The 2013 Tullett Prebon London Boat Show is once again within the mammoth Docklands venue from 12-20 January 2013, covering an area of more than 15 football pitches. Publisher, Rob Kothe reports from London.
No doubt, it's a wonderful facility but from a visitor view point, the location presents a challenges to access. It has been bitterly cold on Day One and Two and today it’s snowing in London, so you'd have to be a dedicated boater to venue to the site.
In 2012, at the 59th annual show, there were a total of 102,841 visitors. This year there were 11,300 visitors on 2013 Day One, Day Two figures are not yet available.
Situated with ExCeL’s South hall, from the Thursday through the second weekend, attendances are boosted because the annual Outdoor Show occupies the North Hall only 20 metres across the main 800 metre food court isle and visitors can go into both shows for just one entrance fee. Last year there were 31,912 visitors to the Outdoor Show.
This year there are 450 exhibitors in total. The sailing and dinghy section of the Show seems strong with companies like RS and Topper, with big displays, but when you think about the long list of British and European dinghy makers and powerboat makers who choose not to be at the show, instead investing in more targeted shows like the RYA Dinghy Show, you realise this is very much a big boat show.
Marinas and Sailing Schools from across the UK and Europe are well represented. As their income-producing activities are very much summer based, it’s clear they need strong boat show presence to deliver that precious summer traffic.
Up until 2003, the event was staged at Earls Court but the show outgrew those facilities and moved in 2004 to Docklands.
Within the expanse, queues wait patiently to step aboard the large powerboats and yachts via sets of stairs and a landing on each.
The sight of the £9.203 million Sunseeker Predator 115 behemoth almost touching the ceiling, with the luxury Princess and Fairlane cruisers and with long queues to inspect the 40, 50 and 60 footer sailing boats in the halls, with just 20 foot of mast above them, takes some getting used to, but it does make the indoor show an amazing spectacle.
The bigger the boat, the more people there are. One could be forgiven for thinking this is a British indoor theme park rather than a boat show!
We will have detailed news from the Show later in the week on MarineBusiness-World.com