The Vancouver International Boat Show returned after a three-year hiatus, with almost 28,000 visitors to the BC Place and Granville Island locations during the five-day event. It took place Feb. 1-5, during which a total attendance of 27,895 was recorded.
“The long-awaited return of an in-person Vancouver International Boat Show was a coming together of boating enthusiasts and those interested in exploring this amazing pastime,” said Show manager Amanda Henschell. “The pandemic presented significant challenges, but if there is a silver lining, it’s how these circumstances have given us a better appreciation for the opportunity to share our common love of everything associated with boating – and we are pleased that so many people attending this year’s show shared that sentiment.”
“Guests in attendance expressed interest in a wide range of products including canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, fishing boats, ski and wakeboard boats – and even the luxury yachts and cruiser segments,” added Henschell.
“We were blown away by the excitement,” says GA Checkpoint salesmen Ben Wolinski. “We weren’t sure what the reception would be after three years away, but there has been a palpable buzz in the air all weekend. I heard from so many customers who have let us know how happy they were to be back.”
River City Marine had a similar, positive experience at the Vancouver Boat Show, according to salesmen Liam Crosariol. “I think this could be our best sales year ever at the show. The interest has been very high. Normally the crowds ramp up as the weekend rolls along, but we were busy from the opening day.”
The return of the Vancouver Boat Show was a welcome opportunity for Yamaha Canada’s Steve Cyr to connect with customers. “It feels like this could be the best attended Boat Show in years,” says the District Sales Manager. “We’ve had much higher consumer engagement then expected. It’s been great to get in front of the customer to have face-to-face conversations and foster relationships.”
For retail and service-based exhibitors such as Dane Christensen of Harbour Chandler from Vancouver Island, the show exceeded expectations. “We’ve been coming here for 20-years, and this was the best crowd. It was a steady stream of customers, and they were all very excited to be back. We’ve were so busy; it was hard to keep up with demand and keep the shelves stocked. It was a good problem to have!”