Organisers British Marine have announced that The London Boat Show will not go ahead in 2019 due to lack of support from the marine industry. The show was scheduled to run at ExCel between the 9th – 13th of January, though the decision has been made that the show will now be postponed to allow for the development of new ideas.
The London Boat Show switched from its original 10 day format to a 5 day format in 2018, though this proved unpopular with many key exhibitors according to independent research from exhibition experts, Zing Insights. The research, which encompassed over 67% of exhibitors who attended the show in 2018, showed that a large number were unhappy with the current format, location and length.
Whilst some voiced their approval for the new 5 day duration, many said that they were unwilling to commit to submitting an exhibition for the 2019 show. Signed contracts for 2019 were especially lacking from boat builders and boat retailers. Not only was the lack of support in the marine industry a factor in the decision to cancel the 2019 show, but the lack of public satisfaction as well.
Research conducted on visitors’ experience at the 2018 show revealed that satisfaction was below acceptable industry standards. This centred around what visitors thought of the content of the show, as well as the range of sailing and powerboats being displayed. In fact, research has shown a decline in visitor satisfaction every year, which is also part of the reason British Marine has put the London Boat Show on hold.
David Pougher, President of British Marine, had this to say:
“The decision to put the London Boat Show on hold is naturally very disappointing for the British marine industry, but British Marine and its Board of Directors has a responsibility to its members and we cannot commit to running a show which is clearly forecasted in its current format to be commercially unviable and will not meet customer satisfaction levels.”
He went on to say that postponing the event meant that they were able to reevaluate other, more viable options, as well as double their efforts into making the already well-supported Southampton Boat Show “the most successful to date”.