Show boss says his event inspired ExCel organisers

The boss of the Earls Court Boat Show says the organisers of the official London Boat Show have copied his vision in creating their 2008 event.

James Brooke, MD of the new Earls Court show that was held in December 2007, says: “It is clear that our creativity has inspired National Boat Shows and much of the new content at the Collins Stewart London Boat Show is a clear replication of our vision.

“This is a positive thing as we have managed to enhance the show at Excel through competition to the benefit of the consumer.

“It has taken time for the British Marine Federation to fully understand the benefits of competition in an industry, and we have clearly stated time and time again that we are a positive force that can benefit everyone.”

There were fears that having two boat shows in London, just a month apart, would damage the fortunes of the British Marine Federation, which organises the official event at ExCel, and thereby the wider marine industry.

The December Earls Court event suffered from low visitor numbers but visitors enjoyed the experience and exhibitors were positive.

Meanwhile the ExCel show, which closes on Sunday 20 January, has reported visitor figures on par with last year and early feedback on the event generally has been extremely good.

James Brooke says: “It is clear those that said two shows cannot co-exist in London have been proved wrong, and I believe much of the potential market is still untapped.

“Our show is quite different to the show run by National Boat Shows at Excel, and always will be.

“Many millions of pounds worth of business was done at Earls Court in December, to the benefit of our exhibitors and the marine industry.

“While the number of visitors in our first year was clearly not as great as we initially forecast, we have created a strong foundation of quality visitors that will return next year. We will improve our marketing and let 10 times as many people know about our show as many people have told us that they did not know it was happening.”

He spoke out as the show announced a tie-in with Carlsberg.

The beverage will be the official lager for the 2008 Earls Court show. The new sponsorship will compliment the existing title sponsorship by Whyte & Mackay.

Meanwhile Whyte & Mackay have taken the opportunity to publicly underline their support for the show.

Nick Gaskin, Whyte & Mackay Customer Marketing Director, said: “We are delighted to continue our association with the Earls Court Boat Show. Whyte & Mackay has a long affiliation with the sea, and our commitment to the Earls Court Boat Show has always been based on a long-term partnership.”

The dates for the 2008 Earls Court Boat Show are Friday 28 November to Sunday 7 December.

www.earlscourtboatshow.com