Just over 8,500 people visited this year’s event

Visitor numbers to this year’s Cape Town International Boat Show shot up 54% to just over 8,500, Messe Frankfurt have confirmed.

The increase comes on the back of a bigger overall footprint with more exhibitors (93 compared with 70 in 2017) and more than double the number of boats on the water at this year’s edition held over three days from October 19-21. It was Messe Frankfurt’s first year in charge after acquiring the show last year.

2018 Cape Town International Boat Show

2018 Cape Town International Boat Show

Josh Low, Messe Frankfurt South Africa group exhibitions director, said overall feedback had been “very positive”.

“The general feedback has been that it was a very good first attempt,” Low said.

He said the company succeeded in expanding the lifestyle aspect of the show, in line with market trends. “I think the important point is that what we are seeing is that expos in traditional formats are dying out, and so for us it is really about offering more value to visitors who come to the show – to offer an experience,” he said.

This year’s edition was bolstered by headline sponsor Mercedes Benz, as well as new exhibitors showcasing a range of water sports equipment.

Low said Messe Frankfurt hoped to build on their success and continue to grow the show, by including additional elements such as talks and seminars.