SHANGHAI, May 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The China (Shanghai) International Boat Show (CIBS) drew to a close on April 12th. However Saturday 18th April saw the running of the 8th Charity Regatta which CIBS adopted as part of their social responsibility programme some years ago with over 30 boats competing on Dianshan Lake, raising several thousand RMB towards libraries for less fortunate rural villages at the same time.
What of the main show however? Comments from attendees ran from glad they came to thank goodness it's over, but over for good reasons.
The show, now in it's 20th year had a slow start in history with the 10th show covering just 15,000 Sq Meters. The 20th Show, however, ran to 57,000 Square Meters required for the almost 550 exhibitors which considered the show a worthwhile investment to display their products which ran all the way from stainless steel fittings through to luxury yachts costing many millions of RMB for it has always been a mark - and intention - of the 'Navigator of Asian Leisure Boating' to welcome the whole leisure marine supply chain under one roof, or if the show continues to grow as it has probably eventually under several roofs. In fact that is already happening with 5,000 Sq meters of the figure above being on the water at the Star Bund Marina in the heart of the city.
In the coffee area, on one side was an exhibitor having a quiet beer because it was "the only place where he could get a break from discussions with interested people, on the other side a Norwegian couple was in deep discussions about the finer details of a fishing boat with representatives of a Chinese boatyard and this seemed to be a picture that was echoed around the show.
Peter Dowdney of Ronstan commented that they hadn't seen the entire show and Simon Boyde of Storm Force marine of Hong Kong was extremely glad they came to the show and had signed a couple of significant agreements. Beneteau's Ivy Jin talking of "well packed show days" with the a few boats sold along with a number of soft leads to follow up after the show. And so it seemed to be in general around the show with a number of boats displaying 'Sold' in both English and Chinese and with one exhibitor stating there appeared to be less 'tyre kickers' and more serious visitors than they remembered from previous shows.
As to some hard numbers? Audited visitors (a figure that makes CIBS a little different from other shows in China) approached 40,000 with 38,977 actual visitors to the show over the 4 days (or 7 days for the on the water element) with a 27% rise in visitors from overseas. These foreign visitors were drawn from 25 countries from all over the globe with 6 National or Regional pavilions included in the show.
Multiple boats were sold with many more letters of intent signed and it will be some time for the dust to settle and the true value of business concluded at the show is finally known but it would be hard to describe the show as anything else except successful.
Add to the main show, the Asian Marine & Boating Awards, the various Forums happening alongside the show (and sometimes in the main body of the show itself), the appearance of the Land Rover Extreme 40 Catamaran sailing past Shanghai's Bund, the Charity Regatta, the chance to meet old friends in the boating world and so much more, the 20th China (Shanghai) International Boat Show was so much more than a simple Boat Show, it proved that 'Navigator of Asian Leisure Boating' is not just a marketing 'tag line'.
The 21st China (Shanghai) International Boat Show will run from April 7th -10th, 2016.