The 19th annual China International Boat Show was held 10 to 13 April in its new venue, the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center.
This year, CIBS as it’s known, attracted 550 exhibitors and more than 35,000 visitors over the four days.
Organisers say the 2014 Shanghai Show had 'something for everyone, with boats all the way down to kayaks and dinghies but equally all the way up to powerful offshore capable sports fishers and yachts'.
With the additional of a leisure section and theme, this year's Show aimed to tap into the growing Chinese interest in outdoor leisure.
'Lowering the entry level to a sport or pastime logically increases the potential customer base and affordability and this could be seen by the activity at the show,' organisers stated, reporting more people visiting and interacting with exhibitors with 'an interested eye, rather than wandering aimlessly round the show only pausing to pick up brochures'.
Leigh Francis, director at All Marine Spares, travelled to CIBS to meet some European suppliers who were attending the show and had hopes of forging contacts with potential suppliers.
'For us, it’s become more of a meeting show than seeing products,' he says. 'There were a lot more exhibitors from Asia and a lot more visitors from the US and Europe, which proves the show has become an important trade event. It’s half way for everybody.'
But the show was interesting in terms of product as well, Francis continues. 'You tend to see the same products at every show, but there were some different companies there. Organisers made an effort to broaden the exhibitor base.
'We noticed quite a few trade people in on the Thursday and Friday. For us, there were some marine companies we hadn’t seen at the show before. We met some Asian suppliers we would not otherwise have known about. If they attend the show, it’s a good indication they know what they’re doing, they’re serious about wanting to establish links. It’s certainly a show we consider worth going to.'
Up next for All Marine Spares are Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show, where the company will reveal its innovative trailer concept, followed by Sydney, IBEX in the US and then METSin Amsterdam. www.boatshowchina.com and www.allmar.com.au