Inaugural show abandoned after exhibitors drop out

The Liverpool Boat Show, which was due to take place this April, has been cancelled.

Organisers Marine Industry Events (MIE) said it had been forced to cancel the show due to the economic climate and poor take-up of exhibitors.

Rob Mackenzie, managing director of MIE, said: ‘Our decision is obviously appalling news and it has been an extremely difficult decision to take, not least because of the enormous sense of responsibility and partnership we feel for everyone in Liverpool.’

The inaugural Liverpool show was due to begin on April 29 – the same day as the Royal wedding – and run until May 8.

Mr Mackenzie told Yachting Monthly that many of the show’s exhibitors felt that the London Boat Show was ‘comercially disasterous and that they had to hunker down and not take up their contracted space’.

He said: ‘We had to take a view on the brand promise. We had hundreds of exhibitors signed up, but if some of them were going to pull out then it was better to stop now.’

MIE, which employs 14 people, is ‘destroyed’.

But Mr Mackenzie added: ‘I don’t want this opportunity destroyed for Liverpool.

‘Everything we promised was in place when we did the ads and the publicity, but the rout and contagion had spread so far there was nothing we could do.’

Mr Mackenzie said the £2.5million-show had been cancelled due to the ‘severity of the commercial situation’ and was ‘nothing to do with the Royal wedding’.

Discussions have now begun between Liverpool City Council and other local partners to see if an alternative event can be staged, but MIE will have no further involvement in this process.

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