Visitor numbers were up by 40% at the 2016 Brisbane Boat Show in Queensland, Australia, which ran from August 19-21 at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre in Southbank. The three-day event attracted around 12,300 people.

Exhibitors were said to be pleased with the levels of interest, with a healthy mix of both boat buyers and those new to the boating lifestyle. A number of key changes were made to the 2016 edition, including new dates, a new venue and a new organiser – the Boating Industry Association (BIA) of Australia.

Last year’s event, which was organised by Marine Queensland, took place over four days in September and was held at Brisbane Showgrounds.

“It was good to be back at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre and I am looking forward to a bigger and brighter 2017,” says Nathan Nichols, director of Wynnum Marine and Cruise Craft. The Nichols family have never missed exhibiting at the Brisbane show since it started.

Howard Glenn, national CEO of the BIA, said the event was on target in many ways. “Apart from the healthy interest from those new to the lifestyle, retailers made solid sales and gathered sufficient leads to keep them busy for the weeks and months to come.

“Manufacturers used the event to continue to study changing consumer tastes, and with this event at the doorstep of Australia’s manufacturing hub, it is ideal for doing that."

The Brisbane Boat Show will return to the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre in 2017.