by Jeni Bone
Celebrating its 4th year with greater crowd numbers and more exhibitors, the Kawana Boat Show, run Australian Events, took over Quad Park near Caloundra for three days last week, Friday 7 to Sunday 9 November.
Kawana Boat Show has catered to Sunshine Coast boaties for four years.
Event manager Bob Carroll, says the event ran 'exceptionally well'.
'There were exhibitors from across the board, from tinnies to Regal cruisers which retail at $300,000+.'
The show comprised more than 10,000m² of boating displays, 120 stalls, and $60,000 worth of prizes for The Australian Master Marine River to Reef Fishing Classic, which ran in conjunction with the show.
Carroll says the appeal of the event, which this year attracted around 12,000 people, lies in the diversity of products on show, catering to all levels of consumer.
'The Sunshine Coast has so many different waterways – lakes, rivers, offshore, estuaries, lots of waterfront properties – and lots of activities to suit all different tastes – from water skiing and pontoons to luxury cruising. The good news is the people who came did buy. As well as boats, a lot of mid-range stuff sold. Motors, trailers, rods, reels, tackles all sold out. There were a few house boats that sold this year too.'
Boats, accessories, motors and all kinds of gear are on sale.
The privately owned show has attracted the attention of the Sunshine Coast Tourism, with the potential to grow exponentially with its support. 'Each year we’ve added to it,' explains Carroll. 'This year is the biggest it’s been. A lot of the retailers in Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast tell us they’re not getting the returns from capital city events. Shows like ours are more affordable and are hitting the real buyers.'
An initiative this year that led to repeat visits was the introduction of the 'Free Return Pass', allowing visitors unlimited entry over the three days.
So popular is the format and exhibitor fees of the Kawana Show, that Carroll reports his company is planning a similar event for Gold Coast at Parklands in September 2009.
More at www.boatexpo.com.au or 1800 671 588.