Strong attendance greeted the return of the Vancouver International Boat Show


Feb 28, 2023

After a three-year pause, attendance for the 60th edition of the Vancouver International Boat Show was strong – with almost 28,000 visitors to the BC Place and Granville Island locations over the five-day event.

The Vancouver Boat Show took place Feb 1-5, during which a total attendance of 27,895 was recorded – slightly more than 27,650 recorded in 2020, just prior to the onset of the pandemic.

“The long-awaited return of an in-person Vancouver International Boat Show was a coming together of boating enthusiasts and those interested in exploring this amazing pastime,” said Show manager Amanda Henschell. “The pandemic presented significant challenges, but if there is a silver lining, it’s how these circumstances have given us a better appreciation for the opportunity to share our common love of everything associated with boating – and we are pleased that so many people attending this year’s show shared that sentiment.”

The return of this signature event connected visitors with salespeople and product specialists who represent all the major brands and provided a perfect opportunity for experienced and novice boaters to purchase anything they need to get out on BC’s incredible waters.

“Guests in attendance expressed interest in a wide range of products including canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, fishing boats, ski and wakeboard boats – and even the luxury yachts and cruiser segments,” added Henschell.

With a wide array of speakers, presentations, the 2023 event contained a program that was educational, entertaining – and had something for everyone. Featured guest, Inna Nagaytseva, a renowned artist who escaped the war-torn country of Ukraine and is raising funds for the Ukrainian war effort and her family back home through the sale of her nautical-inspired watercolours, provoked an inspiring and emotional response.

Exhibitor quotes:

“We were blown away by the excitement,” says GA Checkpoint salesmen Ben Wolinski. “We weren’t sure what the reception would be after three years away, but there has been a palpable buzz in the air all weekend. I heard from so many customers who have let us know how happy they were to be back.”

River City Marine had a similar, positive experience at the Vancouver Boat Show, according to salesmen Liam Crosariol. “I think this could be our best sales year ever at the show. The interest has been very high. Normally the crowds ramp up as the weekend rolls along, but we were busy from the opening day.”

The return of the Vancouver Boat Show was a welcome opportunity for Yamaha Canada’s Steve Cyr to connect with customers. “It feels like this could be the best attended Boat Show in years,” says the District Sales Manager. “We’ve had much higher consumer engagement than expected. It’s been great to get in front of the customer to have face-to-face conversations and foster relationships.”

For retail and service-based exhibitors such as Dane Christensen of Harbour Chandler from Vancouver Island, the show exceeded expectations. “We’ve been coming here for 20-years, and this was the best crowd. It was a steady stream of customers, and they were all very excited to be back. We’ve were so busy; it was hard to keep up with demand and keep the shelves stocked. It was a good problem to have!”

Western Canada’s largest consumer boating event, the Vancouver International Boat Show is owned by the Boating BC Association and produced by Canadian Boat Shows.

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