Ticket holders will get full refund
Rob Mackenzie, managing director of MIE, told Yachting Monthly that he hoped some of the company’s 14 staff members would be retained by any future Liverpool Boat Show, but he admitted that the company had been ‘destroyed by this’.
James Gower, the show’s commercial and marketing director, promised that the cancellation would not leave any ticketholders out of pocket. He said: ‘Ticket holders will get a refund. Details of how to claim it will go up on the show’s website.’
The website says that the box office will contact ticket holders about their Liverpool Boat Show refund.
But Mr Gower said: ‘We are counting the cost of everything and we will deal with the exhibitors in the proper manner.’
He said not cancelling the show after the withdrawal of many exhibitors would have been like ‘opening Sainsbury’s when there is nothing on the shelves’.
Discussions have now begun between Liverpool City Council and other local partners, such as urban regeneration company Liverpool Vision, to see if an alternative event can be staged, but MIE will have no further involvement in this process.
Max Steinberg, chief executive of Liverpool Vision, said: ‘We have already started to consider what we can do to minimise the economic impact of the cancellation of the Liverpool Boat Show.
‘There has already been significant investment by MIE and British Waterways in establishing world-class berthing and staging facilities and we intend to use them to the city’s best advantage.
‘In addition to the permanent pontoon legacy, strong foundations for future large maritime events have been laid. Over the course of the last 15 months, MIE brought more than 300 marine businesses and marine specialist press to visit Liverpool.
‘Their collective response has been overwhelmingly positive, from Liverpool’s facilities, to the city’s willingness to support such events as well as the robust way in which so many of our private sector companies were prepared to join co-promotional partnerships with major boating brands to the benefit of Liverpool.’