Perhaps one could read it as a vindication of the federal election result and Queensland's part it played. On the ground at SCIBS on Thursday and Friday it seemed that the public and industry were responding positively to the recent federal election result. At the very least an election looming over a major event like SCIBS with major purchases hanging in the balance can have a dampening effect on boat show sales, so to have this resolved the week or so prior was a positive in itself regardless of the election result.
The annual event, now in its 31st year, was a resounding success. Marine Business canvassed many exhibitors and industry figures during the show.
Jason Mitchell CEO of All Marine Spares said, "It was the best SCIBS out of the last 5 that I have been to. There were more boats, bigger boats, plenty of trailer boats too. A good feel and optimistic atmosphere amongst exhibitors and patrons. Weather was great."
Domenic Genua GM of Marketing at the BIA said, “SCIBS certainly provided the boating public, new and old, an opportunity to better understand how they can enjoy their time on the water. It provided an expanded offering from the trailer boat sector and visitors were not short on variety. The show is a very important event on the recreational boating calendar and is instrumental in offering our industry an opportunity to do business and grow. Well done to the show organisers and exhibitors for a fabulous event”
Nicholas Crawford, Marketing Executive Raymarine/ FLIR Maritime said, "We had a number of serious discussions, potential refits and OEM installations with many knowledgeable visitors taking the opportunity to go over the finer details."
Ray Blane, Southern Seas Marine, said, "It was a positive start to the morning (Thursday) with a busy stand from the get go. Things slowed a bit towards the afternoon but remained steady. Overall there was a good flow of people with many returning in the afternoon with more focused questions after their day of browsing all that the show has to offer. There was an exciting atmosphere with many visitors and exhibitors feeling positive about the show. We received a variety of people today, including trades, some new boat owners and seasoned professionals, with several in the process of building their own boats. All round I think it was a promising start to the first day and we look forward to the coming days and the potential business they may bring."
In other discussions Tracey Geoghan Director at Polyflex, QLD marine engine mount manufacturer and exporter, reported a very solid result, "very pleasing."
A positive SCIBS always bodes well for the rest of the major boat show season so lets hope the sentiment flows on to other events in 2019 and beyond.
- Mike Ford