Earls Court Boat Show this Christmas
Glasgow-based whisky distillers Whyte & Mackay have stumped up £1.2 million for the new Earls Court London Boat Show to run this coming December, from 1-9. Organisers sailing school proprietor James Brooke, fast food entrepreneur John Vincent and ex managing director of National Boat Shows, Paul Streeter need a further £3.8 million to run the show.
More than 200 exhibitors have shown serious interest in coming to both halls of the Earls Court show, but Paul Streeter said they need at least 600 to make it work.
Brooke, based in Lymington, Hants, said he had carried out a straw poll at ExCel of 200 exhibitors and of those 196 said they preferred Earls Court as a venue.
Earls Court has earmarked £22 million on refurbishment including up-graded air-conditioning, a 250 seat restaurant and ramp access to Level 2 so that exhibitors can use vans instead of lifts to drop off stand materials and gear for exhibiting.
Vincent said the Earls Court Boat Show would be a ‘forever gig’ with plans for it to go on indefinately. Streeter denied the show was ‘splitting the industry’ and that he would ‘love to be involved with the British Marine Federation’ who run the ExCel show in January. ‘I was approached the day I left National Boat Shows last year and offered an awful lot of money to run an Earls Court Boat Show, but I declined,’ he said.
‘Before Christmas people’s credit cards are not full, it’s a good time for a show,’ he added.