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Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

London Boat Show has Finally Snuffed It

Its taken an age to die but finally it looks as if the London Boat Show has finally snuffed it.

The January based show began to die in the year after it moved from Earls Court.

Back in those days it was a largely sexist affair with husbands and sons visiting the show in Earls Court while wives and daughters went to the January sales in Oxford Street. In the evening the family regrouped and went out to dinner or took in a show.

But times change and so does the way we spend our leisure time.  So in a way its sad to report that British Marine, which organises and owns the show, has announced that the 2019 Show, due to run at ExCeL London from 9-13 January 2019, will not take place.

The decision was made after independent research showed there was insufficient support from a large proportion of the marine industry to the London Boat Show with its current format, duration and location.  

Personal interviews with over 67% of exhibitors revealed that whilst a number of marine companies supported the change to a five day Show, finding it preferable to a 10 day Show, a large number of key exhibitors were not prepared to commit to exhibiting to a five day Show at ExCeL in January 2019.

Visitor research also showed that consumer satisfaction of the 2018 Show was below acceptable industry standards. Visitor satisfaction was centred on the content of the Show and specifically on the number and diversity of sailing and power boats exhibited.

The research results showed a year-on-year decline in audience satisfaction which would continue to fall if the show proceeded in the same format and continued to fail to satisfy visitor expectations.

The lack of support for the London Boat Show is in contrast with the Southampton Boat Show, which attracts close to 500 exhibitors and more than 106,000 visitors. The 2018 event is significantly ahead in terms of ticket sales and exhibitor sign ups compared to this time last year.

The Southampton Boat Show 2018, running over 10 days from 14-23 September, celebrates its 50th year with a host of special events and activities taking place.

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