.905bn industry is demonstrating optimism and confidence for the months ahead.’
Sales from this year’s show confirm the British Marine Federation latest research, which suggests industry growth is returning to pre-recession levels, with some exhibitors experiencing record-breaking sales figures.
Visitors enjoyed the show’s Adventurous Cruising Zone, where industry experts shared their knowledge on topics from navigation to boat handling, and the Watersports Pool saw people queuing to try free taster sessions in canoeing, stand up paddle boarding and water walkers.
Big names to attend this year’s event included HRH The Princess Royal, actor and comedian James Corden, broadcaster Suzi Perry, Sir Ben Ainslie, TV presenters Lorraine Kelly, Nick Knowles, Sarah Beeny, Dominic Littlewood and John Sargeant plus Olympians Etienne Stott, Shirley Robertson, Bryony Shaw, Paul Goodison, Stevie Morrison and Pippa Wilson visited, many of whom attended the show’s official charity’s stand, the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation.
Murray Ellis, managing director of National Boat Shows, said: ‘We are pleased with the success of the 2014 London Boat Show and have celebrated its 60th anniversary with some of the best brands in the marine industry.
‘Thousands of boats, brands, technology, training and free interactive attractions have filled the nine days which has led to the positive feedback from both exhibitors and visitors.
‘We are delighted with the high quality of visitors who came to this year’s show and the number of exhibitors who have signed up to exhibit in 2015.’
Exhibitors, to date, signing up tothe 2015 show include: Pearl Motor Yachts, Navionics, Cobra Ribs, Offaxis, Sleipner Motor, Learn 2 Sail, Cruising Association, Cornish Crabbers, Mersea Trailers, Sail Ionian, Hobo Yachting, GN Espace, Fairline, Princess, Volvo, Rolly Tasker Sails, IPC, Furuno, EP Barrus, Gibbs Boat Sales, Sealine, Rockley Watersports, Topper International, Nisos Yacht Charter, Cambrian Boat Centre, Aura Yachting, Pure Latitude, R&D Marine, The Boat Crew and Flexisail.
Oliver Winbolt, head of marketing at Fairline Boats, said: ‘Fairline has enjoyed another very successful London Boat show.
‘Our new layout has made it easier for our clients to view our boats, while attractions such as the Concept Cinema have been busy throughout the show.
‘Sales have been excellent with the final total due to exceed 2013, further extending our forward order book into late 2014 in some cases.
‘In addition, we anticipate a significant number of retail sales during the coming weeks as a direct result of customers who have been introduced to the brand at this event.
‘There is no better way to start the boating season than by taking advantage of this ideal sales opportunity in January.’
A-Glaze chairman Michael Bollom said: ‘The London Boat Show has been absolutely superb; our sales are 58 per cent up.
‘The people who have made the effort to come here are the people who have come here to buy. We have seen a lot of people and picked up two new distributors. We will definitely be back, we have already signed up.
‘This show is important, it is always a good Show for us. We would be very disappointed if it didn’t continue.’
With much of the country experiencing unprecedented levels of flooding, exhibitors at the London Boat Show joined forces to come to the rescue of Muchelney, on the Somerset Levels, which is severely flooded to the extent that the entire village is now totally cut off from the surrounding areas.
The boat, engine, lifejackets, safety and radio equipment, insurance and transport of the boat to Somerset were all provided through the goodwill of London Boat Show and British marine companies including ADPR, ASAP, BHG Marine, Coleman, Event Broadcast, Garmin, ICOM, IPC, Marine Resources, Ocean Safety, PSP, Rigiflex and Torqeedo.
The 2014 PSP Southampton Boat Show will take place from 12-21 September www.southamptonboatshow.com, while next year’s London Boat Show runs from 10-18 January 2015 at ExCeL London.