The weather was fair and the sun shone down brilliantly on the crowds attending the inaugural Suzuki sponsored, Powerboat & RIB Show, staged in Portsmouth’s Gunwharf Quays retail and leisure complex.
A total number of 75,700 people visited Gunwharf Quays over the course of the three days, (Friday: 20,800, Saturday: 31,700 Sunday: 23,200,) whereupon visitors not only found all manner of marine exhibits throughout the various boulevards and walkways but also some 7000 visited the event pontoons, with many taking up the opportunity of getting out on the water aboard the many exhibits afloat.
The queues of people wanting to avail themselves of the Suzuki RIB Experience were such that the company stated they could have doubled their capacity and still not been able to keep pace with public demand. Sales and serious enquiries of boats were encouraging too with companies such as Ribquest, X-Pro Defender, Coastal-Pro, Ribeye, C-Fury, Arctic Blue, Excel, Landau Marine and Raymarine all being amongst those reporting healthy commerce over the course of the three day show.
“We see Gunwharf Quays as being the UK’s premier waterside leisure complex and hence, with 9.5 million people streaming through its gates each year, it affords an unrivalled opportunity for the marine industry to meet new people”, states Hugo Montgomery-Swan, PBR Show Organiser and MD. “Traditional boat shows are continuing to suffer in the UK and it is the growing view of many that the old show model no longer is effective at introducing fresh faces into the fold. Our business plan is therefore all about taking the show to the people whilst at the same time providing a worthwhile and valuable show for those who are already keen boating enthusiasts and serious buyers. We have to introduce new people into boating and we believe this open format with its free entry, set within a high volume, high quality, public orientated venue such as Gunwharf Quays, is the way forward”.
The overwhelming feedback resulting from the Powerboat & RIB Show was that this is a national event of huge potential and already plans are afoot for a show with even more features and an even greater exhibitor list in 2013.