British Marine has announced that the 2019 London Boat Show will not be going ahead in January

Insufficient support from the marine industry is the reason why the London Boat Show 2019 will not go ahead next January, according to show organisers, British Marine.

The show, which changed from a 10-day to a five-day format in 2018,  was expected to be held at ExCeL London from 9-13 January 2019.

In a statement, British Marine said it had made the decision after commissioning research by exhibition experts, Zing Insights, which spoke with more than 67% of exhibitors from the 2018 show.

‘This revealed that whilst a number of marine companies supported the change to a five day show, finding it preferable to a 10 day show, a large number of key exhibitors were not prepared to commit to exhibiting to a five day Show at ExCeL in January 2019,’ said British Marine.

Visitor research also showed that consumer satisfaction of the 2018 show, which looked at the content and the number and diversity of sailing and power boats exhibited, was ‘below acceptable industry standards’.

The research results revealed year-on-year decline in audience satisfaction which would continue to fall if the show proceeded in the same format and continued to fail to satisfy visitor expectations.

British Marine said Zing’s research findings were endorsed by its exhibition sales staff who are reporting an ‘insufficient number’ of signed contracts of commitment to the 2019 show.

This was particularly significant amongst boatbuilders and boat retailers.

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‘Lack of signed contracts from this sector also affected confidence from other potential exhibitors, further reducing confirmed sign ups within the deadline,’ said British Marine.

‘The decision to put the London Boat Show on hold is naturally very disappointing for the British marine industry,” said David Pougher, President of British Marine, “but British Marine and its Board of Directors has a responsibility to its members and we cannot commit to running a show which is clearly forecasted in its current format to be commercially unviable and will not meet customer satisfaction levels.’

‘By contrast, Southampton Boat Show produces a positive contribution to the industry, is well supported by exhibitors and visitors alike and is a highly successful event and we are now able to put all our energy, expertise and enthusiasm into this event,’ he continued.

‘We are very aware that many companies in the marine industry look at a sales activity such as the London Boat Show in January as an excellent way to kick start the year, but times change and we must do the same in order to offer events which are affordable, accessible, welcomed and supported by the industry and its customers, and are financially viable for all involved,’ stressed Pougher.

‘This is now the task for the British Marine team, its Board, its members and valued advisors to seek new opportunities to support our industry,’ concluded the British Marine president.

The 2018 Southampton Boat Show, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, will run from 14-23 September.