by Jeni Bone
Skies are overcast, but clearing, temperatures around 20C, and the theme of this year's Sydney International Boat Show is 'reward', according to organisers - visitors to reward themselves as a tonic to the gloom and doom, 'reward' for exhibitors who work hard to show their range of fantastic products that can fulfill the needs of a leisure-loving public.
Marina - boats lining up
According to show supremo, the hard-working but always chirpy, Domenic Genua, the show is on schedule, with opening just two days from now.
'I have just been down to the Halls and I am very leased with what I see,' he said. 'This is yet another year where exhibitors have gone to extra effort to present themselves in a fantastic way! It will be a fantastic show. It's the last for a while at Darling Harbour, but nobody has taken any shortcuts. It's going to be a full on, customer focused show. Exhibitors are out to put their best foot forward.'
Halls under construction
And in terms of ROI, effort it what matters. 'It's a triangle equation,' explained Genua. 'We deliver a quality audience, exhibitors bring the right product, at the right price, with the right attitude to click with customers. 40% of the people who walk through the door have purchase intention. That's four in 10 people. The opportunity to connect with visitors is enormous!'
Two days out, the majority of the 153 boats are ensconced in the marina, Halls are buzzing with activity and Genua is capturing it all and loading pics to the Sydney Boat Show Facebook page. 'We have images from the past and present, memorabilia, old boat show ads, people and their displays. It's really interesting and we encourage the public and trade to get on our Facebook page and enjoy!'
Sydney Boat Show 60s
This is Genua's 16th boat show in the capacity of marketing and event manager for the BIA of NSW.
'It's never the same, but certainly, some things run to a schedule each year.
'I have told everybody, we intend to run this show with a positive attitude to show the media, the public, the industry that recreational boating industry is not on its knees. There's a lot of discretionary income out there for leisure and boating wants its share!
'We have the best products that deliver lifestyle, leisure and quality of life for families and we have to demonstrate how.'
And while all the best efforts from show management, exhibitors and supporters have aligned, with no date set for the federal election there is some uncertainty which may impact on consumers, Genua acknowledged. 'It is a sentiment we don't feel comfortable with, but we will fight through it. People are sick of politics, negative talk, it's nearly spring and they're in the mood for boating!'
Sydney Boat Show ladies
As for a forecast for the weather over the five days, Genua has wisely chosen to 'leave the weather to the Gods'.
The 46th annual Sydney International Boat Show is held at Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre & Cockle Bay Marina, Darling Harbour, Sydney and starts Thursday 1 August, from 10am, running til Monday 5 August.
HOURS: 10am - 8pm Halls, 10am - 6pm Marina
More at www.sydneyboatshow.com.au
You can get a taste for what it takes to set up this premier boating event with the 2012 clip.