by Jeni Bone
The second day of the 47th Sydney International Boat Show went off without a hitch today, with fine weather, though chilly winds and a steady flow of visitors, both on the marina and travelling to the Glebe Island venue - just 15 minutes by ferry.
Dom Genua - outside the Glebe Island venue.
According to the NSW BIA, which gathered together the national media, VIPS and guests today for a ferry ride around Sydney Harbour, while the exhibitor numbers may be down 12% on 2013, the vibe and the optimism are high.
Minister of Roads and Ports, the Hon Duncan Gay spoke of the contribution of the boating industry to the NSW economy and its way of life.
President of the BIA of NSW, Roy Privett welcomed media, VIPs and guests and expressed the organisation's gratitude to sponsors and exhibitors for their support during this three year period.
The temporary venue at Glebe Island, just a quick harbour crossing from Darling Harbour, has posed a variety of challenged for the BIA and a bunch of opportunities in equal measure.
'At the old facility, we had 28,000 metres square and at this new venue, we have 24,800, but we have managed to gain floor space in the opportunity to design the layout with straight aisles, and cutting back on food and beverage,' said Marketing and Event Manager, Domenic Genua today.
'There are 220 exhibitors in total, some have cut back, some have opted out, preferring to wait and see how it goes, but they will miss out. The vibe is great the atmosphere is great, the lighting is fantastic and we are pulling out all stops to make the show the best it can be.'
That includes upping marketing expenditure by around 20% on last year. 'We have maintained the rates for exhibitors and taken a hit when it comes to the additional expenses,' said Genua. 'All the additional costs have been absorbed by the BIA.'
Also this year, 'huge activity' in the Education and Entertainment precinct on the My Boating Life stage and an investment in the free shuttle services for visitors - buses from Central and ferries between Darling Harbour and the new venue.
'It takes 25 minutes at most,' asserts Genua.'And the great thing about it is that families and other visitors are really enjoying the 'immersion' in the boating lifestyle, The ferry trip really creates the water connection and the atmosphere for the boat show!'
The impressive temporary structure was imported from the London Olympic Games, where it was the Media Centre in 2012. It will be the home of the boat show and hundreds of other major events for the next three years until the new Darling Harbour Convention and Exhibition Centre is opened in time for the 50th anniversary show.
On the marina, there are 20 fewer boats than last year, mostly due to the space required for the ferry berth.
'There are 140 this year and last year there were 160. We are happy with the turn out and exhibitors have gone out of their way to really create spectacular displays that impart their brands and products. This investment will pay off. It's true when they say you get out what you put in. We think it will be a great boat show for visitors and encourage people to take the ferry and enjoy the two facets of this year's show.'
According to Genua, the sale of two and three days passes indicates show goers are keen to experience both venues and are gong to immerse themselves in the new conditions.
'It's $21 for an adult ticket for one day and $30 for two days, so it's worth it. We hope that translates into great attendance at both venues.'
There is parking on site at Glebe Island for $35 per day, which you can also pre-book online. Or visitors can park at Darling Harbour and enjoy the free ferry or bus to between venues.
The Sydney International Boat Show runs until Monday 4 August.
More at www.sydneyboatshow.com.au