But are there enough people and boats to go round?
Many years ago a magazine I was working on published a spoof article about the Upminster Boat Show. A few days later and we received an enraged letter from the organisers of the errr… nascent Upminster Boat Show saying how dare we mock them before they had even started. In the event they did not. That was back in the days when alongside every county show there seemed to be a boat show.
Fortunately natural wastage took its toll and for many years we have enjoyed the stability of a limited number of national and regional shows. Now it all looks set to change. First came news of the new Earls Court Boat Show in December and now the announcement of £3.6 million sponsorship from Whyte and Mackay and a forecast of 220,000 visitors. That’s 90,000 more than visited the official London Boat Show at Excel last January. I wonder if we are such a nation of show junkies that some people might actually visit both shows?
Next along came Liverpool, being promoted by National Boat Shows. That has now been postponed. And now I get a press release from the National Boat Caravan and Outdoor Show to say that they will be expanding their boat section in 2008.
Having trod the boards of London Boat Shows professionally for 35 years and squelched the mud, latterly tarmac for the same number of years at Southampton not to mention countless other shows in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, USA and Australia I’m afraid the news of more shows just fill me with a great weariness.