A massive increase in pre-sold and reserved exhibitor space has the Gold Coast International Marine Expo team now planning to create additional sites and infrastructure ahead of the biggest Expo in the growing event’s six years.
Leading international and Australian marine brands and businesses have been very quick to secure their place at Expo at Coomera from 19-22 May 2016, with bookings up over 845 per cent compared to the same time last year.
Over 95 per cent of last year’s exhibitor space is now sold or reserved for 2016 and interest from companies who have not previously exhibited at Expo accounts for over 15 per cent of the impressive total to date.
“It’s an exciting challenge for us to increase the footprint of our massive marine showcase and maximise the opportunity to stage the largest Expo ever,” said Event & Marketing Manager, Emma Brown.
“We’ll be increasing Expo’s free on-site car-parking in 2016 as well as the number of sea trial berths for people to try before they buy their boats,” she said. “We’ll have more hard-stand space and more covered display space, and there are many more announcements to come as we count down to four fantastic days at Coomera in May.
“Expo 2016 will once again be: ‘the boat show with so much more’.”
Mrs Brown said Expo’s visitors – real boating enthusiasts – would enjoy a diverse, hands-on marine display complemented by fun family attractions as well as practical interactive and educational demonstrations every 15 minutes across a giant 3km display circuit.
“Leading marine brands from Australia and around the world will once again be represented at Expo 2016,” she said. “Hundreds of exhibitors will display everything from luxury motor and sailing yachts to trailer boats and jet skis, kayaks to fishing equipment, engines to boating accessories.
“In fact Expo will have everything you and your family need to get out and have fun on the water.”
Expo committee chairman Brett Thurley said it was part of the Expo charter to inspire more people to enjoy the rich and rewarding boating lifestyle and, at the same time, foster jobs, growth and opportunities in the broader Australian marine industry.
“People love coming here to the Gold Coast Marine Precinct and they love being a part of Expo – they are inspired by the fact Expo has both big boats and small boats and a vast array of equipment and accessory displays,” he said.
“Nowhere else in the world is there a boat show held right in the heart of the biggest boat-building facilities and recreational shipyards in the country with free car-parking right outside the welcome gates,” he said.
“Amazing things really can be achieved when a community works together.”
The Expo is staged right in the heart of the Gold Coast Marine Precinct at Coomera – where the marine industry actually does ‘do business’ 365 days a year.
In 2015 the Expo directly generated over $50 million in sales activity for exhibitors.
“Over 17,000 qualified visitors streamed through the welcome gates for Expo 2015 and the official visitor survey revealed over 41 per cent of them resided outside the Gold Coast,” said Mrs Brown.
“A total of 22 per cent of visitors spent more than two days enjoying the vast array of marine displays and family fun attractions on offer and 91 per cent of visitors surveyed also stated they would happily recommend Expo to their boating friends.”
Capping off 2015, Expo continued its heritage of giving back to the community-based charities that have helped cement the event’s credentials as one of the leading boat shows in Australia.
The Expo has donated a total of $79,000 to charity since it was founded in 2011, and continues to assist a wide range of other worthy community causes in their fundraising efforts. This year’s beneficiary charities were the Rotary Club of Coomera River, Sailability Gold Coast, Ronald McDonald House Charities South East Queensland and the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service.
“Giving back to these charities is our way of saying thank-you for their tireless efforts in supporting the Expo and the Australian marine industry,” said Mrs Brown.
“To stage Expo each year we need over 100 volunteers and we thank these organisations for their continued support – without them, Expo wouldn’t have grown to be everything it is today.”
Mrs Brown said the Expo committee – made up of marine industry leaders – was extremely humbled by the fact Expo’s new concepts announced in September are being keenly received by the industry.
“We announced our new dedicated precincts for like-minded exhibitors, the sea trial marina berths, a new alfresco dining experience and new indoor pavilion with shell scheme displays on September 10 and this demonstrates our continuing approach to innovating the boat show experience for visitors,” she said.
“In 2016 we will continue our leadership and innovation and there are many more compelling new features and attractions to be announced over the coming months.”