China (Shanghai) Boat Show Sees Impressive Results

Usually one is considered to come of age at 18 but the China (Shanghai) International Boat Show (CIBS) appears to have achieved that a year early.

In its 17th rendition CIBS’s move to the former World Expo 2010 site which was brought on by the need to move to larger premises has given the show a new character, a new feeling of being an event rather than having exhibitors crammed in wherever there was space; a whole new experience for the visitor, largely under one roof, which no other show, certainly not in China, has so far come close to replicating.

Figures are just in and they show turnover up a remarkable 120% to 2.2 Bn RMB with overseas visitors up 50%, although they were responsible for a small fraction of the boat sales. That figure was helped along quite nicely by Sunseeker who sold one 40m yacht for RMB 140M.

Overall visitor numbers were 31,835, up a massive 40% over 2011 and with every visitor pass being bar coded and electronically scanned these figures are completely accurate and 3rd party audited.

So there is absolutely no doubt that the move to the new venue at the World Expo site has been commercially successful for the organizers in terms of ticket sales and visitor numbers and also for the exhibitors, with most boats displaying a Sold sticker before the end of the show.

From the moment the doors opened to the public right after the opening ceremony on the Friday long queues formed for admission to the event. It was packed with visitors, at times making it very difficult to get from one part of the venue to another.

All this at a venue that was 31% larger than the previous year and yet still with virtually all the exhibition space sold out.

The exhibition space was very little “non-boats”. There were a handful (literally) of cars and luxury products -just around 5 or 6- with all the other 500 or so exhibitors being boats, boat bits or boat related.

There is little doubt that the China (Shanghai) International Boat Show is comfortably the largest boat show in Asia by virtually any measure, and has attracted the public’s interest or, more relevantly, the buying public’s interest. Most of the boats had a very encouraging word stuck on them by the end of the show: “Sold”. So with nigh on 500 boats being exhibited, that is quite a few new boat users about to launch onto the seas, rivers and lakes of China.