More people coming through gate on Friday and Saturday
There can be no better measure of the state of the health of the leisure marine industry than attendance and sales figures from the industry’s showpiece event – Southampton. We’ll have to wait until after the show to get an accurate handle on how sales went for everyone, but attendance figures are more readily available, especially is they’re good. According to the British Marine Federation, Friday’s attendance was 9142, up nearly 20% on last year, while Saturday’s attendance was 16,057, 1000 visitors up on the same day in 2006. This is great news. If there’s one thing this industry needs after the collapse of Peters Opal it is a good Southampton. Saturday certainly seemed like a successful day – the sun was out and the pontoons were crowded. Yesterday felt a little different however. By 5pm, the piece of tarmac in front of MBM’s stand was more or less dead. Walking round the show revealed empty stands, and exhibitors checking emails or enjoying a glass of wine. Tomorrow’s report of Sunday’s attendance will make interesting reading. But, on the whole, there’s reason to be cheerful. We all hope these early sales successes continue.