This year's Helsinki International Boat Show, which ended on Sunday 21st February at the Helsinki Exhibition & Convention Centre, indicated clearly that there's plenty of demand for boats and boating supplies. Almost 77,000 visitors came to the fair.
The Helsinki International Boat Show further strengthened its status as the leading major event for boating and other aquatic pastimes.
"The Boat Show once again managed to attract an audience bursting with purchasing power even though the aggregate turnover of the boating sector contracted by 40% last year. Compared to the previous year, sales of boats and supplies both increased manifold at the fair," says Jouko Huju, Managing Director of the Finnish Marine Industries Federation Finnboat.
Finnish boat manufacturer Sailfish Boats Oy has over its ten-year history established itself as a maker of quality motorboats. The challenging year that gripped the rest of the sector has not affected the family company's operations and this year's production is already sold out.
"Buyers of our boats are allowed to influence the interior decoration colour scheme as well as the choice of wood materials during the manufacturing phase. We found that this service provided a substantial sales boost also during this fair," says Åke Björklund of Sailfish Boats.
Managing Director Anders Kurtén of Finngulf Yachts Oy says that the fair even exceeded their expectations.
"Visitor's high regard for quality in boat manufacturing was clearly evident. We could also notice that the "standard" of visitors was correspondingly high at this year's Boat Show," says Anders Kurtén.
On the part of supplies, Bo Warelius of Six-Cap Oy, a marketer of clothing, survival suits and life vests, said that the Boat Show had been a positive surprise for the company, which took part for the first time.
"We only took along some clothing pieces for display, but next time we'll be better prepared for sales. We sold hundreds of life vests here," said Bo Warelius.
Exhibitors were quite satisfied with the Boat Show and the commercial success of the fair encouraged them to start planning for next year. Around 50 exhibitors signed up for the next Helsinki International Boat Show, which is to be held in February 2011, even before this year's event ended.
Several awards and recognitions handed out during the fair
The Finnish Association of Boating Journalists gave its Boating Act of the Year 2009 recognition to Alf and Sara Andersson from Dragsfjärd in the Kimito Island municipality. The couple have been the caretakers of Helsingholm harbour, a familiar location for all Finnish boaters, since 2006.
The Best Motorboat of the Fair 2010 award went to Bavaria 28 Sport, while the Best Sailboat of the Fair 2010 was Beneteau First 35.
Visitors voted to select the Best Boating Product of 2010 from the range of equipment on display at the fair, and were most impressed with the MCMURDO Fast Find 210 personal location beacon.
Finnish boaters named Airisto Marina as the Best Boating Destination of 2009.
Helsinki International Boat Show cooperation agreements continued
The 2011 Helsinki International Boat Show will be held on 11-20 February 2011. The Finnish Marine Industries Federation Finnboat and the Finnish Fair Corporation have renewed their agreement on the organisation of the event. Finnboat has commissioned the Boat Show since 1968 and the renewed contract now covers the organisation of the fair up to 2016. The Finnish Fair Corporation and Volvo Auto Oy Ab have also extended their cooperation agreement in association with the Helsinki International Boat Show for the period 2011-12.
Further information on the Boat Show:
Finnish Fair Corporation, Communications Officer Petra Samppa, tel. +358 9 150 9380,