Amsterdam show reports optimism returning

Exhibitors at last week’s Amsterdam in-water Boat Show have reported good business overall. A significant number of sales were made at the show itself and a majority of exhibitors expect the market to improve in 2010. The event attracted a total of 26,410 visitors.

Although the show was occasionally beset by storms, the mood among exhibitors remained positive throughout the week. A survey among all participants showed that three quarters of exhibitors who presented their boats at the Amsterdam in-water Boat Show sold one or more of these, or expected to do so within three months as a result of their participation at the event. Suppliers of nautical services and products were also very satisfied: More than 90% stated that the Amsterdam in-water Boat Show met or exceeded their expectations. The fact that no less than 82% of all participants expressed their intention to exhibit again at next year’s show speaks volumes for the success of the 2009 edition.

Meanwhile, the survey also indicated that a majority (55%) of yacht builders and importers expect the market to improve during 2010. Optimism among suppliers is even higher, with 64% having a positive outlook. Taking both segments (boats and products) into account, only 10% of exhibitors expect the market to deteriorate in 2010.

The figure of 26,410 visitors is 10% less than last year’s edition. “This reduction can to a large degree be explained by the fierce storm that hit the show on Thursday,” says Farouk Nefzi, director of the Amsterdam in-water Boat Show. “On this day the visitor numbers were less than half of those in 2008 and we were unable to catch up in the days that remained. The exhibitors were confronted with strong winds throughout the week but escaped relatively unscathed. Only on the Thursday did it become impossible for exhibitors selling open boats to receive clients or to keep their yachts free of sand. To be honest, the show was a sad sight on that day and yet a number of sailing yacht exhibitors later told us that, despite the atrocious weather, the Thursday was one of their best days for actual sales. It is also interesting to note that the number of people paying to enter the boat show was higher on most days than in previous editions. On the other hand the use of courtesy tickets was well down, which put pressure on overall visitor numbers.”