All quiet on the inland front

The exhibitors aren't best pleased with the organisation of the inland section at ExCeL


All is not well over at the inland waterways section of ExCeL. Although exhibitors are happy with sales and the quality of enquiries, they’re not at all pleased with the layout of their corner, nor the efforts that have been made to pull in the punters. One sales manager at a well-known boat dealer told me the whole section was “crap”. He then turned to the vast curtain covering the rear wall and snorted, “there’s no imagination gone into it at all”. Also telling was the emptiness of the inland corner last night. As the South Hall thumped to the tunes coming from the Sunseeker stand, and people sipped pink champagne at Fairline’s 40th birthday celebrations, exhibitors over in the inland section knocked back wine from plastic glasses while watching a four-piece band dressed in Hawaiian getup strumming a couple of guitars. Glamorous it wasn’t. And worse, there didn’t seem to be any visitors milling around, just exhibitors. For National Boat Shows, sorting out the inland section must come at the top of the to-do list for next year’s show.