Next year’s event will be known as Boatica Cape Town

Messe Frankfurt has rebranded the Cape Town International Boat Show, which from next year will be known as Boatica Cape Town. Show organisers are aiming to bolster show attendance to over 10,000 on the back of a recently enlarged show footprint featuring more exhibitors, luxury yachts, and interactive activities.

The rebrand follows a slight drop in attendance figures for last month’s Cape Town show, down to 7,402 from a high of just over 8,500 in 2018, despite an increase in marketing spend. However, this year’s figure was still significantly higher than previous editions before Messe Frankfurt took over management control.

The dip in attendance was partly due to a clash with two other sporting events, notably the Rugby World Cup, Messe Frankfurt said in its post show report. South Africa’s success at the tournament – they played host nation Japan on the boat show Sunday – kept many people away, despite a vibrant big-screen display set up for boat show visitors.

“We understand there were a few elements that contributed to the show being quieter on the final day, namely the Gun Run and the Quarter finals of the rugby, which as show organisers was something we could not have planned for in advance,” Messe Frankfurt said in the post show report published on the company website. “Consumer show dates are planned over 14 months in advance and as much as we try to account for clashing events, consistency and timing is something that is key when executing shows of this nature. Moving our dates was never going to be a viable option.

“With the new dates planned for next year we are ensured to be away from major events of this nature and have provisioned for a 10-day gap between other boat trade shows,” the company said.

This year’s dip in attendance did not detract from generally positive customer engagement, with a notable increase in online and social media activity, Messe Frankfurt said.

“Numerous business transactions took place over the three days including a number of boats, engine and charter sales directly at the show - a first for a number of boat builders and dealers to happen at a boat show in a number of years which further indicates the growing strength of the boat show brand,” the report said.