Visitor attendance fell by 7.8 per cent, but there were many positive indicators

The 46th Sydney International Boat Show closed on Monday with 58,901 visitors attending the five-day event – a 7.8 per cent drop compared to the 63,887 people who visited last year’s show.

Nevertheless, there were many positive indicators in contrast to the decreasing registrations seen across the industry in recent years. Talk on the exhibition floor was that the drop in attendance was not an indicator of the level of product sales, as many visitors chose to reward themselves with new purchases.

“Whilst visitor numbers seem to be one of the event’s performance indicators, the reality is that under tough economic conditions, it is a more qualified audience that a show is seeking to attract,” says Roy Privett, general manager of the Boating Industry Association of New South Wales. “The number of show visitors will improve as the economy does, but for now it is important that we continue to fulfil the needs of qualified boaties.”

The Boating Industry Association of NSW, together with the show’s organiser, has immediately begun planning for next year’s event, which will temporarily relocate to Glebe Island during a billion-dollar redevelopment of the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre from 2014-2016.

The show’s existing on-water displays will remain in Cockle Bay, Darling Harbour.

According to the Boating Industry Association of New South Wales, the move to Glebe Island will create numerous opportunities for positive change to meet the needs of both exhibitors and visitors.