VANCOUVER, BC – The 51st annual Vancouver International Boat Show closed Monday, February
11, with onsite sales and leads generated during the 5-day show forecasting a positive 2013 for
Western Canada’s boating industry.
“The feedback from exhibitors and attendees alike has been excellent,” says Show Manager Eric
Nicholl. “Our focus on developing new and diverse features and seminars was clearly a draw for
attendees of all ages. Coupled with our strategic marketing emphasis on retail, this year’s show saw a
consistent stream of motivated buyers that exceeded dealers’ expectations.”
Returning for a second year to the newly renovated BC Place and in-water venue at Granville Island,
the 2013 Boat Show celebrated the inaugural BC Family Day weekend with a shift to a Thursday
through Holiday Monday date pattern that offered exhibitors an optimal selling environment. Final
attendance was 32,644 – on par with 2012’s attendance of 32,981 – with exhibitors noting an
improved quality of attendee.
“We are definitely up over last year,” says Aaron Fell of Breakwater Marine. “We’re very pleased with
the quality of traffic: there were very, very good buyers and the quality of traffic was definitely there.”
Paul Balestra of Land-Sea Power Ltd. echoes similar sentiments, reporting best booth sales for the
last five years.
The addition of new feature programming and attractions, including a larger SailFest display and new
Sport Fishing in BC feature, proved to be popular draws for the public and media. The expanded
seminar series, which featured the most seminars in show history, was also well received, offering
attendees more than 100 seminars spanning three seminar stages.
The show continued marketing efforts targeting the Asian community’s attendance and interest in
boating, with an introduction to boating and the boating lifestyle seminar and show tour, presented in
Mandarin by Wilson Kao. A certified boating instructor and local yacht salesman, Kao offers years of
experience and a wealth of knowledge about BC’s boating market. “There was significant growth in
the number of Chinese buyers who came to the show over the weekend and to the seminar,” says
Kao, adding he is optimistic about future growth in 2014.
“It’s clear that consumer confidence is on the rise,” says Don Young at Freedom Marine. “This year
has been the best show since 2007 – sales are fantastic! We’ve got eight sales totaling $3.5 million,
four of which are pending and four of which are closing.”
The 52nd Vancouver International Boat Show is tentatively scheduled for February 6-10, 2014. Dates
for next year’s show will be confirmed once show staff has had an opportunity to review desired and
available future date patterns with exhibitors, BCMTA, and BC Place.
Western Canada’s largest consumer boating event, the Vancouver International Boat Show is owned
by the British Columbia Marine Trades Association (BCMTA), and produced by Canadian Boat Shows.