01 Jun 2015

The Australian marine industry is buzzing after the sensational success of the 2015 Gold Coast International Marine Expo at Coomera.

Organisers said the biggest Expo ever had provided the Australian marine industry with a much-needed economic boost of tens of millions of dollars that will continue to be measured for weeks and even months to come.

“We are absolutely humbled by the strong show of support from our exhibitors,” said Event & Marketing Manager Emma Milne. 

“Everyone from luxury motor yacht owners, multihull and mono-hull sailors right through to trailer boat enthusiasts were all here in force … and I am sure we also inspired many more families to get out and enjoy the unique and rewarding boating life,” she said.

“Expo is the boat show with so much more and real boaties just love it – Expo also ticks all the business-to-business boxes. In fact the relationships formed here at Expo will create growth, prosperity and jobs in our marine industry for the future.

“It’s amazing what can be achieved when we all work together.”

Ms Milne said the not-for-profit Expo – now in its 5th year – this year spanned over 50 hectares and encompassed 4 key event sites and 3 marinas, and enjoyed rave reviews from visitors, of whom there were this year 17,024, reflecting an increase of 12 per cent for 2015.

“We’ve now got the world talking about the Gold Coast as a major marine destination with so much to see and do in May and that’s what we set out to do … to create a compelling reason to visit the Gold Coast,” she said.

“It is important to be truthful about visitor numbers and it will take a little time to assimilate an exact number of visitors from outside of South East Queensland, but we do expect that figure to be over 30 per cent of our total.

“Our visitors told us throughout the four days that they liked the relaxing, welcoming and fun Expo atmosphere, as well as the vast array of displays, demonstrations and attractions, the free parking at the gate, the free ferry within the Expo and the free courtesy buses linking sites and parking – and those comments are being actively echoed across social media.”

Ms Milne said the Expo goal of reinventing the concept of a traditional boat show has worked, and the decision to change the dates has been validated by the strong results of exhibitors.

“The multi-day passes we introduced this year were also very popular – people appreciated that they could come back to Expo to enjoy and experience everything there was to see and do over a number of days,” she said. 

“We will now sit down and consult with our team and exhibitors in the coming weeks as we strive to make the Expo the best boat show in Australia, and comparable to the best anywhere in the world.”

Feedback from some 2015 Expo exhibitors:

“We will certainly be back with Beneteau and New Ocean Motor Yachts – we’ve done very well and the feedback about the show has been very positive – the position here at the Gold Coast Marine Precinct is great and staging an international boat show here is logical. It will be easy to add to the immense infrastructure here to easy to become even better.”
– Lee Randall, Spirit Marine International.

“We’ve had a lot of interest from interstate – we will be back next year not a problem.”
– Noel Leigh Smith, Leigh-Smith Marine.

“We’re absolutely stoked with our displays – we’ve sold over $700,000 worth of trailer boats over the four days – in fact $300,000 in one day. Expo keeps getting bigger and better and our display will next year will be even bigger.”
– Ross Meadows, Surf Coast Marine, Broadwater Boating Centre.

“We go to 30 shows a year and this is most definitely one of the best in Australia. It’s got everything you would want at a boat show.”
– Stuart Walsh, Tacklebusters.

“We had a better day on Day 1 than we had for the entire Expo last year. We took a bigger Expo display this year and we may even go bigger again next year.”
– Sam Greenland, Nautique Central.

“The success of this Expo has reinforced that the concept of changing the dates was correct. It was an each-way bet to display here but it seems we backed a winner. The growth and potential for this show is phenomenal because it is important to cater to growth and I know the Expo will get it. The result for us is that we feel very confident of going to the next level. No one comes and just splashes $2 million on a boat show without doing their research and I have sea-trials booked for weeks. I’m confident it will convert to about half a dozen sales.”
– Keith Hansen, Whitehaven Motor Yachts.

“I think it will grow and grow – we were skeptical at first but it has been very promising.”
– Steve Jenkins, Whitewater Marine.

“This is what a boat show should be like – and it’s certainly our best ever in Australia! It’s got a great atmosphere and the organisers are very cooperative and supportive. We’ve had a very successful show. We had 13 boats on display – our biggest ever – and we sold 7 (Jeanneau, Clipper 40, Clipper Cordova 60, Marlow 61E, Clipper 62, Riviera 40) – we are very close right now with three more and have plenty of leads to follow. ”
– Brett Thurley, Clipper Motor Yachts and Marlow Motor Yachts, Pacific Motor Yachts .

“I am very proud of Expo and what it has become. It’s great for the Gold Coast and takes advantage of the infrastructure that’s in the precinct. I am also very impressed with the philosophy the marine industry supporting others in the industry.”
– Jenni Dickson, Marine Reliance.

“The set-up of Expo was awesome. We’ll be there next year.”
– Cameron Ward, C Worthy Marine.

“It’s been a great show for us. Our position was perfect with people walking straight off the marina and being able to come and see what we have to offer to make boating more enjoyable.”
– John Berg ADC Davits.

“We’ve done very well – we have sold six jet skis here and we expect more in the coming weeks. It is a very friendly show.”
– Shawn Hale, Gold Coast Waverunners.

“We had a very steady flow of serious boaties and have done great business – the atmosphere was just so relaxed.”
– Anton Prange, Yachtshare.

“This is a show for everyone – visitors are happy. We’ve taken bookings during the show and we know we they will continue for weeks and months to come.”
– Mike Smith, Coomera Houseboat Holidays.

“It’s all very positive – the Expo is great value for us and the public and we will definitely be back next year with both our Prestige and Jeanneau range.”
– Matthew Willett, Matthew Willett Marine.

“We’ve got a new product and we did a deal with Honda the first day. As a new product, it’s been great for us to tap straight into the industry here at Expo, which is all about people helping each other because we are all in the same game.”
– Barry Martin, Jaeger Boats.

“This is great – what a great way to reach our target market.”
– Russell Mackay, EziFender.

“We are proud to report the sale of 12 new yachts following our largest-ever Australian display and we expect more in the coming weeks spanning our entire luxury range of SUV, Sport Yacht and Flybridge yachts. We even sold a new 67 Sports Motor Yacht – the pioneering new design of which preliminary details were only released on Friday. The new Riviera luxury yachts will be built for owners from right around Australia, and also Thailand, South Africa and the USA. That’s great news for our supply chain, our staff and it means more export revenue for Australia.”
– Rodney Longhurst, Riviera Australia .

“The Expo gives us exposure to our customers at both ends of the spectrum. There’s a great deal of interest at the higher-end in our thermal imaging technology – luxury yacht owners have read about it and here they can validate it all – they can come and look, feel and touch it and see how it enhances night-time navigation, particularly at the dock. Our new Dragonfly fish-finders and WiFish were very popular with the general boating public too.”
– Damien Webber, Raymarine.

“We had a lot of interest from existing luxury yacht owners and big-game fishermen in IPS (pod propulsion) – a lot of shaft-drive owners came in to see the engines and ask us questions, and it was good to be able to explain to them all the benefits of IPS.”
– Darren Lane, Volvo Penta