The organisers of BoatLife Live report that strong sales were made at the inaugural four-day event, which took place at Birmingham NEC, with many companies already rebooking for 2023. BoatLife told PBR that visitors and exhibitors alike have all shared an overwhelming degree of positive feedback on the show’s organisation, its diverse range of boats, the show’s layout and the overall visitor experience.
BoatLife Live Marketing Manager Hayley Harris stated: ‘The launch show without question created a “springboard” for the future. We are immensely grateful to the 140 companies who placed their trust in our new event and, besides equipment, exhibited some 120 craft in all – from RIBs to powerboats, tenders to inland boats, motor yachts to luxury launches, and a good selection of starter boats too over the four days.’
Richard Dove, Director of BoatLife Events Ltd, commented: ‘I couldn’t be happier with how the show has been received. The hard work has paid off, and it’s the start of something very special. We now need to build on the success and gather feedback. Next year we hope to have more yachts, equipment and water sports. From the interest we have had from companies visiting the 2022 show to check it out, it appears we will be needing to secure considerably more exhibition space again for 2023.’
Despite challenges in the lead-up with Covid, stock availability issues on the part of many exhibitors and Storm Eunice doing its best to keep visitors homebound, the public came in surprisingly healthy numbers from all over the UK and proved their serious intent by purchasing then and there many of the craft on display. In fact, several of the industry’s leading boat suppliers stated that even by the third day of BoatLife, their sales had already exceeded their 2021 Southampton Boat Show sales figures. In addition, PBR were told by a number of the exhibitors that BoatLife, critically, had attracted fresh custom and genuine new business for them – something that many of the UK’s long-standing shows have struggled to deliver for some considerable time now.
PBR were official media sponsors to the 2022 event and, based upon the feedback of the exhibitors and our own assessment of the show, it is our view that BoatLife Live not only has all the hallmarks of becoming a very valuable permanent annual fixture for the marine industry, but has the potential, over time, to become the UK’s premier boating exhibition.
The show organisers are currently looking at 16th to 19th February 2023 for the next BoatLife Live event.