TIBS 2014 Closes

The final weekend crowds seemed noticeably stronger and our opinion is that the 2014 Toronto International Boat Show closed on a high note, but the mid-week attendance seemed quiet to most exhibitors that we interviewed.

Those exhibitors who were selling impulse purchase items, clothing and recreational accessories felt the effect of reduced numbers of people in the aisles.

A useful and interesting part of the Toronto International Boat Show is the "Buy a Boat and Win $10,000" contest. A group of the dealers participate in this program to help measure the business success at the show. Daily totals from those dealers participating are reported to the show organizers and there were 163 boats reported sold on Sunday  giving a total of 772 boats for the show within the "Buy a Boat and Win $10,000" contest. This is encouraging but we caution readers that many dealers do not participate in this program for one reason or another, therefore this number is not a true reflection of total boats sold at the show, just those that entered the contest.

The boat builders and dealers we interviewed who were selling either high-end products or entry level products seemed to be having a good show; a few were talking about a best-ever result but our sense is that the middle of the market was not as strong as in past years.

According to the Onsite Daily News newsletter that show organizers send out to exhibitors, the final show weekend brought strong crowds and increases in boat sales compared to the first half of the 2014 Toronto International Boat Show. 2013 produced the highest total attendance in 5 years, with the 2014 show attendance in the range of 2009 to 2012 numbers. Attendance on Friday was 6059 and Saturday was 11,545; down 13% and 9% compared to the prior year. Final attendance is to be reported later this week when the exhibitor newsletters are sent out electronically with the post-show press release and surveys.

CAPTION: Saturday January 18 crowds were strong but the mid-week attendance seemed down.

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