This year’s Sydney International Boat Show (SIBS) basked not only in the summery weather that provided a perfect backdrop for the event but also in one of the most enthusiastic responses from buyers, sellers and dreamers alike in recent years.
Held July 30 – August 3 once again in dual locations – Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island (SEC@GI) for hall exhibitions and Darling Harbour’s Cockle Bay Marina for in-water displays – the Boat Show was marked by a strong start and strong finish.
SEC@GI was a hub of activity from Day 1 with queues before the doors opened. This time around Glebe Island was the first stop for many visitors. Most arrived by ferry before moving on to Darling Harbour, but stepped up transport messaging also resulted in increased drive-in visitors taking advantage of ample on-site parking.
By the end of the five-day event, crowds were up 4.3% from last year with over 51,000 visitors streaming steadily through both locations. Reports from exhibitors indicate the Show generated strong sales – in some cases, record sales – helping to drive growth for the recreational boating industry this year.
“Going into the Show, we had expectations for positive outcomes,” said Boating Industry Association President Alan Blake. “Exhibitor demand required the full footprint of the Exhibition Centre and exceeded that available at the Marina. Advance ticket sales were tracking well.”
“As it turned out we had a really good, very upbeat Show with high attendance, and boat dealers and manufacturers boasting sales contracts in hand not to mention quality leads. It was so well received this year,” he added.
Contributing to the Show’s success was a revamped, navigation friendly layout at SEC@GI, allowing exhibitors the opportunity to attract and engage customers in a more comfortable and professional way. Digital signage between the halls provided a smooth flow of foot traffic.
“All types of watercraft with a combined value of more than $200 million was on Show. Amidst these it was good to see lower priced accessories to the boating lifestyle – from boating apparel for the perfect yacht or boat adventure to fishing and tackle – which added to the buzz on the floor with retail sales humming,” said SEC@GI General Manager Malu Barrios.
“The new late-night hours at the Marina, matching Show times at the Centre, was another welcomed boost. And interestingly, there was an increase in female visitors this year,” she continued.
SIBS has a 48-year history in Sydney and this year’s success entrenched its position as Australia’s premier recreational marine event, as well as one of the world’s leading boat shows.
It is also the largest show the SEC@GI’s hosts and a strong presence of AEG executives was seen at the official opening including Bob Newman, President of USA-based AEG Facilities, Rod Pilbeam, Executive Director of AEG Ogden and Geoff Donaghy, CEO of International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney).
The Boat Show will be held at SEC@GI 28 July – 1 August 2016 in its final year of operating in two locations. It will then return to Darling Harbour in 2017, the Show’s 50th year, in only one venue at ICC Sydney.