2008 dates changed for Providence Boat Show

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Newport Exhibition Group, new owners of the Providence Boat Show, have encountered a challenge that will affect the show dates for the next two years, NEG said yesterday.

Late last year, NEG, the Trade Show Division of Newport Harbor Corp., was informed by North American Expositions Co., producers of the New England Boat Show, that the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center could not accommodate its traditional dates – the 10-day period in February around Presidents’ Day – in either 2008 or 2009.

North American Expositions felt it was important to inform NEG since its only option for those years would be to hold the show during the traditional dates of the Providence Boat Show, the second week of January, according to the release.

Over a period of three weeks, the boat show management teams, along with officials from the Rhode Island Convention Center and the BCEC, worked to find a solution that would work for everyone. Nonetheless, the only dates that were available in Boston included the second weekend in January; and, the only other dates available at the Rhode Island Convention Center are the first weekend in January.

So as not to conflict directly with Boston, the Providence Boat Show will be held in 2008 during the week of Jan. 3 – 6.

“The 2007 Providence Boat Show was a great success,” said Nancy Piffard, show director. “The number of attendees was in keeping with other years and on Saturday we had a really full house. To date, we have had a great deal of positive feedback on the quality of the gate and the actual and potential sales results.

“In our first year of managing this successful show, we have learned a great deal about the venue and have already started the process of planning to make the show bigger and better next year. We already have a specially designed marketing, advertising and PR campaign in the works for the 2008 show. And, we anticipate that the continued renovations of the Dunkin’ Donuts Center will make the show even more attractive. So, while we’re disappointed that we have to change the traditional dates next year, we feel it’s the best move considering the situation”

Chris Perrotti, general manager of Newport Yachting Center and head of operations for the Providence Show said the show’s staff will be making every attempt to work with the RI Convention Center and the Dunkin’ Donuts Center to make it as easy as possible for all exhibitors and attendees.

“We’re working on better stage-in dates to accommodate the schedules of our exhibitors and quicker stage-out times will be arranged so exhibitors can move quickly to their next venue,” Perrotti said. “There are many more options that we will be considering in the coming months to have this work for everyone concerned. We will be working to make the Providence Boat Show experience a great one.”

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