Southampton – a great confidence boost!

21 Sep 2009

BOAT SHOW: The PSP Southampton Boat Show closed on Sunday afternoon having attracted 121,671 visitors to Mayflower Park, which is not only 282 more than last year, but also a welcome confidence booster as we go towards winter.
The stunning ladies of Escala helped launch Sunseeker’s Predator 130

The stunning ladies of Escala helped launch Sunseeker’s Predator 130

The show being 15% smaller in space terms from last year helped it appear busy most of the time, although the nether regions of Solent Park were draughty and sparsely populated some of the times BB went walking there.

But the overall response from just about all the exhibitors BB spoke to was they were very worried going into the show. But the mood changed as the show went on and – by the end – just about every exhibitor had a smile on his or her face.

Maybe it wasn’t record business – but most did more business than they thought they would, which was a nice surprise.

And the weather stayed on our side. The Tuesday was rubbish, but even Mark, the man on the Outdoor BeanBag stand, remained cheery in the rain.

The rain disappeared for the Wednesday, much to the delight of the 65 people who turned up to run, ride bicycles or motorbikes on the charity night based at Premier’s Swanwick Marina. Over £1,200 was raised and everyone had a great time – see separate story.

Sophie Ellis-Bextor
On top of that, the delightful Sophie Ellis-Bextor opened the show, the stunning ladies of Escala helped launch Sunseeker’s Predator 130 and hordes of people turned up to break the record for the greatest number of people to send a semaphore message.

Then there were over 100 new products launched and, as well as Sunseeker, all the Big Four showed glossy new big boats. Oh yes, Eddie Jordan turned up and wrote out his cheque for the first Sunseeker 46 – his 10th boat from Mr Braithwaite.

In all, not a bad show, we’d say.

Organiser National Boat Shows (NBS) says it’s delighted with the success of the show, which boasted more than 500 exhibitors and almost 1,000 boats, and reckons its exhibitors reported a feeling of ‘cautious optimism’ for the future.

‘I believe this show proves the resilience and innovative nature of the British marine industry,’ said NBS chairman Paul Strzelecki. ‘To have such a positive show in the current economic climate is remarkable and we are delighted with the number of visitors who have come to enjoy it and, importantly, make purchases.’

Exhibitors say
We exceeded last year’s value of finance applications by 32% – Ian Braham, Lombard Marine Finance

A 50% uplift in year-on-year sales – Toomer and Hayter

We secured sales or offers on more than 60 boats during the show – Boatshed.com

We’ve achieved twice as many sales as we did at the 2008 PSP Southampton Boat Show – Frank Stevens, Crownline

Absolutely fantastic! We’ve had a number of orders on our new offering – Matthew Hornsby, Williams Performance Tenders

We’ve had a very successful Show and look forward to taking that high to the Tullett Prebon LIBS – Robert Braithwaite, Sunseeker International

We’ve been delighted with the Show and have seen a very encouraging mood of improved optimism – Alan Morgan, Avon/Zodiac

We’re extremely pleased at the number of genuine boat buyers looking at a new Princess – Will Green, Princess Yachts International

Our show sponsorship has proved a great success and committing to next year’s sponsorship was the easiest decision I’ve ever made – Frank Dixie, PSP

I came here dead worried, but I think it’s going to be OK – James Grazebrook, Halyard

Great show and great quality people – Ian Cooke, Onward Trading

Source: Boating Business www.boatingbusiness.com