London Boat Show 2018: ‘It’s going to be boats, boats, boats!’
- Credit: onEdition
With a new format and different dates, the President of British Marine is confident of a blockbuster event.
He just can’t resist it... “Come in, the water’s lovely,” says a very upbeat David Pougher, president of British Marine, the organisation that runs the London and Southampton Boat Shows.
David paints an enticing picture of a show that has moved further than usual into January while reducing the number of exhibition days.
“We’ve seen that the Christmas and New Year holiday has extended in recent years, so we felt that, by moving the show five days further on and reducing it to five days, it would focus attention for exhibitors and visitors,” he explains.
“We’ve maintained the weekend for visitors who can only get away then as well as three week days, and the exhibitors have given us extremely positive feedback.”
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Another development this year is the introduction of the Boating Watersports Holiday Show, aimed at visitors who by January might be thinking about booking their 2018 holiday.
“It means there is a chance for more exhibitors to engage with visitors interested in holidays, whether that’s abroad, on our canals or in the Broads National Park,” says David, adding: “I’m convinced that the new offering is going to be welcomed by our visitors.”
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Almost a quarter (23%) of the exhibitors are new to the show this year, creating variety for everyone at the ExCeL Centre whether looking for an ocean-going yacht or a new anorak. And at the heart of the show is a 400m wall lined with boats of all sizes and prices.
“It’s going to be boats, boats, boats!” says David.
He says that 2017 has proved a good period for the boat-building sector, with a weak pound stimulating export sales. “It’s a pleasant situation for our business at the moment,” says David. “We should be very proud of the number of boat manufacturers in the UK. Consumer and industry confidence is coming back.
“So I’m pleased to say the London Boat Show is going to be really good.”