by Jeni Bone
Event manager, Domenic Genua is realistic about the figures, given the economy and consumer sentiment.
'Visitor numbers is only one measurement. Our numbers were down, but exhibitors had a ripper show. 95% of them had a great show. The exhibitors who prepared well and had a great product and good attitude connected with visitors and sold well.
'Perhaps after the election, once the sentiment picks up, a whole new wave of boaties will think about boating as an option? That’s our job. It’s important that we don’t lost sight of what these shows are about – the heroes are the boats. We have to create an environment where people can learn about boating, see the products, get swept up in the atmosphere.
'People want to see boats, and be educated and entertained. They want advice, information, to sit down for a nice coffee or lunch, hear speakers, gather with like-minded people. It helped that the weather was fantastic!
'The boat show is really a celebration of boating and living on an island. We have 36,000kms of coastline and 768 rivers, estuaries and bays. We are providing a service to help people enjoy these waterways.'
According to Genua, the boat show committee has already had a meeting about initial plans for 2014. 'We have feedback from exhibitors and visitors, and we are talking with our suppliers and other people for their ideas to make the show even better for next year.'
Genua says he is excited about the move to the interim premises at Glebe Island, although he has had sad moments contemplating leaving the boat show’s home of 25 years – '21 of which I have been involved in!'
The BIA believes that the move to Glebe Island will create numerous opportunities for positive change to meet the needs of both exhibitors and visitors. Planning will commence immediately with the view of maintaining the fine tradition and market leadership the show has delivered since its inception in 1968.
The 2014 Sydney International Boat Show will run 31 July to 4 August at Cockle Bay Marina and Glebe Island.
Throughout the event, TetraMedia conducted 50+ interviews in a purpose-built film booth. Publisher Rob Kothe says 'The video studio worked exactly as planned. It was a very efficient way to gather content. Company principals were able to concentrate on getting their message out without interruption and there was virtually no preparation delay.
'We were overwhelmed with the response from switched-on companies who grasped the opportunity to reach a wider audience, many of them are busily getting additional video and stills to be integrated into their reports. So the videos will be released gradually over the coming days.'
For all the boat show news, see the current reports on www.marinebusiness-world.com and more added daily.