by Jeni Bone
The inaugural Gold Coast Marine Expo is filling its exhibition space fast, as brands and companies commit to this new summer show, to be held 4-6 November at the Gold Coast City Marina, Riviera and Telwater at Coomera on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
Staff from the Gold Coast Marine Precint celebrate the launch of the Gold Coast Marine Expo.
Exhibitors to date include Relax Enterprises, Raymarine, Fleming Yachts, Classic Marine Trimming, Active Water Sports, and boats booked in ranging from kayaks to 70ft, both trailer boats and on-water displays, suppliers and accessories.
Sponsors include Riviera, Telwater, Clipper Boats, MTU, International Paints, Gold Coast City Marina, Boatpoint, Go Boating publications, and Alaska and Hampton Yachts.
Stephen Milne, spokesperson for the Expo, said that one month since the event was officially launched, the organisers have started to gather strong exhibitors. 'We have 15 secured in just one month, which is exciting, with major brands like Princess and Raymarine already committed. From a trade point of view, we have a ready-made venue with marinas, car parking, facilities and everything on site.'
As Milne explains: 'There will be shuttle buses from Coomera rail station to the venue, so you can come from Brisbane or the south Gold Coast, or you can arrive by helicopter from Palazzo Versace if you want to!'
The vision is to create 'a mini Fort Lauderdale', with boats on display on the precinct that spans from Gold Coat City Marina to the Gold Coast Marine Centre. 'We have to start small, but we plan to have over 100 boats, new and brokerage, power and sail, at a genuine working marina. We have the capacity to show over 100 boats, without having to bring in one piece of additional equipment.'
Milne says all participants are pitching in for the inaugural expo. 'We are all doing this voluntarily because I truly believe, this is a good example of private enterprise coming up with an event to attract people to boating. People can get on boats and experience them. There will be wooden boats, people can meet genuine ‘old salts’ and see their classic timber boats. We have to think about the industry growing again and employing people. This precinct and south-east Queensland is the hub of the boating industry from an industry perspective, and it makes sense to bring people here and showcase our industry to attract new blood.'
Event coordinator, Jodie Hall urges brands and companies to get onboard. 'People should be at this show because it’s a pre-summer expo like the boating industry has never seen before,' says Hall. 'This expo will be back to basics focusing on what the public wants to see. They want to see how a boat is built, so we will have full factory tours of Telwater and Riviera. Families will love it!'
It will be a hands-on expo, says Jodie. 'We are hoping to have a learn to drive a boat experience, with seasoned trainers on hand to instruct people. This is how a boating expo should be.'
For families there will be a Kids’ Zone run by Paradise Kids, international food stalls, courtesy bus shuttle between sites and parking on-site.
Entry is free, with organisers asking for gold coin donations that will go back to local charities via Rotary and other groups, who will be volunteering during the expo.
There will be an industry function on the Saturday night, ticketed and open to all exhibitors, staff, customers and media, complete with entertainment, food and networking opportunities. 'Subject to weather, we are hoping it will be an open air event, sensational at that time of year!'
'The social event will be the opportunity for all boaties – owners, tradies, manufacturers and exhibitors and their staff to party together in one place,' adds Milne. 'It will be low key, inclusive to appeal to every different level of the industry, and it will be all about the boats.
A site map will be available online this week, at http://gcmarineexpo.com.au
All enquiries to Jodie Hall, Event Administrator, Tel: 0447 758 884 or email firstname.lastname@example.org