Unsurprisingly there will be no Earls Court Boat Show in 2009. The show organisers have announced that the Sail, Power & Watersports Show will not be held in 2009 but go on to say that they will be back at Earls Court in November 2010.
Even in the boom times, there was a question mark about whether London could support two major boat shows within weeks of each other. It seemed that the Earls Court Boat show only existed to appease a group of traditionalists who didn’t want to be seen in ‘East London’ and hankered for a better time when you could leave your west-end office and have a few pints with the boys at the Guiness bar surrounded by toys on the Thursday Evening.
Having visited a few shows last year including Paris and Dusseldorf, the most recent version of the Earls Court Show just isn’t in the same league. The London Boat Show at Excel however, is a great event and gets better every year.
The organisers of the Earls Court show have a new event; The British Leisure Show. While the logic of getting more people to the event by widening the base of exhibitors seems to make sense, the press release states that this is the only UK show with six zones! ignoring the fact that there is already a National Boat, Caravan and Outdoor Show held at the NEC each year.
The National Boat, Caravan and Outdoor show is a pretty average affair unless you like caravans and perhaps that’s the point. If you like boats, you go to a boat show, if you like caravans you go to a caravan show. The idea of cross-selling only works for generic exhibitors like the guys that sell magic mops and wonder smoothie makers.
Perhaps with the distraction of the Earls Court Boat Show out of the way in 2009, the marine industry can focus all their attention on making the London Boat Show a world class event.