Marine Queensland’s Mackay Boat Show delivered a greater range of product diversity this year which helped successfully fill the void created by not having a round of the Offshore Superboat Championship timed with the event.
That greater diversity as well as outstanding corporate partnering support from the Mackay Village Marina, its on-site Clarion Hotel and others including a very boating focussed Mackay media, saw an increase in exhibitors.
Marine Queensland Chief Executive Officer, Mr Don Jones said: 'With so many exhibitors determined to still put on a spectacular show, we saw marine dealers mount displays which equated to large capital city efforts.'
'One Mackay dealer had more than 18 boats on display ranging from around 3.5 metres to nearly seven metres; others had put in outstanding efforts to secure the latest models from various manufacturers.'
'The local media welcomed the opportunity to promote boating and marine-related activities as a core part of the southern Whitsundays lifestyle – their coverage along with national marine industry media guaranteed that locals knew there were some treats in place if they attended.'
'The offshore superboats had been a wonderful attraction – their move to Bowen for the second round of the championship this year really increased the pressure on exhibitors to deliver a premium boat show experience for visitors.'
'Interestingly, an increased number of Brisbane-based marine businesses made the trek to Mackay for the show pushing exhibitor numbers to around 30. Early feedback is that it was smart investment on their behalf.
'Little things like gold coin donation parking managed by the Voluntary Marine Rescue group, combined well with strategies such as free entry and boat show supplements in the media, particularly the Mackay Daily Mercury as well as great interest from other community communicators including Channel 7 and Zinc FM.'
'It was clear that the show made a significant contribution to encouraging more people to go boating in the future as well as providing an immediate return on investment to exhibitors.'
A Mackay Daily Mercury front page photograph of Scott and Melinda Camilleri and their young sons summed up the essence of the show with Mr Camilleri quoted as having said: 'This is the first time I’ve been to the boat show.'
That, despite the fact Mrs Camilleri also said: 'We have got two boats, the kids like their fishing and we just love being out on the water.'