The inaugural Wilmington Boat Show was held last month, and show founder and president of JBM & Associates Jacqui Bomar has announced they have already secured half of the total exhibitor revenue they had for the first show.
“The second Wilmington Boat Show will likely be in a sell-out situation for exhibitor space well before next summer. If a show is successful, exhibitors and sponsors sign up immediately after a show to secure their place in the following year. Within three weeks after the show, we had 50 percent of our first year sales already committed. This is an encouraging sign of the show’s growth potential,” said Bomar. “This has never happened in our 15-year history of producing boat shows. The venue, the timing, the need for a quality boat show and an experienced and impassioned event team was the magic formula for a superb first year show.”
The economic impact potential for the City of Wilmington and New Hanover County is tremendous. According to statistics by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), the total economic impact of recreational boating in North Carolina is $4.15 billion annually. There are 396,125 recreational boats in the state of North Carolina. There are 1,072 boating industry businesses, attributing to 32,827 jobs. The annual recreational boating-related spending is $1.7 billion. For reference, the annual Miami Boat Show delivers an economic impact of $600 million dollars annually to the City of Miami and surrounding areas.
In the first year of the Wilmington Boat Show, there were 124 exhibitors, more than 85 different boat lines from major boat dealers, builders and manufacturers from a variety of locations. Many exhibitors stayed in local hotels, ate at local restaurants, visited bars and shops, rented cars and flew in and out of ILM.
“One of the restaurant owners ran into my staff while chatting with Mayor Saffo on Front Street downtown and mentioned that he was slammed due to the boat show,” said Bomar.
The JBM team is already working with the city to prepare for the Sept. 8-10 show as well as with the Battleship NC staff to enhance the show and grow it across the Cape Fear River.
“I am most excited about the growth and opportunity that the ever-changing landscape brings. I personally had conversations with people from the area who said they had no idea the marina was even downtown. They didn’t know about the new restaurants that would be opening, the condo complex or the two new hotels. The show not only brings in business from people who live outside the area, but also people from the area who never go downtown,” said Bomar.
For information and photos from the Wilmington Boat Show, visit www.WilmingtonBoatShow.com or call 864-250-9713.