New ‘look and feel’ of Canada’s marquee boating event signals an exciting new era for exhibitors and show consumers

TIBS 2023

Feb 20, 2023

Show organizers for the 65th edition of the Toronto International Boat Show said that 2023 Boat Show attendance surpassed 65,000!

One of North America’s premier boating events marked its highly anticipated return to an in-person consumer show, January 20 – 29 at the Enercare Centre to debut more than 150 product innovations, thousands of recreational boats and watersports accessories, and more electric boats than ever before.

Attendance in 2023 exceeded expectations despite several ‘snow days’ and weather advisories. 65,510 consumers came through the gates over the Show’s 10 days, with opening weekend attendance among the highest in years with more than 25,750 visitors on the first Friday to Sunday — exceeding 2020’s opening weekend attendance by nearly 20 per cent.

“You could feel the energy in the crowd with weekend attendance; the busiest we’ve seen in a long time. TIBS 2023 brought energized crowds that were excited to see boats, accessories, local marinas and the Indoor Lake, all under one roof after a two-year hiatus due to Covid. The show certainly had a fresh look and feel to it, with many manufacturers debuting new products in Toronto.” – Thomas Medri, Regal Boats

“What a great event and continued validation of the importance of the Toronto International Boat Show! A fresh new “post-covid” look and atmosphere, and without question it’s still the best at showcasing the industry’s latest products. With increased traffic and great consumer confidence, the 2023 show was a positive event for our dealership!” – Joe Lineberry, Paris Marine (Dealer for Cobalt, Monterey, Scout, Sylvan, Rossiter, Yamaha WaveRunners)

“Our results were stellar, with the highest grossing dollar results to date. We were up 15% over the 2020 Show. The Toronto Show definitely set the benchmark for consumer shows far & wide. Great things ahead!” – Jack Summers, Radioworld

“This year’s results exceeded all expectations. We were thrilled to be back at this year’s show and we saw so many new boaters than ever before!” – Donna Rork, Cottage Toys

“From the opening Friday to the closing Sunday, we were happy to see strong and better than expected attendance. Even with a large team, we felt the need to call in additional help for the second weekend. The crowd was happy to be back to this in-person event. We had a very positive Toronto Boat Show experience, and it helped kick start our season into high gear in a big way!” – Jessie Davis, Legend Boats

North America’s largest indoor boat show was indeed abuzz with top boat dealers and marine manufacturers from across Canada and internationally as they debuted new models, fleets, accessories, and the latest trends – with electric boats making big waves among consumer and media interest. Debuting at the 2023 Toronto Boat Show was the world’s first mass produced all-electric personal watercraft, along with electric boats, electric-powered jet boards and jet surfs, and plenty of solar powered accessories. It’s clear that the electric vehicle (EV) movement has crossed over to other forms of transportation, and the boating industry is riding the wave.

Significant for the show, especially after a two-year hiatus, was the return of the world’s largest indoor lake for boaters. Canada’s top athletes converged on the first weekend to compete in the Indoor Wakeboard Canadian Championship, culminating with Riley Dillon (Men) and Kelsey Chiappa (Women) taking home top honours. And throughout the Show, attendees came to watch new product demonstrations, enjoy SUP races, wakeboarding and waterskiing shows; and to try watercraft activities and go wakeboarding.

Popular show attractions including the Great Canadian Fish Tank, Antique and Classic Boat Society, and seminar stages (which hosted more than 300 hourly seminars) were relocated across the show floor for greater visibility and accessibility for showgoers; while the newly introduced Boaters Resource Centre became the new hub to connect with various recreational organizations including Parks Canada, Canadian Power and Sail Squadron, Transport Canada, Boating Ontario, and more.

Historically, the Toronto Boat Show annually attracts more than 70,000 attendees. In 2020, attendance was 69,500; however, show organizers estimate that there were 1,700 more exhibitor badges distributed that year than in 2023.

Dates for the 66th annual Toronto International Boat Show are scheduled for January 19 to 28, 2024 at the Enercare Centre, Exhibition Place.

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