Numbers down for first day but aisles crowded over the weekend

The organisers expected the worse and they weren’t disappointed.

7,997 visitors came to the London Boat Show on Friday, its press and preview day, a worrying 3,000 down on the previous year. Sir Robin Knox-Johnston (left) cut the ribbon to open the event.

National Boat Shows, organisers and a division of the British Marine Federation, had predicted a low turn out for the show as advance ticket sales were well down.

Rob Stevens, CEO of the BMF, struck an upbeat note, announcing that advance ticket sales for the rest of the show were 10% ahead of last year.

The organisers’ optimism seems to have been well paced with the aisles crowded on Saturday and exhibitors reporting good sales. Visitor numbers have not yet been released for the weekend.

One thing that the organisers cannot deny are the profusion of non-boating exhibitors (think liqourice, jewellery, back massagers, cosmetics etc etc) in some corners of ExCeL. Proof perhaps of the impact that the rival Earl’s Court show has had on this established event.

See YM’s video tour of the show here.